Photo Credit: Kira auf der Heide,

There’s so much giving this time of year. Heck, Thanksgiving has the word “giving” embedded within it.

And it’s such a beautiful intention. Giving often comes from a place of kindness, compassion, and love. We give to demonstrate our appreciation, our feelings, and our connection with others (even if we’re giving to a stranger–like with a donation).

Giving, for many of us, is easy.

But what about RECEIVING?

Think about it: when you receive gifts, what are some common responses?

  • “Oh, you shouldn’t have!”
  • “This is too much!”
  • “Thanks. Enough about me. Now you open your gift!”

When someone gives you a compliment, how do you respond? Perhaps you give the other person a compliment. Maybe you say, “oh, stop!” or give a nervous laugh . . .

So many of us struggle to receive.

And I put myself square in that bucket, too.

We struggle to receive, largely, because we think we’re not worthy. This is a matter of self-worth.

When we don’t feel worthy of the gifts we receive (and I’m not just talking about the ones with bows), this does a few things:

  • We feel resentful of others who seem to receive with ease because we secretly want to do the same thing.
  • We over-extend our giving to fill a hole that only receiving can fill.
  • We don’t nurture our self-worth.

And it’s no wonder that we react this way. It’s totally normal because when we overextend our receiving, words like “greedy” or “irresponsible” pop up–and we don’t want to be like that either!

Striking a balance between Giving and Receiving

If you struggle to receive, it’s time to practice–and here are a few ways that you can experiment with more receiving:

1. When someone gives you a compliment you have your choice of two responses:

  • “Thank you.”
  • “Yes, yes. I know.” (I like this one–it makes me laugh.)

2. Let people know that you’re open to receiving.

Just the other day I was lamenting how business was “slow” recently. Not two hours before, someone gave me an opportunity to discuss partnering with her company–and I didn’t see it at all! I just thought it was an “interesting idea.”

I know. I know. It sounds silly to me, too. But I swear, I didn’t see the opportunity for what it was–an opportunity to receive a potential client. It wasn’t until I shared that I’m open to receive new client opportunities that she called me out and reminded me that she’d already done that!

3. Work out your self-worth muscles.

A great way to do this is by journaling about what you want to receive. Start by writing, “I’m worthy of receiving that…”

  • …healthy relationship I want.
  • …money for providing my valuable services.
  • …positive review on my business page.
  • …help to carry something heavy.
  • …break from work to go for a walk and get fresh air.
  • …opportunity to work with a new client.

So during this season of giving, remember that you’re worthy to receive, too!

Not because you “should” or you “have to,” but because it’s an opportunity to invite more balance into your life. This is the realm of “win/win,” where giving and receiving is of mutual benefit.

We’re often inspired by the “hero’s journey” because they did it all on their own. But without Obi-Wan, Han, Chewy, and R2 (C3PO really was no help), Luke Skywalker wouldn’t have gotten very far.

So be open to receiving and you’ll raise your energy–which allows you to share your gifts from a more balanced, authentic, and powerful place.

Crossing the TEA’s

Now, let’s check out the energy levels behind these Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions:

Low-Energy TEA:

  • Thoughts: I’m not worthy to receive.
  • Emotions: Insignificant, Unbalanced, Confused, Jealous, Inadequate
  • Actions: Avoid or ignore invitations to receive or over-give to try and compensate.

High-Energy TEA:

  • Thought: I’m worthy to give and receive.
  • Emotions: Loving, Fulfilled, Appreciative, Joyful, Open, Inspired
  • Actions: Set intentions to receive, or develop personal awareness of the balance between receiving and giving.
Photo Credit: Kira auf der Heide,