Why it’s better to receive than to give

My biggest lesson this past year has been learning it is better to receive than give. This is the lesson that has contributed the most to my business success.

Yeah, you read that right, I said it is better to RECEIVE than GIVE.

I was raised to believe the opposite is true- that is better to give than receive. And am I ever a giver. I give and give and give. I give to everyone and everything. If I have anything leftover, I’ll give a little to myself, too. But therein lies one of my problems, you see, I was giving to myself last.

Putting myself last meant I had poor work-life balance. My health suffered. I was burned out at work.  And, this giving behavior was limiting my potential. I recently realized I need to be a lot more selfish if I’m going to achieve my BIG DREAMS.

I was so busy giving, I never really learned to receive. In fact, I suck at receiving.

I deflect compliments. On the rare occasion I accept a compliment, I will immediately return your compliment with gratitude so I don’t really have to let it in. Or maybe sometimes I’ll allow your appreciation in if I know really, really earned it.

I’m uncomfortable being the center of attention. I am a better hostess than guest.

I will go above and beyond for you, but I don’t really need much help, thanks. I only want what’s fair, and maybe then I’ll still feel a little guilty for whatever I get.

My worth is valued by how much I give. I can only receive as part of an exchange and you’ll probably get more than you give with me.

You see what I mean. I suck at receiving.

What does it mean to receive?

verb | re·ceive |\ri-ˈsēv\

1:  to come into possession of

:  to act as a receptacle or container for

a :  to permit to enter :  admit
b :  welcome, greet
c :  to react to in a specified manner

:  to accept as authoritative, true, or accurate :  believe

a :  to support the weight or pressure of :  bear
b :  to take (a mark or impression ) from the weight of something

In order to receive, I have to come into possession of your appreciation. Worse yet, I have to act as a receptacle or container for you admiration. I have to admit and welcome your praise. I have to believe your compliments and accept them as truth. I have to support the weight of your gratitude.

Why is receiving such an important skill?

Because to be successful in life we have to receive.

We have to be comfortable receiving appreciation from our clients and colleagues. We have to believe it’s true. We have to allow other people’s admiration bolster us- to embolden us!

We have to receive so we can move forward even when we’re scared. So we feel encouraged to take the next big leap. So we can stretch the limits of our comfort zone and grow into our full potential.

Are you living up to your potential? How are you at receiving? What could you accomplish if you were better at receiving?

Learning how to receive

I’ve been learning to receive through the Art of Feminine Presence® body of work. If you’re ready to receive inspiration, impact, and income, I’m starting a series of Art of Feminine Presence® classes in Fort Collins in May. Join me for the introductory class.

In the pursuit of a career, or having to take care of so many people around them, many women have disconnected from their feminine essence and their personal presence without realizing it. This affects everything. From fulfillment in our work, the state of our health, and to the unfortunate situation of women competing against women everywhere.

This class is for empowered women who:

  • Want to show up in a bigger way
  • Are afraid of putting themselves out there, even though they know they want more from life
  • Are wanting to increase their income through their business or career
  • Want to stop people from draining their energy

In this class you’ll learn:

  • A simple practice to instantly gain respect and recognition from colleagues and clients
  • How to make a great impression in new situations like networking groups, interviews, and sales conversations
  • Learn to follow your “higher guidance” rather than push to make things happen.

Claim your spot today!

receiving beauty power strength

How to reach your BIG DREAMS

I’m going to tell you something you probably haven’t heard before. What I’m going to tell you will probably go against everything you were taught watching Sesame Street so I’ll ask you, do you really want to be successful in your work and your life? You’re going to have to really want it to do what I’m about to suggest.

To be successful in life you need to be selfish.

I want you to be more selfish. More selfish than you’re probably comfortable with. I hope you’ll stick with me so I can explain what I mean….

reach your dreams

I have BIG DREAMS! I have big goals and big plans and I’m going to achieve them. To be successful I need to be more selfish. I need to spend time, money, and energy pursuing my BIG DREAMS. I need to be more selfish! Not at the expense of others, of course, but maybe at the expense of politeness. At the expense of niceness. At the expense of putting other people’s hopes and dreams before my own.

Let’s talk about the oxygen mask analogy. During the safety demonstration on an airplane we are advised in case of emergency to put our own oxygen mask on before assisting others.

It’s a good analogy but here’s how it’s failing you- you can’t achieve your BIG DREAMS by putting on your oxygen mask first. Think about it, putting on your own oxygen mask is what you need to do in case of emergency. It’s a method of survival.

Let me ask you, are you surviving or are you thriving? When it’s not an emergency are you assisting others before taking action on your hopes and dreams? You have to do more than just put on  your oxygen mask- you have to be more selfish.

