Vicki Saunders is the founder of SheEO, a serial entrepreneur, award-winning mentor, advisor to the next generation of change makers and leading advocate for entrepreneurship as a way of creating positive transformation in the world.
I am always obsessed with the equation of energy for impact. What can I do for the least amount of energy that will have the maximum impact? After decades of experience, learning and reflection here’s the most impactful lesson I’ve learned.
In the past six years with SheEO, we have all been practicing Ask/Gives: asking for what we need help with and giving what we can offer. The giving part is easy for most of us in the community. As women, we are conditioned to tend to others and to give openly. The hard part of Ask/Give, we all thought, is asking for help. Whenever I ask in crowds of people, “who would be willing to help someone in the room if they asked you right now?”, nearly everyone’s hands go up. When I ask, “who loves asking for help?”, the hands are few and far between. Turns out, the hard part underneath the ask, at least for me, is the willingness to receive.
In 2018 I was out to lunch with an Activator, Colleen Abdoulah. After lunch, we went to her favourite store and she said, “Pick something.”
“No thanks,” I said, “I’m good. I don’t need anything.”
“PICK SOMETHING,” she said again.
I dug in. “No, really,” I said, “I don’t need anything.”
This went on, back and forth, several times.
Finally, she walked over to me, grabbed my shoulders, and shook me, vigorously. “RECEIVE!!!!” I felt this through my whole body. I realized… I was blocking her gift. By not receiving, I was denying her the ability to give to me.
I was so brainwashed in the culture of “I should be able to do this myself!”, “I know she offered to help, but she’s so busy!” And on and on with the excuses, conditioned in me, not to receive support. Receiving is at the heart of our connection with one another. It is the action and the practice that opens us up to realize that, together we can do anything. When you practice receiving from others, you’ll see everything change around you and realize that you have all that you need to achieve your dreams.
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