Today we’re going to talk about receiving.
But we’re not going to talk about receiving in terms of magically manifesting things. We’re going to discuss it from a very grounded, very practical, very actionable perspective.
I am going to walk you through five main ways that we smart, capable folks keep ourselves slogging rather than soaring towards creating cash – five ways we make generating income more difficult for ourselves than it actually needs to be.
To download the audio, click the little icon of the arrow in the square that’s right above.
22: Becoming Better at Receiving
Hi there, I’m Kristine Oller and this is Creating Cashflow episode twenty-two. Maybe you’re listening because you’ve been wondering if there’s something you can make, share, or do that someone would actually pay you for or maybe you’re listening because you have a biz but it’s not yet generating a substantial flow of cash – either way, this podcast is here to help.
A few months ago, I promised we would talk about receiving and today’s the day.
But we’re not going to talk about receiving in terms of magically manifesting things. We’re going to discuss it from a very grounded, very practical, very actionable perspective.
I need to take a moment to note that the concepts of receiving and abundance and manifesting are usually discussed without any acknowledgement of the many normative privileges that are also contributing to the successes that are often attributed to “just becoming good at manifesting.” As someone who has historically benefitted from these physical and cultural privileges myself, I am taking great care to speak about utilizing the tool of receiving from a practical perspective that, I hope, is genuinely applicable and accessible to all humans.
The one place that most all of us have influence over is our thoughts. And I know, from having spent the past 20 working with clients to boost their bottom lines AND throughout my own relationship with money – I know that our thoughts and our perspectives interfere with our ability to be fully open to receiving.
Today I am going to walk you through five main ways that we smart, capable folks keep ourselves slogging rather than soaring towards creating cash flow – five ways we make generating income more difficult for ourselves than it actually needs to be.
And it’s no surprise WHY we’re doing this. We are doing this because, especially in the American culture, we are taught to lead with our masculine energy, we are taught that masculine energy equals strength, we are shown that doing – which is the main tool of the masculine energy – is what is celebrated and it’s what you can rely on to get ahead.
That isn’t wrong information. But it is only half the information.
Speaking in broad strokes here: regardless of your gender, all of us, as humans beings, have masculine and feminine energy. Which, especially in terms of money and business, can be described as doing energy and receiving energy. So much of what we are directly taught and indirectly role modeled regarding “how to function and get ahead in this world” puts our ability to DO front and center. Schools were originally created to produce workers to serve our industrialized nation – the purpose of schools was to create little productivity machines. The more you can do, the faster you can do, the longer you can do, the better you can do – the more you will be rewarded. (Which, let’s just mention, is a very ableist point of view.)
This glorification of doing, however, results in us believing that the only way we can get more money is if we make it. Is if we generate it – if we make it happen. But that’s only one of the tools available to us – the other tool is our ability to receive money (without directly “earning” it with our blood, sweat and tears. Think of what might be possible for you if your receiving muscle was as big and as strong and as appreciated as your doing muscle?
The reason I wanted to talk about receiving is because one of the questions that I think you have to ask yourself during the process of trying to increase your income is: “Am I willing to receive more money?”
Now, most everyone who hears that question thinks their answer is an emphatic: “YES! Yes, I do! You can park the money truck right here.”
But there’s question that’s actually behind the question of “Am I willing to receive more money?” and that is: “Am I willing to receive more… of everything?”
That is the question that leads us to the first of the five reasons that you might be struggling with receiving…
The first reason you might be struggling with receiving is because you may be focusing only on getting better at receiving money. You are trying to open the floodgates to receiving more in just that one area of your life. But remember, receiving is feminine energy so it functions holistically in your life – you can’t constrict receiving in some areas of your life and expect it to flow freely in other areas.
The holistic nature of the receiving tool actually works in your favor, though, because ANY time you allow yourself use and strengthen your receiving muscle in ANY way, it benefits every area of your life – including your finances.