Do you have BIG DREAMS? Maybe you’re content to reach just a little higher but you’re more-or-less happy with the life you have. Good for you! If you don’t have BIG DREAMS you might just be able to get by putting other people first.

If, however, you do have BIG DREAMS, well, it’s about time you started putting yourself first. I’ll say it again, you need to be more selfish.

Let me give you some examples of what selfishness can look like.

Say no

People will make lots of requests and many of them will even be reasonable requests but to be successful you’ll have to say no to requests that aren’t aligned with your goals.

Think of it this way, unless you have unlimited resources, every time you say yes to one thing, you’re saying no to something else. You agree to help your friend move, but that means you can’t work on writing your memoir this weekend. You agree to bake cookies for parent-teacher night, but that means you won’t have time to work on the business plan for your dream business this week.

Again and again, your BIG DREAMS are put off in favor of doing favors for just about everyone but you.

Ask for what you want

Most people are too busy being concerned about their own life to be concerned with yours. They don’t know what you want and even when they do, they aren’t going to give it to you unless you ask. You have to ask for what you want.

You want a raise? Ask for it. You want that client to work with you? Ask for it. You want to be considered for that big project? Ask for it. You want your spouse to support you while you pursue your dream? Ask for it. Want your kids to give you an hour quiet time every night while you work on your side business? Ask for it.

You’ve got to get comfortable asking for what you want to reach your BIG DREAMS.

Be unreachable

If you’re going to work on your BIG DREAMS you need to schedule time for it. Block out time on  your calendar to pursue your dreams and be unreachable during those times.

Turn off your phone. Close the Facebook tab in your browser. Go into a quiet room and close the door.

It’s going to be difficult. A friend will invite you for dinner. Your kids will want your attention. Your boss will ask you to work late. You’ll be tempted to give in. What will happen if you don’t give in? Absolutely nothing.

Whatever or whoever is clamoring for your attention can wait. Can you wait for your dreams?

Spend money you don’t have

To reach your BIG DREAMS chances are you’ll have to invest a little money. Money that you surely think you “don’t have”. When push comes to shove, you’ll use money as your go-to excuse to push your dreams aside.

Think about skipping the fancy dinner and drinks with friends, forego buying birthday presents for a year, stop loaning money to your deadbeat uncle, or otherwise find money to finance your dream. You can probably come up with money you’ll tell yourself you “don’t have”. Selfishly spend on your BIG DREAM first.

These are just a few examples of how you can embrace the idea of being selfish to be successful in work and life. Your BIG DREAMS are calling, are you going to keep putting your dreams on hold? Are you willing to be a little selfish to achieve great things?

Leave a comment below and tell me how you’re going to be more selfish to reach your dreams.

When not to follow your dreams

I’m not your hope dealer.

One of my biggest pet peeves in the personal development world is inspirational leaders selling people on the idea of following their dreams… and then leaving those people hanging without the skills or tools to follow through.

It’s not enough to want it.

It’s not enough to be amazing at your work.

It’s not enough to show up.

Following your dreams takes clarity, confidence, courage, and commitment! Are you ready to take the leap? Here’s some questions to ask yourself to decide.

don't follow your dreams

When not to follow your dreams

…when  you’re bored

Boredom may be a sign that you’re meant for greater things but don’t up and quit your job just because you’re bored.

Instead, explore why you are bored. Do you need more challenge? Do you need more autonomy? Do you need more variety? Answer these questions before you jump.

…when you’re burned out

Burnout happens for a variety of reasons, from working for an overbearing boss to a mismatch in work values.

What are the reasons you’re burned out? Are you clear on  your work values? What are your workplace preferences? Here’s an assessment that will provide clarity!

…when you’re overworked

Being overworked is about how you work, not where you work or what you do. At least, most of the time anyway.

Can you maximize your productivity? Are you good at staying organized? Are you a pushover? Do you set appropriate boundaries at work? Work on building these skills to enjoy work more- whatever work you do.

…when you’re underpaid

When asked for their salary requirements, most people low-ball their desired salary and, guess what, they get what they asked for. When it comes time for their annual performance review, most people cross their fingers and hope for a raise. Changing jobs won’t necessarily get you the pay you want.

Whatever your job- working for someone else or working for yourself- you have to know your value and ask for what you’re worth! Trust me, this is a skill worth mastering and it will pay off the rest of your life. Work with me to get a raise!

…when you don’t have a plan

Are you good at figuring things out? Good for you! But are you really prepared to follow your dreams?

What’s the first step? And the next? And the next? Who will support you? How will you set yourself up for success? What will you when you get stuck?

You may need to hire a coach to get started.

…when you think you should be able to do it alone

You’re smart. You’re resourceful. You’re educated. You SHOULD be able to do this, but what if you can’t? What if- gasp!- you’re like 100% of the rest of the world and you need support, encouragement, accountability, strategy, and help?

