Do you like giving?
Have you ever thought about why you give?
A friend said to me that she regretted giving someone a gift because the recipient didn’t appreciate it.
This took her out of generosity.
She had expectations. Her friend fell short.
She didn’t give to be generous. She gave because she thought she had to give and she wanted appreciation from the recipient for her giving.
This isn’t true generosity. Generosity is a feeling and an action.
When you give because you want to (without expectation), you give from abundance. You are a person who is generous.
When you give with expectations and to get something from someone else, you give from scarcity.
The difference is in how you feel.
Give or don’t give. But whichever you choose, like your reason.
I love giving. It feels so good to give. I want to be generous.
But I wasn’t always like this. I used to have expectations when I gave. I don’t now. I give from a place of abundance because this is who I want to be.
It’s better this way.
Decide if you want to be a generous person. Then be her.
Listen to this episode to learn how you can be more generous.
Here are more of my favorite resources on generosity:
- How Generous Are You? (blog post)
- Dream Year: How To Accomplish Your #1 Goal This Year And Feel Good Doing It (book + workbook)
- Personal Development Free Course (free training)
- Personal Development For Her (course)
Full Episode Transcript
Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.
Hey, how are you this morning or afternoon or evening? I know so many of you share with me that you listen to me and this podcast during your commute or when you get up. So if you are having your morning cup of coffee, let’s just pretend that I’m right there with you and let’s talk today about generosity. I know that this has just been creeping up in my life lately.
I have just noticed a lot of people talking about generosity in a way that is maybe not so useful, but it is the way that I used to think about generosity before I really learned what it was and how to be more generous. I love generosity. I love being generous. I love feeling generous. It is a character trait that I have made part of my life intentionally, but it’s very different than what you might be thinking. So when you look up generosity on the interweb, Google will tell you that it means giving more than is necessary or expected.
I want you to remember that giving and feeling generous has nothing to do with the money. And you’ve probably heard this, right? Like people say that all the time. You can give your time, you can give your energy, you can give your knowledge, whatever it is. It’s not about money. And I know this too, when I was a financial planner, I would have clients who were multimillionaires and it didn’t matter what amount of money they have.
Some of them were very generous and charitable with their money and others were not. And you probably see this in your life too. You just know people with money who aren’t generous, and you know people who are generous. So it really doesn’t have to do with money. So if you’re thinking that in order to be more generous, you need to have a lot of money. I want you to challenge yourself on that and consider that to be a limiting belief that maybe isn’t serving you.
And just take a look at it. Generosity is a feeling and it’s an action so you can feel generous like literally the feeling of feeling generous and then the act of giving more than expected. That’s the action. True generosity is giving without expecting anything in return. That is my definition. That is what I believe and I want you to consider if that’s what you want to believe because it’s really different than what most people believe and I think you’ll start to notice that if I give you some examples.
So think about like if you hear yourself or someone else is saying that they want to give but they want to do it in order to get something or they want to do it because they think they have to or they should or they’re expecting something in return. That is not true generosity. We were talking about money regrets with some of my girlfriends lately and one of them said that she regretted giving someone a gift that was like her one of her money regrets.
The reason she regretted it was because it was a stretch gift for her. Like it cost her a lot of money, but the recipient was the very wealthy and like didn’t really appreciate it. She got the gift and she said, Oh thanks and like was on with it. Like it wasn’t a big deal to her. But what I was thinking when my friend was saying this was that really she wasn’t being generous, right? She was doing it for different reasons. She had the expectation that the recipient would behave a certain way or give her that validation or whatever. She was expecting something from the recipient and because of that it took her out of generosity. It took away the enjoyment of giving. She didn’t give just to feel generous. She gave for another reason. So what I want you to think about is why you give, so I like to say do whatever you want, right?
Anyone, we’re all adults do ever you want, but make sure you really like your reason. So let’s explore like the reasons for giving. I think that good reasons to give would be because you want to give because it feels amazing to give and because you want to be someone who is generous as part of your character. Those are the reasons. Pretty much the only reasons that I think you should give.
