Are You Ready To Receive Your Success In A New Career?


Unwillingness to accept help may be hampering your success. Piya Khanna explains why it’s important to know how to receive and shares tips on how to flex your receiving muscle!

Receiving is a gift. It is also an art. Unfortunately, many people (especially women) have forgotten how to receive. We are taught to be independent, strong and careful that we just say a big fat NO when people try to offer us gifts of help, compliments, dinner, support or love. This can make the giver feel rejected, unwanted, unnecessary or unvalued. You’re not alone; I am also afflicted by this condition and have been practicing receiving for a while now, not always successfully.

We have been taught that a person's worth is defined by their productivity, their ability to make things happen, to manage and control. We are hell-bent on showing the world how tough and independent we are. We worry that we don’t deserve a gift or, even worse, wonder “what do they want in return?” Women especially have been so preoccupied with trying to succeed in a man’s world that the simple art of receiving has almost disappeared.

Recently, I complimented a dear friend on her scarf and she just brushed it off and told me it was a cheap thing she had picked up for a tenner in some supermarket. This got me thinking: if a person can’t or won’t receive a no-strings-attached compliment from a friend, how will they ever receive anything else? I often rejected offers of help at work and then wondered why I was so overwhelmed. I also know ladies who insist on going Dutch even when their partner really wants to treat them, which deflates the wannabe giver and hurts their feelings too.

By not being open to receive, you are denying someone the joy of giving

Think about it — doesn’t it feel great to help some one out? Don’t you love it when someone likes something you’ve given them and really shows their appreciation? For me, it’s the best feeling in the world! A friend’s son recently had his eighth birthday party. As he is interested in tennis, I hunted around for a good book about the subject (harder than you’d think in Delhi!). He texted me specifically to thank me and was thrilled! I was even more thrilled that he liked it and felt the warm and fuzzy feeling of self-approbation all day.

Giving feels amazing — it feels so good to know you’ve made someone’s day or made them smile or feel good about themselves with a simple compliment or a small gift of something that they appreciate. I really feel that the gift-giver receives as much benefit as the recipient. So why deprive another of the joy of giving? Why not receive their gift with a smile and a thank you? Do you accept help from people easily? Or do you say, “No thanks — I can manage”. How will you accept help in your new career if you’re used to being a one-man show? It’s time to learn to receive if you want to make your career-shift successful and smooth.

Put yourself in the giver’s shoes. If someone rejected one of your gifts because they can easily buy it themselves, or feel that they don’t deserve it, how would you feel? Would you want to give them a gift again? I wouldn’t!

If you cannot accept a compliment or help from another easily and gracefully, how will you receive success in your new role or the fruits of your labour — financial or otherwise? Is there a belief lurking deep inside you that you’re not good enough? Are you ready to be successful and prosper in a new career or are there mental shifts that you still need to make?

How to learn to receive

Here are some simple practices you can adopt to grow your receptivity muscle.

Set an intention of openness and receptiveness: For one week, start every morning with an intention to receive. Say something like “I am open to receiving all the gifts that life brings me today with grace”. Watch what happens and how people react.

For one day, every time someone offers you a compliment, simply smile and say thank you. That’s all — not “Right back at you”, or “You’re looking great too” or “It’s just an old thing” or “It’s nothing…” Just a smile and a “thank you”.

Sincerely compliment your friends and colleagues and notice how they respond and how you react to what they do. How do you feel when they receive your compliment graciously? How do you feel when they brush it aside or deem themselves unworthy of it?

The next 5 times someone offers you help of any sort — TAKE IT! Perhaps someone offers to carry your bags at the airport, or gives you a lift, or helps with chores — anything. Just accept the offer with a smile and a thank you.

Ask people who have made the change you want to make who and what helped them to succeed. Chances are, they had to learn to accept help and support along the way. And so will you.

Pay it forward — help someone out and feel how good it feels.


Do you pride yourself on not receiving help from others? Might this be hindering your acceptance of success too? Leave a comment below.

Piya Khanna is an expert in change and transitions and helps professionals to be the best they can be in life-work by changing their mindsets and finding work that allows them to express themselves and fulfills them. She has over a decades experience in Investment Banking and has switched careers herself to become a High Performance Coach. Piya has lived and worked in India, Egypt, Switzerland and the UK and is the founder of Change to Succeed, an organization that helps people to succeed and become their best selves by taking ownership of their lives and results.