In John David Mann’s and my book, The Go-Giver, Law #5 is “The Law of Receptivity.” Both of us are continually told by others that, while applying this law often created breakthroughs, it was also the most difficult Law to grasp.
When thinking about it on even a surface level, it makes sense. The ability to receive is linked not only to one’s own self-worth but to the constant stream of “money is bad”-type of lack messages provided courtesy of general society and the media.
Once we recognize that as long as we have provided lots of value to others we have earned the right to receive, then it becomes easier to accept this earned abundance.
Or, does it?
After all, our conscious is to our subconscious what the tip of the iceberg is to that part which is under water. We may know something on a conscious level yet our actions are being run by unconsciously programmed beliefs.
In this case, the subconscious nearly always wins.
Unless we consciously work on improving in this regard.
And, while the ability to receive includes financial, it also includes other areas of life such as kindness, friendship, love, acts of service, and sometimes even just a simple compliment.
In other words, we need to actively strengthen our overall receptivity muscles.
Let’s discuss this further in future posts.
Meanwhile, how do you do this? Any examples (personal or from others) you’d like to share?
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For years I never realized how much my pride and stubborn tendencies were causing me to resist receptivity. Even something as simple as someone trying to help me carry something heavy would be blocked with, “No, thank you, I’ve got this”.
It took me years to really start embracing all 5 laws of The Go-Giver even after I read the book. It was about the time my own book was released. On my way to my first book signing, the cart tipped over and all of my books and materials were strewn across the parking lot. When someone offered to help me pick everything up, my natural tendency was to turn away the help. I stopped myself and accepted the help. It wasn’t easy and it took conscious effort. Once the signing was over the guy who helped me was still there. I gave him a copy of my book as a thank you and ended up walking away with a business referral.
Thanks, Bob, for the reminder that sometimes it takes a conscious effort to allow receptivity until we make it our second nature.
Heath: Thank you for sharing that VERY powerful example. Indeed, that conscious effort is needed. And, while it does become a lot more natural in time, it’s something that (at least, in my case) continually needs to be practiced and re-affirmed. Thanks again!!
As always Bob, you send such valuable and incredibly helpful reminders of what is important. Love this one in particular because, exactly as you say, it’s the hardest law for many of us…
Tara: Thank you. I appreciate your ALWAYS very kind and thoughtful words!
The more I allow and open myself up to receive, the better I get at it. In fact, one area I find hard to accept is in the area of allowing people to help me. Recently I had to choose between allowing help, or missing some of my dad’s last moments on earth. I chose to ask for help.
A dozen men from my church pulled into the Bridal salon parking lot. I felt such an overwhelming amount of love, that I cried. They had me moved out in 5 hours. It would have taken me days to do that alone. As a result of flexing that receptivity muscle, I got to spend some special time with dad before he went to heaven.
I’ve since reflected on how receiving in this are felt and I believe I’m now more open to asking for help. It felt humbling!
Amy: What a beautiful and heartwarming story! Thank you so much for sharing that. I have no doubt that your Dad is smiling down upon you from Heaven, very proud of who you are and all that you do for so many!
This is absolutely the Go-Giver law which is most difficult for most (all?) of my clients to get a grasp of. There are so many factors – “I’m not worthy” “It’s better to give…” and more. One of the biggest barriers in my experience is that all too often people wear blinders – the have a specific expectation of what they are to receive.
As you’ve said so many times – part of the key is to receive without expectation. More often than not our returns are things we’ve never thought of nor anticipated but end up being the exact best thing we could have realized.
Thanks Bob. Looking forward to further posts.
Bill: Thank you for your kind feedback. It’s so interesting that this Law is the most difficult for most people. Makes sense…but still interesting. Regarding your comment: “As you’ve said so many times – part of the key is to receive without expectation.” – Actually, I think YOU say something like that. Mine is to “give without ‘attachment’.” 🙂 I expect to receive. Though, I try not to be attached to having to, nor to how it occurs. 🙂
I think there are a lot of people that struggle to be receptive in relationships. Whether it’s they feel they’re not good enough or don’t deserve it. People really struggle with the fact that they’re lovable.
Joseph: Great point. Unfortunately, it seems that we see that all too often. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!
Thank you for sharing this timely article, Bob. This theme has come up for me in a big way over the last week or so. I am writing and publishing my first book and in the process was noticing an old story arising in my sub-conscious around fear of rejection and being unsupported. But it was in a conversation with my sister that I realized the dichotomy that I was living in, on the one hand I had a story of being unsupported and on the other hand, I had a story that as a woman I have to be strong, always. So in the past, even when the universe sent me help and support, I was resisting and rejecting it.
Once I got clear on the mixed message I was sending I started to practice in small ways. I’m living in Mexico at the moment and don’t have a vehicle. Yesterday, I walked into a Mail Boxes Etc to buy a packing box. My hands were filled with grocery bags and the first thing out of the gentleman’s mouth behind the counter, is “Oh you’re a strong woman.” In past that would have been a badge of honor. In this case, it was a beautiful reminder from the universe of my old beliefs and identity. After selling me the box, he offered to pack all of my grocery bags into it. I smiled and said, “Si, por favor.” He then walked me out to the street with the box, where I could catch a taxi. When the taxi arrived at my home, the driver also asked if I needed help. “Si, por favor!”
I have always been wired to give and help others. But giving to others with a deficiency-mindset or identity left me unable or unwilling to receive. This is much different than the giving and receiving that comes from a place of wholeness. How much more generous and in flow do we become when we remember that beyond our fears, beliefs and stories of not-enoughness, we are whole, expansive beings sharing this amazing human experience?
Elan: My pleasure. Thank YOU for sharing yourself and your story with us. What TERRIFIC teaching (what you wrote would be an excellent post for your blog, if you have one, as you shared a hugely valuable teaching lesson!). And, HUGE congratulations on your new book. I wish you much success with it, and I’m rooting for it to touch the lives of millions of people with the exceptional value I know you are providing. Thank you again!