What Is Your Mindset When Giving?
The holiday season is here, and it is a good time to reflect upon your relationship with giving. There are many clichés about giving. Here are a few:
- If you want to receive more, you must give more.
- It is in giving that you receive.
- You cannot give without learning to receive.
These sayings describe the energy that flows between giving and receiving which implies that creating what you want is affected by what you give. It is essential to consider, therefore, whether you give from a place of obligation and responsibility or from generosity and abundance.
The lens of the problem and outcome mindsets can be useful when examining these questions. The purpose of this reflection is to gain insight and deeper awareness of your giving habits. Please do not judge your motivation to give. Instead, simply be more aware about your giving motivations so you can be more intentional and purposeful when you give.
When giving from the problem mindset, you may focus more on the worry or anxiety that you feel if your gift isn’t timely, perfect, or good enough. Given this mindset, your joy can be depleted and your energy drained. You may ask yourself, “Did I give enough?” or “Did they like my gift?” or “What will I get in return?”
Giving from the outcome mindset is completely different. Now your focus is on authentically caring about the other and your love energy that you wish to extend. Your purpose in giving is more than just an exchange of objects. You wish to celebrate their unique presence in the world. Your gift says “I see you and honor you. I give thanks for you. You are meaningful and valued.”
What you give is less the point because the energy that prompts your giving is from a place of authentic appreciation. You may still give only during the holidays or birthdays, but you choose to give with a new and far more expanded desire. Giving from the outcome mindset can also support you to receive from an open heart rather than expecting thanks or something in return.
One thing you can do to counterbalance the increase in violence and hatred that has taken over our world is to offer others the gift of being seen. It is important to always remember that everyone has an innate need to be heard, seen, and appreciated. The way you show up for others, especially those who are hurting and suffering, is to extend the gift of compassion. Hatred is neutralized by the gift of open and compassion-filled hearts.
The better you are at receiving, the better you will become at giving. If you give with an open and respectful heart you will become more open to receiving the love and appreciation from others. That doesn’t mean every gift you give will be received with the open heart you hope for. But it does mean you will give yourself the gift of being who you wish to be with no strings attached.
Next time you are preparing to give, take a moment to pause and reflect upon your intention. What is your purpose behind giving? Is it to fill an obligation and assuage an emotional responsibility? Or is it a gift that says, “I see and affirm your unique presence in the world.”
A gift given from the outcome mindset may be as simple as a single flower, a smile and words of appreciation, a meaningful hug, homemade cookies, or a note of genuine thanks. When you receive a gift, take a moment to pause and truly open and receive. In this way, you will reap the benefits of the energetic exchange of receiving and giving from the outcome mindset.