Negotiating Is a Spiritual Practice

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Note: I updated this post in 2018 for clarity and additional resources.

There’s something you might not know about me: I love to negotiate. That may come as a surprise, since I’m a self-help author and spiritual teacher — and most folks don’t think of negotiating as spiritual at all. I’m going to bust that myth today.

Gabby Bernstein working at her laptop outsideFor me, negotiating is about seeking creative ways for everyone to win. I experience negotiating as an awesome opportunity to honor my worth and confidently ask for what I want. Negotiating is fun for me because I can work with others to co-create a solution of the highest good for all. Negotiating is a spiritual practice.

I didn’t always love to negotiate. In fact, I used to suck at it! I spent the first five years of my career as an entrepreneur who was totally uncomfortable with asking for what I wanted. It wasn’t until I met my now husband that I learned the art of negotiating.

My brilliant husband, Zach, is a kick-ass negotiator. He does it with style, grace and kindness. People don’t even realize that he’s negotiating because he’s so easygoing and lovely to work with. You too can negotiate with confidence and ease thanks to Zach’s insights! In this video I share the #1 tool for negotiating. I call it “spiritual negotiating” because I sincerely believe that it’s a spiritual practice.

Watch this video for my #1 spiritual negotiating tip — and if you absolutely hate negotiating feel free to leave a comment or question below and I’ll give you some extra tips.

Shift the way you think about negotiating

I know that negotiating brings up a lot for folks, particularly people in this spiritual path, because you may think, “Oh well, I can’t ask for what I need.” Or, “I don’t want to create any separation, or, “I don’t want to be in a place where I need to push back or control.”

And what I’m asking you to do when you negotiate is not push, not control, and not feel needy. Instead, just be open to solutions of the highest good. Be open to getting a resolution that will be really supportive and empowering for all parties involved.

The #1 tip for spiritual negotiating

The #1 tip, for spiritual negotiating is using some very simple words: “How about this?”

So, when somebody says to you, “I want to offer you X amount of dollars for your work, and you want more, instead of saying, “I don’t want that.” Or, “I need this instead.” You can simply, generously suggest, “How about this?”

“How about this” is a really easygoing, conversational way of asking for what you want without demanding or controlling, or coming across as too needy.

The ways we struggle with negotiating

I choose to learn through love | Gabby Bernstein card deckI know that many of us have a feeling of defensiveness when somebody offers us what we don’t want, and so we come back in a desperate or angry-sounding way, saying, “I need more!”

Many people also struggle with a feeling of inadequacy, not feeling like you’re worthy of asking for what you want, and you say, “Would it be okay if I got this?” That energy does not support your power in negotiating.

And then there is the feeling of just giving up altogether. You think, “I don’t even want to ask for it, because I’m so afraid to deal with it.”

Instead, just be conversational and say, “How about this?” Or, if somebody’s asking you to do something that you don’t want to do, instead of saying, “I don’t want to do it.” You can say, “How about we do this?”

Offer them what you do want do, rather than taking away what you don’t. And, that, in itself is a very, very powerful way to create some sense of everybody winning.

You present to them, “How about this?” Instead of, “I can’t do that.” These are magic words.

Want to strengthen your business skills?

Spirit Junkie Masterclass Digital by Gabby Bernstein

Want more spiritual negotiating tips? Get on the waitlist for Spirit Junkie Masterclass Digital Course. It’s my training for people who want to inspire others by doing what inspires them. Enrollment opens just once a year, and you’ll be the first to know! Get on the waitlist here.

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  1. I have negotiated what I want and I will get what I had negotiated and manifested; however, I have to wait. What is the purpose behind waiting for something you negotiated? I ask this because I have waited so long for this and now that it is at the tip of my fingers, I have to wait a little longer and that just confuses me.

  2. Hello Gabby,

    I recently started reading your articles and they are all awesome!!! But I am also a bit overwhelmed. I do not know where to start with the four books and the articles here. Where would you suggest I start?

    Thanks!! 🙂

  3. For the past week or so it was on my mind to talk to my manager about moving up in the company; and I had decided monday would be the day – and then I happened to see this video right before I went to work! So the timing was just perfect:) Thank you <3 (posting this a little late, but thought id share anyway!).

  4. Hi Gabby!

    I’m 2 years into my job and am ready for the next step, whether it be a promotion or being rotated to a new account. How do I go about “negotiating” with my bosses to get this happen. I feel like I’m falling into the category of I’m not worthy enough and need some guidance to bring my highest self to the conversation and the work place.

    Much Love!

    1. don’t be afraid to ask. when you begin with gratitude and then ask for what you want – whatever is of the highest good will come forth

  5. I’m a brand new, young, college professor (I’m 26 an I’ve been teaching for one week and one day!) and although I can’t explicitly teach your lessons, I’ve been inspired to bring the spirit of your teachings to my classroom to uplift my students and grow them into beautiful, confident writers and students. My goal is to be the light for them. I think I’ll start using this phrase to draw out some of my more quiet students and to suggest different/new ideas and interpretations of texts in a positive, affirmative way.

    Thank you for being a ray of sunshine in my life!

  6. Thanks Gabby – I need to be reminded of these techniques every now and then to stay on track. Thank you for always sharing great tid bits. Helps me tremendously to take a few minutes away from my desk to watch to your videos:)

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