I think bad reasons for giving are because you think you have to because you think you should because you want someone to like you because you want someone to think a certain way about you because you want acknowledgement because you want to be appreciated because you want to control an outcome, anything like that. Anytime you’re doing it to get something in return, you’re not really doing it from a place of feeling generous.
So the next time you give or are thinking about giving, I want you to ask yourself why you’re giving and just make sure you like your giving and I want to encourage you to just give without expectation and I mean that means without expecting anything in return, like you just give because you want to give and when you do this intentionally, it’s a very different experience.
I sometimes I really want to give and I just feel compelled to do it and I just do it and I literally expect nothing other times where maybe it would be normal or assumed that I would give, I don’t really want to give, I just don’t give and there’s so much power in this and I think that when you own it, when you own your own decisions and do what you want to do, you’ll feel so good about it.
When you give from this place of feeling good and generosity, you’re going to be energized and excited to do it. You’re going to do it from abundance. It’s a very high level emotion. Contrast that when you give from a place of expectation or because you want something in return, it’s a very scarcity driven and it kind of feels bad, right? You’re like, Oh, I’m supposed to get her a good gift, or I have to because she only likes nice things and she’s very wealthy or what like whatever the situation is, when you’re doing it for those reasons, it’s not going to feel that good. Right? And so the outcome isn’t going to be that good for you, but if you just decide to give from generosity because you truly just want to give it is amazing. It feels so good.
There’s lots of different examples of this. It’s not just giving your friend to something, but like it could be in your business too. When someone asks for a refund, do you give it? I always give refunds and it has nothing to do with like the other person as much as it has to do with me. Like I want people who want to be in my program. Like I don’t want anyone in my programs who isn’t happy and satisfied. Right.
And you know, the result of that means that sometimes there are unexpected consequences, right? The occasional person takes advantage of that, but to me, I would still rather be in a place of generosity and have that one person that takes advantage of it. You know what? So they get something for free, whatever. It has nothing to do with me. It doesn’t affect my revenue. It’s a very scarcity based to be like tit for tat.
I know that. I’m coming from a place of generosity because that’s who I want to be. You know, the same thing happens if you have someone who is kind of in scarcity when it comes to money. Let’s say that you want to offer to pay for the bill. Sometimes when you’re with friends, but you know, let’s say those friends don’t reciprocate.
You have to decide for yourself if you want to be the person who sometimes just pays, even though they don’t. And I would really encourage you to decide for yourself and don’t do it based on what they may or may not do. So you can either match them in their scarcity or you can overcome it and be more generous. So maybe you are the person who sometimes pays for your friends and they don’t reciprocate and that’s okay. Let them be them, right?
That’s a different journey they’re on and it has nothing to do with you, but you really have to do your own work on yourself to make sure that you’re staying in generosity, if that’s something that is important to you. I like always want to choose generosity for generosity sake. And I catch myself like sometimes if I’m tired I definitely won’t feel as generous or if I’m kind of being lazy with my thinking, I won’t be, but I’ll catch myself because I feel so good when you give this way. Like I have step siblings who are older than me and they have little girls and they were coming over for holidays, like kind of unexpectedly or whatever. And I was just like asking my mom, Oh my gosh, what kind of stuff are they into? They’re like, I think nine and 12 somewhere around that age.
And I just like immediately went out and got them a gift or gifts and I had nothing to do with anything other than I wanted to get them gifts. Like we weren’t exchanging gifts with them. This wasn’t like, like no one was exchanging gifts at this time, but I really wanted to get them gifts.Like I remember being that age and like if you got a nicer gift from someone, like I just thought that was the coolest thing.
So I really wanted to give them that experience and give them gifts and they loved it. And like it just, it just came from such a place of generosity. And I use that example just so you know that there so many different opportunities for you to give and literally expect nothing in return. And it, the more you do it, the more fun you can have with it because you can find like little ways to do it.
