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Healthy Giving: Journey to Empowerment

Change is necessary for the health of your relationships with others and yourself. There’s no magic wand to wave, but if you faithfully strive to develop new habits, growth is inevitable.
Healthy Giving: Journey to Empowerment
Keith Major

Last week, we delved into the draining motivations for giving. Or more specifically, how to identify when the motives for your giving are rooted in something other than the desire to empower and bless others. Some of you shared that while you have been able to identify what type of giver you are, you’re still wondering, “How do I change?”

It can be hard to break the habit of “mis-giving.” However, change is necessary for the health of your relationships with others and yourself. There’s no magic wand to wave, but if you faithfully strive to develop new habits, growth is inevitable. Let’s get to work uprooting the fears behind your giving!

1. Emotional Hoarder: Root issue—You fear rejection. Every time we say “yes” to the wrong things, we close the door to new outcomes and change. Hoarders may feel the stress of giving, but they don’t realize the losses caused by allowing others to consume their money, time, resources and emotions at the expense of their own well-being.

If you’re a hoarder the first step is to stop putting the burden of your self-esteem on the back of your relationships. Insecurity is your motivation—so take the bandage off and learn to accept yourself. Stop defining yourself based on others’ approval. A healthy relationship is defined by boundaries.

Write a list of 5 to 10 ways you enrich the lives of others. Throughout the day, remind yourself of those ways. Understanding the worth and value you bring will help you say ‘no’ without fear!

2. Remote Controller: Root issue—You crave control. If you’ve identified yourself as a remote controller, you must accept the fact that you can, and should, only control one person—yourself!   Replace the money or things you’ve used to “control” others with vulnerable and honest communication. Once you’ve communicated your concerns, turn your focus to learning how to accept and respect their right to make a decision you don’t endorse.

It may come to a point where you have to distance yourself because their choices are dangerous and you simply can’t condone them. That’s okay…the most important thing is the transparent conversation that affirms your unconditional love and gives them insight into your actions.

3. Enabler:  Root issue—You want the easy fix.  As an enabler, you’ve lost sight of the long-term consequences of your giving and compliance. You’ve missed the purpose of the relationship—to help each other grow.

When our giving is out of turn, short-term appeasement leads to long-term harm. Carrying a 6-month-old who can’t walk is a parent’s responsibility. Fast forward 12 years and carrying the same child is now bordering on abuse. Why? Because independence is not being encouraged. Actions that once helped now retard growth.

If you’re struggling with being an enabler, it’s time to determine what your responsibilities are to the individual(s) you’ve been enabling. Next, have a conversation letting them know you plan to honor those responsibilities going forward. When you are tempted to give, ask yourself if your giving is in agreement with your purpose in the relationship. To do so may require that you deny loved ones.

Live It! Apply the tips above and be patient with yourself—change takes time. For some, dismantling your fears may require professional help. Don’t be afraid to secure what is required to get to a healthier you!

Recently named the “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker” by eWomenNetwork, Felicia T. Scott is a Certified Empowerment Coach™ who shares transformational truths that change lives. Follow her on Twitter for updates regarding her newly released seminar THRIVE! 7 Strategies for Extraordinary Living and more.