On the last day of 2011 when I took stock of the year, answering the ten questions within the Best Year Yet® system, I uncovered a surprising limiting belief that needed inquiry. While on the fourth question, a new insight caught my attention and made me rethink my approach.
The question is, “How do I limit myself and how can I stop”?
I saw that I was focused on a belief that was aligned with my values and basic training as a young girl, and up until that moment I had seen it as positive and empowering.
My limiting belief was, “It is better to give than to receive.” Some might say, “What are you talking about, that’s a noble belief to embrace because it’s spiritual, and not self directed.”
I agree, except when there’s no fuel in my tank. As a result of not tending to my emotional and physical needs, my well being had been compromised. I was on a treadmill and didn’t fully connect with the natural wisdom, gifts and love of my core self. Basically, I was more attuned with the goings on outside of myself, rather than inside. I will talk more about the effects but first I’d like to examine what it means to receive and to give according to Dr. Robert Holden. The distinction he paints is brilliant and important for you to understand.
The best-selling author of Be Happy and founder of the Happiness Project, Robert Holden, Ph.D. says that:
“Receiving is a prelude to giving. Receiving and giving are two sides of the same coin. They are the yin and yang of creation. They are the vice versa of abundance. In other words, your capacity to receive is what determines your capacity to give; and the more freely you give, the more freely you are given to for as long as you do not receive, you will be afraid that giving equals loss.
If you are not good at receiving, you will not give yourself fully to a relationship or to a job, because you believe giving depletes you. The only way to keep giving and not receive is to be in sacrifice. And that only lasts so long before you feel as if you have nothing left to give. Also in truth, no one can give what he or she has not received.”
In sacrifice? Now that’s a term I would not have used to describe myself, yet when I took an honest look inside, I see the evidence. Some examples include job burn out, stress, and vulnerability. From the outside in, everything looked great, but inside there I felt unworthy and unwell because I hadn’t slowed down long enough to be a good receiver.
Earlier this year on my way home from Supercoach training in Santa Monica, I stopped by my parents’ house to see how my mom was doing. Her health was declining at a rapid clip. I walked into her bedroom and sat quietly next to her gently stroking her hair, taking in the essence of her. Her eyes remained closed and with a very slight smile on her lips, our souls touched. The love I received that day from my mom mirrored the love I gave back to her in the absence of words. She had no mask on, she was dying, and I am so glad I was able to show up unmasked as well. It was one of the loveliest experiences of my life. I remember smiling all the way home.
So I’d like to share a new habit, one that helps keep me grounded and creatively connected to the life I love, unmasked. There are three questions I ask myself at the end of each day. The questions are from Dr. Holden’s book, Be Happy and they are:
How am I being? For example, are you being the partner you want to be, the parent you want to be, the colleague you want to be? If not, what could you do more or less of?
What am I giving? For example, are you using all of your strengths and talents at present?
- What am I receiving? For example, are you being as open as you would like? Notice how present you are and how receptive you are being to your life.
I almost forgot to share my new “paradigm” that turns the “better to give than receive" limiting belief on its head!
“I give to myself first in order to give my BEST to others.”
About the Author
Cindy is a Best Year Yet® Partner and Business/Life Coach. She served as President of the 2011 Women’s Council of Realtors Victor Valley Chapter and is a real estate broker associate. In early 2010, Cindy transitioned from the role of CEO with a large, profitable real estate franchise to focus on coaching individuals and teams achieve the results they most want and need. She is especially sensitive to the challenges faced by professionals today and coaches her clients using the Best Year Yet® system to provide perspective, a road map and accountability as they create and achieve their most important business and personal goals.
Prior to real estate sales, management and coaching, Cindy invested 20 years in the defense industry as a business and finance executive with Raytheon Corp. She holds a BS degree in Business Management and has completed graduate level marketing course work.
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