Like, you know, paying for the person’s coffee in front of you or doubling the tip on a bill or like my tech guy, uh, Grayson Bell from iMark interactive, I use him for all my website stuff. Like he just is so amazing and really good at what he does. So one time I told him to double the bill that he sent me the invoice just because I wanted to, like, it really feels that good to give. So just keep in mind, and those are monetary examples, but you know, someone might ask to get something from you for free, like your program or um, and you can give that way if you run your own business or if you don’t want to do that. Like there’s a lot of different opinions on that, but you can offer to give um coaching for free or babysitting or um, volunteer your time or intentionally, you know, plan how you’re going to give to charity.
Like there’s so many ways to give literally on a daily basis. You can give compliments, words, whatever it is. I just want you to consider giving without any expectations because I think that you can feel so good giving this way and you come from abundance in a way that you just don’t. If you are thinking about how the other person’s gonna react or you know, I hear on the holidays, Oh, I feel like I have to get her this, I have to get her that.
Like you don’t have to do anything, which is just amazing and it’s just really good to know. So if you want to be more generous, here are like the five steps that I want you to do.
The first thing I want you to do is I want you to decide if you want to be someone who is generous, like as part of your character. And I mean for you to decide this very intentionally, so do you want to be someone who is generous because it’s okay if you don’t like, it’s totally fine, but if you want to be someone who is generous, decide that like, okay, I’m going to be a generous person, and then what does that mean to you?
Assuming you do want to be someone who is more generous, the next step is to consider your capacity to give. If you believe you have more than enough, that’s how you’re going to show up. That’s what you’ll attract. So you need to create thoughts and beliefs that you have more than enough to give, and it’s not about money. It’s in every way, right? You have more than enough time. You have more than enough energy. You have more than enough knowledge to give whatever it is that you want to give, start believing that you have the capacity to give in that way, right?
There’s lots of studies and research out there about how if you show up from that place of abundance and expectancy and give, that is what you will attract into your life and get back. But also it’s just going to feel really good. You’re going to feel so much better. So start thinking thoughts about how you can be generous from a place of abundance. Just because you want to give.
The third step is to only give when you want to give. Now this sounds very simple because it is, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. I know you are thinking about a time when you gave and you didn’t really want to give. Like we’ve all been there and we’ve felt like we have to give. But remember, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Like I hear this all the time like, Oh, I have to do this.
Like, no you don’t. Like, you don’t really have to do it at all. You want to do it right? You want to do it. So reframing it that way is going to make you feel a lot better. So let’s say that you are hosting a baby shower and you feel like you have to give a certain amount of money to host the event or buy the flowers or the table stuff, whatever the gifts, all that stuff that goes into hosting a baby shower and you can kind of feel like you have to do it right. This is someone you care about and like the expectation is for you to do it. But really if you reframe it and you think about like do you want to be the type of friend who shows up for your friend and host this baby shower and gives the extra money like the answer like maybe yes and if it’s yes, then you can kind of move from, Oh I have to do this.
Like someone’s making me do it to a place of like, yeah, I want to do this. Like I’m showing up exactly how I want to show up and you’ll feel better. So only give when you want to give. If you really don’t want to give, don’t give like that is just amazing. Like sometimes I just don’t want to give, but then I have to check myself and see why and make sure that I’m doing my own thought work. Just make sure that you give when you want to give.
The fourth step for how to be more generous is to like your reason for giving. So we already talked about this a little bit, but just make sure that you like your reason for giving, don’t give because you feel like you have to. Don’t give because you want someone else to give you something in return, more appreciation, whatever it is, give because you want to give because it feels good because you want to be a person who’s generous.
The fifth step to be more generous is to drop all your expectations for giving. Let other people be who they are, so don’t let someone else’s behavior change who you are in the world. No matter how they act. Be the generous person that you want to be. Okay?
