Everyone wants to believe they are generous. Very few people are. We intend to be generous, but things keep us from really living a life of generosity.

If you want to be more generous, but are struggling, you are not alone. There are plenty of other people in the same situation. Things block us from being generous, things that we give very little thought.

The world would be a better place if we all practiced being generous. If we can understand what gets in our way, It may help us overcome them. Here are three obstacles to being generous.

We Are Naturally Selfish
From birth, our natural inclination is to be selfish. Before we can speak, we learn to get what we want by crying. Sometimes it is our survival instinct. More times than not, it is our selfish instinct. We want what is in our best interest.

Being a generous person means we are giving up something that we could use for ourselves. It could be money or time, but our natural desire is to use those things like we choose for our pleasure or benefit.

Generosity goes directly against that selfish instinct. Generosity changes us more than it changes the receiver.

We Overspend
Overspending may be the number one culprit in modern culture to practicing generosity. An overwhelming majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. We are in massive amounts of debt, from houses to cars to credit cards and student loans. We make purchases based on a payment instead of the actual cost, and we stretch ourselves to where we have nothing left.

When we stretch ourselves financially, it is difficult for us to consider giving anything to anyone at any time.

If we would learn to have margin in our budget, we could be generous when we needed to be without hurting our financial situation.

We Overanalyze
How are they going to spend it? They might waste it. I would use it differently. That is not what I would have done. We think we know better, so we choose not to give.

Rarely do we get to be generous while also deciding how someone will use it. Generosity is about our heart, not theirs. We can’t control individuals or organizations.

We should be sensible without being selfish. One of the reasons we need to give is to get over selfishness.

Be aware of the things that are holding you back from being generous. Awareness can give you the pathway to overcoming these obstacles. A generous world will be a better world.