How’s Your Receptivity? 7 Pitfalls to Avoid

The Law of Receptivity might be the most challenging of The Go-Giver’s Five Laws of Stratospheric Success. This could be why the authors – Bob Burg and John David Mann – deemed this to be the fifth, and final law in their book. (It is very logical to me that one needs to learn how to give before they are able to receive and that’s why the Five Laws are in the order that they are.)

As a certified Go-Giver coach, I’ve been able to see first hand the difficulty that many people have in grasping – and putting into practice – what should be a simple act, the act of receiving.

Yet it turns out that it’s not so simple an act.  From clients that I’ve coached on The Go-Giver to people with whom I’ve discussed its philosophy – virtually everyone has difficulty with receptivity. Why?

Well, I’ve compiled a list of seven reasons here. I have no doubt that there are likely several other factors which I’ve overlooked. I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section below – I would love to receive your thoughts and insights.

“I’m a Go-GIVER – duh” – This is one of the biggest misconceptions that I hear when discussing The Go-Giver. The belief that a go-giver gives exclusively.  While most go-givers are generous and charitable, that’s not what the concept is all about. A go-giver merely puts others’ interests first.  The first law states “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment”. Key here is the part that says “…take in payment.” Right off the bat it’s made clear that a go-giver receives – in whatever form of ‘payment’ they determine.

Receiving is bad – I bet you’ve heard this line – “It is better to give than receive.” How about “Give ’til it hurts!” (Why would anyone do that? 🙂 ) “Good guys finish last.” These all suggest a bias against receiving. Consider this, “Receiving is the natural result of giving”. (The Go-Giver – page 107). Master Go-Giver coach Dixie Gillaspie loves to challenge people to breathe out, exclusively, for thirty seconds…not hold your breath…breathe out the entire time. You’re trying it aren’t you? Of course you are. If you’ve succeeded please let me know because you’ll be the first to do so in my experience. To breathe out we must breathe in. For there to be giving, there must be receiving. If giving is good, receiving has to be equally good!
Expectations –It’s very easy to fall into the trap of expecting certain gifts. “If I do this…then I will receive that.” This starts with the premise of giving specifically to receive which isn’t a valid starting point. More importantly, when we have specific expectations we create tunnel vision for ourselves. We become so focused on realizing one outcome that we don’t allow ourselves to see what might be the true gift. To paraphrase that great philosopher Mick Jagger “You don’t always get what you want…but you get what you need”.
Naivete – “I didn’t know there was anything to receive.” This mindset is basically a lack of expectations. When we are not open to receiving because there’s ‘nothing to receive’ (or for any reason) we will not receive. We need to be aware that there is virtually always some gift of man or the universe so long as we are open to it. Bob Burg refers to this as having a ‘receiving consciousness’.
I don’t deserve anything: – It’s not uncommon to encounter people who just don’t feel as if they deserve to receive – well – anything. Simply put, hogwash. We are all deserving of receiving. This particular block to receptivity suggests individuals who undervalue themselves and that is a topic well out of my area of expertise. Perhaps those people should try the affirmation “I am worthy. I deserve to receive.” Like I said, well out of my skill set.

I don’t need anything – The people who determine that ‘they have everything they need’ may want to consider revisiting their Stratospheric Success Map. I’ve never met anyone that literally has everything they need. This deterrent to receiving may be the first cousin of naivete – let me know if you think I’ve double counted! 🙂

Cynicism – Ah, the cynic. (said cynically 🙂 ) “Why are you giving me anything?” “What’s in it for you?” “What do you expect from me?” “You are setting me up somehow!” I have no answer for the naysayers and those that spew negativity other than to ask “What harm is there in attempting to simply receive at face value?” Give it a chance because if you don’t, you’re not only cheating yourself out of receiving,  you’re cheating someone out of giving.

As I said early in this piece, I am certain that I’ve overlooked blocks to receiving, perhaps double counted one or more or even listed one that isn’t an authentic deterrent. Your thoughts are welcome and I invite you to leave them in the comments section. I can’t wait to receive them!








Coach, International Speaker and Thought Partner - Bill’s mission is to add value to the world – one brand at a time. Bill guides individuals and companies alike in building what he refers to as a ‘fearless brand’. This is the process of discovering, embracing and delivering their greatest value – which allows them to realize greater profit. Read More

2 comments on “How’s Your Receptivity? 7 Pitfalls to Avoid
  1. It’s so rewarding to be a Giver that it has a momentum! Getting the importance of completing the circle and bringing joy to people giving to us needs to be knocked into our Go Giver heads! I really liked the dimension you gave this instead of the usual “don’t forget to be a receiver too”.

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