Accepting Gifts is something that has consistently haunted me my whole life. The inability to accept a gift from another person. Whether it be deserved or not. Even if that gift is as simple as a compliment. This blog is something I have been wanting to write for a while but for one reason or another I have continuously chosen to put it off. It might be the underlying insecurities that cause this inablitiy to accpet gifts. Though this is something I am improving at and constantly working at I still have a long way to go. This blog is not meant to be any kind of doctirine or concrete answer but instead theories that should be discussed and mulled over to help those who suffer from similar difficulties. Now I would like to visit the main reasons why I have this inability to comfortably accept gifts.
I am confident that there are two main reasons why people have difficutlites accepting gifts is because either they do not feel worthy of the gift or because they feel like the gift will come with strings attached or a combination of both of these. I would like to delve much deeper into both of these theories and see where we end up.
Let’s start with the easier of the two reasons. Feeling like gifts come with strings attached. All people at one point or another are exposed to the ugly in life. Some are exposed more than others during the early parts of their lives. They encounter people with hidden agendas. Who give with the expectation of getting and are more than willing to remind you of the “debt” you have incurred by allowing them to do something for you or give you something. The world will never be absent of people who posses this trait as their nature. This early conditioning of many of us if you get something you better be willing to repay your debt has caused many of us to be inclined to shy away from gifts for the simple instinct to avoid future collections. This is a very rational and humanistic response. Now the question that I now ask, is this the most appropriate response.
Past experience would encourage you to believe it is. Simple Logic would agree as well. You accept a gift, makes others incline to seek repayment, therefore to avoid repayment never accept a gift in the first place. Makes perfect sense. But what if there was a different way of thinking. Maybe accepting gifts is looked at different by a select few. This was a foreign idea for me when I first began my journey. What if the select few that we all look at as the successful elite of our society view giving and accepting gifts not as a transaction that requires repayment but instead as planting a seed that will one day bear fruit that will be available to give back not only to the original giver but to many more.
How foreign of a concept. We give not to receive oursleves but to inspire others to be givers. I couldn’t wrap my mind around that concept for a long time.
Right before I left from Miami to start my journey with AT&T in Atlanta I had lunch with my mentor. It was a great lunch and he offered to help me in so many ways on top of the immense amount of knowledge he shared with me. At the end of the lunch the check game. I offered to pay and said “I will cover lunch, I owe you for all you have done for me.” My mentor stopped me right there and said “Jesse you do not owe me anything. Giving to you is just as rewarding for me as it is for you.” I thought about that for a while and it never quite sat well. Then I read a book named The Go Giver. The book in general has so many laws that speak on the essence behind giving. The third law is what finally struck a cord and got me to understand why my mentor said what he said.
The law is the Law of Influence. The law states that your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interest first. It finally clicked. I finally understood why my mentor is so incredibly influential in the community that he serves and why he said what he said to me. He genuinely places people’s interest ahead of his. Because of this genuine interest in others he is able to give and feel the reward of giving because he is repaid in other ways. The byproduct of his genuine care and genuine giving causes great influence. So without ever asking for any sort of payment in return. The universe continuously pays him back in ways exponentially greater than how he originally gave.
Now how does this talk of giving relate to Accepting Gifts. This takes me to the 5th law of success stated in the Go Giver. The Law of Receptivity states the key to giving is to stay open to receiving. How can the universe ever exponentially give back to the givers if there are never people there to receive. A receiver is just as valuable as the original giver. Therefore if we all can simply change the mentality on the purpose and payoff of giving we can all better understand how to give and how to recieve.
The first thing that came to my mind when I finally thought this and what I expect many people to argue as a rebuttal to this idea is “but what about the people who don’t get on the boat and change their mentality towards giving and receiving?” Let me take the time to tell you how I addressed this possible concern. Look at all the people who give in that manner. Most people who give and immediate expect equal payment immediately are those who can’t escape the cycle of the “Rat Race.” Constantly barely getting by and not finding the fulfilling success they crave. Even those who acheive a certain level of success through these means always seem to crave more and feel unfulfilled despite what they acheive. Now look at those that we admire for their success: Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Bob Menendez, Ralph De La Vega, etc.. They all are known for their giving. Known for their constant desire to give back to something greater than themselves without asking for the transactional payment in return. The ones who’s lights shine brighter than any dollar amount you can put on it are always givers and recievers in the mentality of the Go Giver. Not transactional but as a farmer planting a seed.
I think we have covered a lot here today and I look forward to comments and feedback. I will leave the second theory for another day and another time since we have so much to digest in this one post. Till Next Time.