How good are you at receiving?
If you’re like 99% of the women when they start working with me, the truth is: Not very good.
The problem is, most high-achieving women think that by not needing help or asking for support they’re being strong, independent and successful. The opposite couldn’t be more true:
A misunderstood essential leadership quality
To be an extraordinary leader you must be an extraordinary receiver. You must be able to receive support, inspiration, ideas, perspectives, money, compliments, love, and more. When you’re blocking your ability to receive, it’s as if you’re putting your hands out in front of you, telling the Universe no no no I’m fine it’s fine I don’t need anything leave me alone! This creates a HUGE block to abundance and success for a majority of women. It was a block for me, too!
Two subtle ways I (almost) block(ed) ‘receivership’
When I was on stage at my first in-person event, my assistant brought me a coffee. As soon as she handed it to me she asked, “Oh, do you want a lid?”
Part of me thought, “You don’t need to send her all the way back just for a lid.” Then I stopped, looked at her, and said, “I’d love a lid. Thank you.” I allowed myself to receive what I wanted instead of putting her convenience over my needs. I allowed myself to accept the offer of a lid instead of being “fine” without it (which was my first reaction).
It may seem small, but this is how we hide from receivership: every time you say “It’s fine, don’t worry about it” you block your receivership. Becoming a great receiver means when someone asks how they can support you, you say, “You know what would be great?” and you ask for what you want.
Recently I had another opportunity to receive: I went away for a solo retreat to work and rest. (Which, by the way, is a choice to receive: space and time away from my beloved family of five during COVID-19). I was at a hotel and had my own concierge, Philip. He was amazing! He checked on me, left menus at the door, and called my room when there were fresh cookies.
At first, it felt awkward — my body felt tight and sweaty. I had to make the conscious choice to let that level of support in. I had to embody a new level of receivership to not reject his attentiveness. We high-achieving female leaders must familiarize ourselves with this kind of support. Where else do you think you’ll get the fuel? How long can you be the workhorse AND the show pony? Women leaders cannot do it all ourselves, 24 hours a day. Beyoncé sure as hell doesn’t. That woman has support and she knows how to receive it.
You say you want so much: the corner office, impact beyond your wildest dreams, a bestselling book, a multiple eight-figure business. If you don’t familiarize yourself with receiving, whether it’s support from a VA, a cleaning service, meal delivery, a compliment from a friend, or hiring a new COO, you will repel and block the natural abundance around you like someone else’s liver. Abundance is trying to get to you and you’re rejecting it because you suck at receiving. Without receivership, you will wish and hope and pray but never actualize.
Yes, it IS uncomfortable at first. It was very uncomfortable for me. “I can get the cookies,” I’d tell Philip. “No no, I’ll bring them to you,” he’d say. So I got really present and I said “thank you.” I learned how to let it in.
My ability to receive at new levels directly correlates to the growth in impact, revenue, and success that I’m generating.
5 excuses women use to avoid receiving
Discomfort with receiving manifests in excuses that seem reasonable at first. They often stem from what you learned as a child. Were you shot down for expressing what you wanted? Did your parents refuse help? Were you raised in a religious household where self-denial and martyrdom were prized? Pile on that the overarching way girls are socialized to be accommodating and biddable, and it’s no shock we run like hell from receiving. Whatever your experience, your discomfort is directly blocking your success. And to move beyond your discomfort you need to understand what it is. Which of these five excuses sounds familiar to you?
1. People don’t mean it when they offer their support, they’re just being polite
First of all, you’re not responsible for other people. If someone makes an offer and you doubt their word, that’s you doing more deflecting. You’re making up a story so you can avoid receiving. Why are you going through that level of mental gymnastics? Second of all, you might have this thought if you’re someone who makes offers that are not from a genuine place. This is a classic martyrdom and over-giving behavior. If that resonates, my challenge to you is to stop making offers. Don’t do it unless you genuinely want to. It’s a betrayal of yourself and a disservice to others when you extend an offer you don’t wholeheartedly mean.
2. It’s greedy and selfish to receive
If that’s what’s coming up for you then let me ask you: do you live in the reality of your dreams? Asking for what you want is the opposite of selfish. It’s the most generous thing you can do because you are honoring and loving yourself unconditionally, which gives others around you permission to do the same. That is what we need more of in the world. When you want to say yes, say yes. When you want to say no, say no.
3. I need to be in control
There’s a strong connection between releasing control and opening to receivership. When you’re in control mode, you’re not open or expanded. Constriction, tightness, busy-ness, doing all the things with no help, that’s a closed off energetic space. Can you feel it?
The energetic state of receivership is expansion, and you must allow yourself to open to it. Here’s a practical exercise: take the rest of the day off and walk outside instead of sitting at your desk, maniacally tackling your to-do list. Show the universe that you’re open to its abundance and that you’re willing to see and receive it. Our natural state is receivership, but you’ve been covered with a lot of shit for a lot of years. It’s time to do some unblocking.
4. I must return everything I receive!
Have you ever received a compliment, and felt like you needed to return it immediately (or deflect it)? This is a sign of discomfort with receiving for the sake of receiving. Receivership is not a zero-sum game. You don’t have to reciprocate to “earn” what you’re being given. Next time you receive something, whether it’s a hug or a gift or an incredible opportunity, let yourself take it in fully. Breathe. Feel the abundance. Marinate in the appreciation.
5. I’m too busy to think about this
Busy-ness is a giant brick wall between you and receiving. Closely linked to control, the lifestyle of the constant hustle drains you — and there’s no expansion there! Which is not to say that to receive you must stop working hard and challenging yourself. In fact, this is what receivership looks like: saying no, asking for help, creating boundaries to create spaciousness. The practice of receivership is not about doing more but about doing RIGHT. It’s true alignment.
How to open yourself to receivership now
So what do you do to become a better receiver? Turn each of the five excuses above around: take someone’s word when they offer support. Receive a compliment without returning it! Schedule time for YOU in your “busy” schedule. Cede control of something to your spouse or assistant. It’s that simple and that profound. Another great place to start is with gratitude. As Dr Joe Dispenza puts it, “gratitude is the emotional signature of receivership.”
But before your eyes glaze over because you’ve been told to “keep a gratitude journal” nine billion times, pay attention: I’m talking about a specific kind of gratitude practice.
Listing what you’re grateful for without the because doesn’t work. It’s the emotion that lives on the other side of because that brings you to a state of gratitude. When you embody a state of gratitude by articulating WHY you’re grateful, you open yourself up to abundance and receiving. When you’re truly, deeply grateful you’re at one of the highest energetic resonances and you are magnetic.
Here’s a way I practice gratitude for everything, for all of it. Every time I receive a bill or an invoice, I say “thank you.” I am so grateful for the service I’m receiving, for the fact that I can pay the invoice effortlessly… that’s my because.
The universe has so much more to give you… if you let it
Gratitude makes receiving familiar. Every time you practice gratitude because you let in what you’re already receiving. That’s how you build your receivership muscle: receiving consciously. Your mind is magic. Gratitude trains your mind to be aware of what you’re already receiving. And the more you start to see the abundance around you, the more you will receive. The truth is that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, so you really can’t fail: when you know there’s more to receive, that’s when there IS.