Once I started to consider this, I realized that due to my natural wiring and the way I was raised and the culture I was raised in, I had become someone who prized being a self-sufficient doer above all else. When I started to pay attention to my thoughts and behaviors I was astounded to discover all of the ways – big ways and teeny tiny ways – that I was resisting receiving – I was resisting help, services, gifts, and opportunities that were being offered to me. I was surprised that my inclination was not to invite ease and flow into my daily life. No, I don’t need help carrying this even though it is heavy. No I don’t want a glass of water even though I am actually thirsty. Yes, I can get the door for myself. No, I don’t need to bother you to redo my order because of an error.
My receiving muscle was small and flabby.
So, to start strengthening this muscle, I decided to do something that I now call an “expansion experiment” – this particular experiment was to challenge my receiving-blocking belief that “if I can do something myself I should do it myself.” For a month I decided I would focus on allowing myself to easily and enjoyably receive help and feel fully supported. Which meant that whenever someone offered me some water (even if I already had a water bottle in my bag), I would say “yes, please” – and then allow myself to enjoy the service being provided to me. That second part was the hardest part – learning to enjoy the receiving without feeing guilty about it. When someone gave me a gift that I liked, I kept it. Before in my life I most likely would have given it away… because I was fine. I didn’t need it. And I started to give myself the most affordable luxuries I could at that time… slices of lemon in my beverage that I drank out of a fancy glass, fresh flowers once in awhile. A nap.
Because think about it… if I was struggling to allow myself to receive at this basic level, how did I expect to suddenly be comfortable and guilt-free receiving money at the level that I wanted to receive it at? And if you want to get good at using a tool, you have to practice using it.
Three questions to reflect on during any expansion experiment and at its conclusion are:
- What aspect of the experiment triggered the most resistance for you – and were you surprised by that?
- What aspect of the experiment made you stretch the most – and how did you benefit from that?
- What aspect of the experiment made you the most uncomfortable – and did you face that discomfort and breathe through it, or did you flee from it?
Dig deep around those questions and your receiving muscle will grow.
The second reason you might be struggling with receiving is because you are not allowing yourself to ask for what you want to receive – again, not just in your financial life, but in all areas of your life. I know, that’s a lot of territory, but baby steps still move you forward.
I spent the majority of my twenties, I suffering from what I call the Good Girl Syndrome. I quietly went through life – and especially in my acting career – being good, doing good work and waiting to be noticed and rewarded for my behavior and efforts. School works this way. Life does not work this way. And school does not teach you that life works differently than school.
So far in this podcast I’ve paired words like flow and ease with receiving. And receiving IS the feminine energy of flow and ease (while doing is the masculine energy of strategy and effort), but very often, your receiving muscle is weak because you’ve been avoiding experiencing the discomfort that is required to make it strong. Very often we have to go through some discomfort to gain access to the ease and the flow. The discomfort of negotiating for a raise. The discomfort of saying no to an offer or relationship that isn’t a good fit for you. The discomfort of requesting that your parents stay at a hotel this visit instead of in your home because you are currently using your guest room for an important project.
The Good Girl Syndrome is definitely about avoiding discomfort. The discomfort of putting yourself out there, of self-promotion, of asking for what you want and need, of facing disappointment, etc.
It’s important to acknowledge here that for some people, at some times, there can be danger, not just discomfort, in putting yourself out there and asking for what you want. If that is true for you right now, then I want you to focus on the teeniest, tiniest, and safest moments in your life where you can practice asserting yourself and asking for what you want to receive. Even if that’s just asking for a second helping of those delicious potatoes, or claiming the last eggroll for yourself, or requesting that your friend pick you up thirty minutes later than you originally planed because you are having a low energy day and need some extra time and then choosing not to beat yourself up about that fact. Baby steps around asking and allowing yourself to receive still move you forward.