Don’t be afraid to take classes, join a mastermind group, find a mentor, or hire a coach.

Are you ready to follow your dreams? Go ahead and jump!

Creating career change

The past few weeks my clients have been feeling frustrated and discouraged. While my client’s individual situations are quite different they have been experiencing similar emotions.

Well, let’s face it, the past few weeks have been frustrating and discouraging politically, and what I’m hearing from clients is job opportunities, job growth, and career development have taken a back seat to the turmoil we’re experiencing socially. The change in administration and transition has taken focus away from personal and professional health. Let’s face it, we’re too busy discussing healthcare to maintain our actual physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

But something amazing has happened these past few weeks; individuals across the country standing up, speaking up, and showing personal courage, inspired leadership, and taking action. And that’s how we make progress. That’s how we create a better society. That’s how we create a better life.

How can you stand up, speak up, and show up personally and professionally?

I’m not talking about politics here- I’m talking about your work and your life.

How can you make progress? How can you create a better life? You do it by showing personal courage, inspired leadership, and taking action.

Many people avoid change. Many people are happy enough to be comfortably unhappy.

Are you going to stay comfortably unhappy? Are you going to continue to tolerate being unfulfilled, unhappy at work, and underpaid? Does your job sucks and you don’t mind? Are you disappointed, anxious, and discouraged?

Are you okay with that?

Or, you can use the discomfort and frustration you’re feeling at work to create positive change. You can take one step in the direction of your dreams. Just the first step.

job career change

No more excuses, it’s time to make a change.

What is your step forward? Here’s some ideas:

Get unstuck and uncover your next career move – download the worksheet!


Stop taking work so seriously!


Set boundaries at work


Have more fun at work!


Build your confidence


Take a leap of faith


Work with me

It’s time for action. Let’s do this!

When your job isn’t working out

Sometimes you know it on your very first day of work….. this job is not going to work out.

Sometimes your new job is great at first and you find out things aren’t quite what you thought they would be.

There are many reasons your job isn’t working out but the result is the same- it sucks.

So what do you do? How do you handle this situation like a pro?

Let me tell you a story from the other side. We’ll call this what NOT to do.

I hold a volunteer position for a women’s networking group. I brought in a consultant to our group and it seemed like a perfect situation for everyone involved! Until it wasn’t….

And that’s when things got ugly. The problem was how things were handled as soon as it became clear this opportunity wasn’t working out.

The consultant was understandably frustrated with the situation even though she had not been clear about her expectations and needs. She chose to complain to the executive director and ask the director to step in, causing no small amount of stress and emails flying on the day before our event, including an email in which this consultant called our organization “unprofessional” and dressed me down in no uncertain terms.

As the volunteer in charge, I wish she would have come directly to me with her concerns. I wish she had made her expectations clear from the beginning. I wish she’s been more understanding that everyone involved had good intentions.

Because of the way she handled the situation, I can tell you it’s unlikely I will work with this consultant again. Nor am I likely to recommend her for other jobs.

Dealing with this situation got me thinking about how I choose to handle situations when I am hired for a job that doesn’t work out.

When a job doesn’t work out I have legitimate complaints! But I learned years ago that complaining rarely benefits anyone, especially not me.

I’ve also learned that sometimes great opportunities immediately follow opportunities that just didn’t work out.

this job sucks

So, what can you do when your job isn’t working out? How can turn a bad situation into a better situation?

Be grateful, be gracious, and grow.

Be grateful

Okay, so your job isn’t working out. It sucks. But chances are, there is something to gain from the situation. You are most-likely benefiting in some way- how?

The benefit of gratitude is it improves your outlook and helps you approach the situation from a positive perspective. You’re more likely to find a workable solution or make the best of the situation if you adopt an attitude of gratitude.

Be gracious

Sometimes things don’t go as planned. That sucks, too. Here again  you have a choice- do you choose to take it out on others? Do you choose to complain?

A better choice is to be gracious. Sometimes it’s no one’s fault that things don’t work out. And, hey, even when it is someone’s fault, we all make mistakes. Being gracious shows you’re a professional, and you are far more likely to get a recommendation if you handle a difficult situation with grace.


When an opportunity isn’t what you wanted you have an opportunity to learn.

Maybe next time you’ll ask more questions about the job in the interview. Maybe next time you’ll make sure to express any special needs upfront. Maybe you’ve learned what types of jobs you want, and which you don’t want. How can you grow from this experience?

As frustrating as it is when a job doesn’t work out, you get to choose how to respond (instead of reacting). You can choose to handle the situation in a way that is in the best interest of everyone involved. You can choose to leave a good impression and improve your chances to get a recommendation or referral. You can choose to grow.

So maybe you’re reading this because your job isn’t working out. Besides being grateful, gracious, and growing, download the worksheet to get unstuck and uncover your next career move!