Generosity doesn’t happen naturally. Toddlers don’t want to give their things away. We all naturally want to hold on to what is ours - whether it’s money, time, or our favorite shoes or other material items.
For most of us, we learn the benefits of generosity, and then we learn to give. Benefits for some people might be the way it makes them feel to give to someone. Another person might see how it comes back to them when they give. So we discover that generosity is a really good thing, right? An old chinese proverb says “If you always give, you will always have.”
The more you give, the more you get. Givers gain. Pay it forward. What you put out there comes back.
Being generous not only helps us see others in a more positive light, but we feel more connected. And we actually feel better about ourselves and that attracts more into our lives.
But...does your generosity always turn out positively? No, it actually doesn’t. Because there’s a wrong way to give that can backfire.
The wrong way to give is when you go against yourself. Let’s explore that a bit.
Think about when you’ve given something, let’s say time. But you felt resentful about it. You felt like you didn’t have the time, and it took away from other things you wanted to be doing, or it wasted your time.
These kinds of thoughts produce emotions and energy counterproductive to the act of generosity. Instead of allowing the generosity to flow, it traps it, it repels it, and it turns into scarcity. That sends other energy into motion. (Remember Newton’s third law, for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction.)
When we regret or resent, it is going against ourselves because of what it sets in motion. It’s causing the opposite to happen.
For example, when managing people, we might resent having to take the time to help someone on our team. The emotional energy (if not the actual words) that person experiences from you causes a negative reaction. It may take a while to work it’s way back, but it usually does, wearing the mask of disloyalty, disrespect or some other “dissing”!
Whether giving an apology, providing feedback, taking time to meet with someone, train a person or help someone, giving money or anything - watch your thoughts and beliefs around it.
Do you resent the act of giving? Do you regret it? Do you feel it’s depleting you? If you feel this way when giving, it won’t have positive results. Be aware of your feelings (hint - emotions are an awesome awareness tool!). Stop and change your thoughts about it. If it’s hard to change your thoughts, this is an area for you to explore further. It may be a hindrance in other areas of your life and well worth taking the time to work through it.
If you have any quotes or sayings, or any experiences you’ve had with generosity, feel free to share so everyone can benefit!
We may even share your tips or experiences in our next webinar on July 11th at 2pm EST: The Top 3 Habits of Extremely Productive and Truly Generous Leaders.