We usually think of receiving as having something fall into our lap. But asking can often be an important component of receiving – and not asking can be a way that you block your ability to receive. I’ve been self-employed for 20 years and folks can look at my business and say: “She charges what?” But I think the most fascinating aspect of my rates is that they started miles away from where they are now AND they would still be waaay back there if I hadn’t been willing to endure the discomfort that occurred every time I decided to give myself a raise. I’ve had to give myself all of my raises. And “wanting more” is certainly not encouraged by the Good Girl Society of America. And each time I adjust my prices my lizard brain crawls out of the cave and tells me scary stories about how I’m Ruining My Biz and that no one will ever hire me again. I got braver at asking and better at receiving because my curiosity and desire to see what was possible in my biz was always slightly larger than my fears.
Challenge yourself to endure the discomfort of asking and your receiving muscle will grow.
The third reason you might be struggling with receiving is because you have a belief that your level of earning must equal your level of effort – in a tit for tat sort of way… in an hours for dollars sort of way… in an I’m uncomfortable if it feels too much or too easy sort of way… in a how dare you get more than you deserve sort of way.
Equating earning with effort means you are not yet open to exponential receiving. Exponential receiving is where you are paid for the value that you create or contribute to – and sometimes that value is indirect. For example: Each cast member of the sitcom Friends did not get paid a million dollars per episode directly because of the quality of their performances. Nor did they get paid that much directly because of the amount of time it took them to do the work itself. They were paid that much because that was considered a proportionately fair piece of the overall amount of profit that the show was generating in ad revenue and syndication sales for the corporation that owned it. Those actors were earning ridiculously amazing indirect-and-proportionate exponential income. They weren’t “earning” that amount directly based on with their own blood, sweat and tears. The same is true with lottery winners and some athletes, and some online marketers, and some inventors, investors, and executives.
Most of us think we’d be fine with exponential receiving. But sometimes our actions (based upon the stories we are telling ourselves) say otherwise.
Starting looking around at the other areas of your life (besides money) where you subtly reject things because you don’t think you have earned them. Do you use self-deprecation to deflect compliments or minimize your achievements? I sure did. When someone says they love something you own or are wearing do you immediately feel the need to mention that you got it on sale at a deep discount? I used to do that, too. When someone wants to pamper you do you let them or do you resist? (I resisted.) When time magically opens up in your schedule because something is canceled do you ever let yourself use that unexpected time for pleasure? (That was a hard one for me.)
It took me time to unwind my thoughts and my stories and get myself more comfortable with receiving exponentially. This is something I’m often helping my clients and Cashflow members get better at.
Practice lowering your resistance to unexpected moments of abundance in all areas of your life and your receiving muscle will grow.
The fourth reason you might be struggling with receiving is because a part of you just doesn’t believe this tool will work for you. Or that you deserve to use it.
The good news is, even if part of you doesn’t believe receiving is possible for you, there is still a part of you that does believe it is possible. So your job is to nurture that part. To protect and amplify that little whisper of a voice that does believe that one day, if you do your exercises, if you do some expansion experiments, if you shift your stories, you will have a beautiful receiving muscle that’s just as strong as your gorgeous doing muscle and with this combo you can create enough “above and beyond” money to fund the life you want to live.
Here’s what this might look like terms of you and your biz:
You want clients. You want 10 clients. You want them to pay you. But part of you is genuinely doubtful that anyone will be interested in what you are offering. Or maybe you believe there are probably ten people in the world who will be interested but you are doubtful you can find them. Or even if you do find them, they won’t be willing or able to pay you. All common thoughts. And the goal is not to get rid of these thoughts (they certainly still come up for me) – the goal is to crank up the volume on the thoughts that the other part of you is thinking!