Those are the five steps for you to be more generous. Notice that when you start doing this, you are going to see results in your life that you didn’t expect in every area of your life. The more you give, the more that you get back, right? It’s kind of like I’ve talked about in the Money Mindset podcast episodes where you know you give more value and then you get more money and that’s how money really works. It’s not based on time or energy, it’s value. So the more you give, the more you get. This literally happens in every area and I’m telling you, the more that you give, the more comfortable you’ll you are with receiving.
I know that there are some new coaches and bloggers and business owners that I’m working with who struggle with charging their clients money and they have trouble with this in part because they feel they’re like taking it. They feel like they shouldn’t take their client’s money and they have trouble receiving. Right?
Well, they have trouble receiving it. A lot of them, because they’re not giving it, they’re not buying these programs themselves. They wouldn’t spend their money on it. So they assume that other people won’t spend theirs. So it’s kind of like a projection thing. When you feel a certain way, that’s what you project and that’s what you think other people are thinking too, even though that’s not the case at all. So if you want to receive a more in your life, give more. And remember this really only works if you’re giving because you want to give.
So if you actually think that you want to be a generous person and you feel generous and then you actually are generous and give more than is expected, that is when you will attract more into your life. If you think you should be more generous but you don’t actually feel it, this doesn’t work. So it’s kind of like where we get into trouble with doing a gratitude journal. Sometimes. I used to do it a lot, but I never really felt it. Like I never really felt grateful for what I was writing, even though I was grateful. It was just a thought. I didn’t feel it.
So when you’re being generous, I really want you to practice that feeling of feeling generous. And really enjoy it because that’s when you’ll do it more because it feels good and that’s when you’ll attract more into your life. I can’t even explain how awesome it is to do this with no expectations and like the littlest most unexpected ways. Just picking up that friend’s cup of coffee and whatever, whatever it is, getting little gifts, volunteering your time, giving someone access to your program, giving them free coaching.
When you do it from a place of generosity, it feels very different than doing it from a place of feeling like you should or doing for some ulterior motive and then you’ll be so much more willing to accept the gifts that come into your life because you’re such a giver that like of course you want to receive gifts from other people because you know how much you give. So it works really well. So the more you give, the more you get. And being generous because it feels good is just something that I’ve really found it so useful and I think that it might be something that you want to consider because I think this is like one of those things that’s so sneaky.
Like I hear my girlfriends talk about it like she didn’t appreciate this and I did this and that’s okay. Like no one has to appreciate you. You can just appreciate yourself. Like I’m serious. You can just like sometimes I’m just like, damn, I’m good. We’re like damn, I’m proud of myself. Like Oh that was good. Like that’s good. That’s amazing.
We should do that more. It’s not from an ego conceded place. It’s from love. It’s totally something that is useful and will help you show up as a better version of yourself. So if you feel like you keep giving because you want a certain something from someone else instead of seeking that from someone else, give it to yourself. So if you are trying to get love from someone else or appreciation from someone else, give that to yourself. It’s what I teach in a Designer Your Dream life Academy, which is my personal development course that designyourdreamlifeacademy.com I teach self love.
And the way that I teach it is for you to create a second version of yourself and think about how you treat that person as how you treat yourself. So you know, I’m Natalie and I create Natalie 2.0 and I make sure that Natalie 2.0 is someone who I treat with the utmost respect and love and like better than anyone else in my life because so often we default to not being kind to ourselves.
And then we don’t want to be generous and we’re coming from scarcity emotions. But when you start giving yourself the emotions that you’re seeking, when you start practicing love and generosity, then you’re not going to seek it from other people and you show up in the world such a better person and you get better results in your life. So practice being generous do it without expectation and just see how you show up in the world differently and notice how good it feels. Okay. I will see you next time. Have an amazing week..
Thank you for listening to the Design Your Dream Life podcast. Subscribe to the podcast to get the latest episodes sent directly to you. To learn more about designing your dream life visit NatalieBacon.com.