Literally turning on some music that makes your body flood with energy and enthusiasm can help you connect to your feelings as you start experimenting with telling yourself the story that not only are you looking for your right people but right now those same people are looking for you – and your job is to help them find you. Start telling yourself the story that you can offer this service even if no one is doing anything like it – or even if many other people are doing the exact same thing. Your right people need and want to hear what you have say from someone exactly like you – with your take on it, with your humor, with your style, with your background. Start telling yourself the story that your service is the answer to someone’s prayers – literally – someone is out there praying that they can find someone to learn from or work with who is exactly like you.
Sure these are all made up stories, but so are the stories that leave you feeling disempowered and hesitant.
Often the thing that determines whether or not you believe the tool of receiving will work for you or whether or not you deserve to use it is a story. These stories may be deeply rooted in you because they were told to in your childhood where you HAD to believe them to keep yourself safe. That’s legit. Part of embracing your adulthood however, is realizing that you can unwind from these old stories because you no longer need to protect yourself in the exact same ways anymore.
Get some help to remove some of your protective armor that is no longer necessary and you’ll create more room for your receiving muscle to grow.
The fifth and last of my reasons that you might be struggling with receiving is that you are unwilling to experiment with receiving – especially in the ways I have mentioned so far. Now you might be saying “But I’ve tried!” And I hear you. I believe you have tried and I know you wouldn’t be here unless you were willing to try some more. But “trying” is a tricky concept because many of us interpret it as an all-or-nothing concept… you try something… and you either succeed or fail.
School teaches us black and white thinking because, with the problems they are asking us to solve, there is usually one right answer – you either find it or you don’t. But life is all shades of grey. We are all shades of grey. A better approach to life is with experimentation… and the purpose of an experiment is to learn. Doing an experiment means taking a specific action, watching yourself and noticing your thoughts throughout the action, collecting the data that results from that action, learning from that data (and learning how to talk kindly to yourself about that data), and then making adjustments to your next approach. “Experiment and tweak, experiment again and tweak again” rather than “try and fail or succeed.”
Your willingness to be open to examining your thoughts and experimenting with approaches is directly related to your ability to become more and more open to receiving. Closing yourself down and calcifying your beliefs results in a constriction of the pathways through which abundance in every form can flow into your life.
Keep experimenting and your receiving muscle will grow.
My own deep dive into examining my blocks to receiving started in my 30’s when one of my coaches said to me: “What if your bank balance is a reflection of your ability and willingness to receive money?”
Well, that broke my brain for a bit.
Pondering that question over several years made me start paying attention to and investigating the ways in which I was literally and figuratively refusing, rejecting, blocking, deferring this natural flow of feminine receiving energy that was available to come into my life and into my bank account.
Up until then, my thought was that my bank balance was a reflection of my ability to do more of what was required to make money. And because I was unhappy with my income level, I thought my doing muscle was failing, weak, never going to be strong enough. But what I discovered was there wasn’t any problem with my doing muscle, the issue was I had been ignoring this whole other muscle, this whole other receiving tool that I could have been using in addition to my doing tool this whole time.
Only utilizing your doing muscle only gets you so far because you are not able to access everything that having an equally strong receiving muscle can add to your life and to your level of success.
I hope the guidance I shared with you today helps you to invite the energy of receiving into the whole of your life more and more in the weeks and months ahead and I hope what I shared will help you practice using receiving as a tool to help you increase your flow of cash:
- Dig deep around questions like: “What aspect of receiving triggers the most resistance in you?”
- Challenge yourself to endure the discomfort of asking for what you want to receive.
- Practice lowering your resistance to unexpected moments of abundance in all areas of your life.
- Get some help to remove some of your protective armor that is no longer necessary.
- Keep experimenting.
If you are ready to turn your skills and strengths into income or boost the profits of a biz you already have, all of the details about how you can get my ongoing guidance are at kristineoller.com/cashflow
All of the Show notes for this episode are posted at kristineoller.com/podcast
If you feel inspired to share this episode or review it in iTunes, I encourage you to follow through on that inspired action!
Pictures of the Floating World