The scarcity mindset and why it’s time to ditch it
Not long ago I was reintroduced to the idea of scarcity as a mindset, which I believe, runs rampant in our world.
Scarcity by definition is a shortness of supply: A lack; an insufficiency of amount. So, a scarcity mindset is seeing the world around you as inherently lacking. Never enough. This could come in many forms; money, love, friendships, joy, opportunity…you get it.
Here’s the thing about me, I don’t want to limit my life by keeping my perceptions of the world around me small – and that is exactly what the scarcity mindset does. It limits you. It makes you believe that there is not enough to go around. If you are constantly in the mindset that there is not enough [fill in the blank], you are going to find the evidence to back that up. Every time.
It’s self-fulfilling prophecy in all it’s glory.
Leading me to pronounce…the scarcity mentality needs to take a hike. Of the forever variety.
My recent journey with scarcity
A while back, I was thinking about all the things I want to do in my life; travel the world, buy a house, eat a lot of good food, have a kid, buy lotsa shoes, yaddy yaddy yada. A second later I was thinking about how much I hate money, how I don’t know how I will ever get out of debt, how I pray I don’t break the teeth out of my face because I don’t have insurance. Jump ahead a hot second and I was thinking how I make pretty decent money at the pub that employs me…making, *pretend I am saying this under my breath, barely audibly*…less than 2,000 bucks a month. (News Flash: That is not a great living.)
Jeepers effing creepers.
There is a whole lotta inconsistency there, and there is definitely a powerful mindset of lack. I found that I was riddled with it. Sure, I have dreams (dreams that *ahem* require cash) but I realized that if I was going to achieve any of them I needed a system reboot. I needed to get into this complex little (big?) head of mine and undo this notion that money is the root of all my problems and by golly, I needed to realize that I deserve to be making more than said above number per month. In short, I needed to stop limiting my expectations by thinking so small. How would I ever find myself in a better financial space if I believed that where I was at was all I could ever get?
Undoing old thought patterns
Okay. So just stop thinking in terms of scarcity, right? Well, old habits die hard and our ingrained thought patterns are no different. To stop perpetual thoughts of lack you need to be intentional, patient and consistent. But first….
Understanding the Abundance mindset
Abundance, as you may well know, is the opposite of scarcity. It’s bountiful. Plenty to go around. More than enough. A lot :). Stephen Covey the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, has this to say about it:
The Abundance Mentality flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.
Can you dig it?
- It has the power to open up possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity because you allow yourself to be open. You aren’t committing yourself to the limited scope of believing there is a limited supply of money, love, joy, opportunities, time, etc. Changing your thoughts to those of abundance gives you the ability to see with a wider lens.
- “It flows from a sense of personal worth.” Do you believe you are worthy of abundance? If not, this is something to address. If you don’t believe you are worthy, you aren’t going to be open to receive.
- Thinking in terms of abundance is also just more fun.
I can dig it.
Back to giving the scarcity mentality the old heave-ho
First things first. Awareness.
Where do you find yourself thinking in terms of lack?
- I never have enough time.
- My bills keep piling up, I will never get ahead.
- There are no jobs out there for someone like me.
- All the good men are taken.
- I will never find happiness.
- I am not worthy.
Do you find yourself being envious of others when they find success, be it in love, money, what have you?
Are you unable to be genuinely happy for them?
Draw your awareness to these thoughts and feelings without being a judgmental a**hole. They are indicative of operating with the mindset of scarcity. Once you are aware of these thoughts you can be intentional about replacing them with more productive, more you worthy thoughts.
Makes sense, yes? Can’t fix a problem if you aren’t aware of it.
Stop feeding the monster.
Stop the incessant negative babble…even, no especially, when talking to yourself…you know you do it! Once you see yourself going down that path, gently remind yourself to halt! Back that thought train up. Feeding the scarcity mentality just creates more of the scarcity mentality, and if you’ve been paying any attention at all, that is exactly what we are trying to reverse.
No más comparing yourself to others.
Just. Stop. Women tend to be terrible about this. What other people are doing is of no concern to you, it shouldn’t affect your journey at all. The success of others in building their dream life doesn’t mean there is less of that life for you. There is plenty of pie to go around. Get yo’self some!
Acknowledging the good you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance. -Eckhart Tolle
Be grateful for what you have, everyday. When you find yourself gettin’ sour about what you don’t have, stop and give thanks for what you do have instead. Train yourself. I’m willing to bet you have a whole heck of a lot to be grateful for. Choose to highlight those things. If you are looking for something to complain about, you will always find it, but the inverse is also true. If you are looking for things to be grateful for, you will find them, always. Abundance blooms in that space. Allow yourself to experience the abundance in your life right now.
It already exists.
This one is really fun for me and dramatically changed my perspective. It’s the idea that what you desire already exists, like, right meow. More money, better opportunities, love? They exist. You are not trying to creat abundance out of thin air, it is already here, you just haven’t been able to see it because you have been limiting your view by living inside the mindset of scarcity. Gratitude and believing that what you want in this life exists and that you deserve is the bread and butter of the abundance mindset. Grab hold.
If you have been living your whole life looking through the thoroughly unfashionable goggles of lack, then you are going to meet some resistance with putting on the fancier, shinier, more badass goggles of abundance. You are going to have to reroute your grey matter, literally. Your brain wants to be efficient, it has a lot to do, so it puts things on autopilot. Chances are, your mindset of scarcity is an automatic process, like breathing. The automated processes will be dominant, but with time and mindfulness your brain will create new neural pathways, or new habits. Redirect your thoughts of “not enough” to those of gratitude and “enough.” After awhile, those new, more positive thoughts will be your go-to.
Awww, brain, you’re so cool.
Flip the script, yo.
A helpful tool I have found is writing down your new script of abundance. A mantra, if you will. Don’t worry about it sounding silly or fraudulent, no one else needs to see it. Get in the habit of repeating it to yourself on the reg. It will start worming it’s way down into your subconscious and become a new truth for you. You will begin to see the world around you expand with abundance.
It can be as simple as:
“[Fill in the blank] exists for me, I am worthy of it.”
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Practice makes perfect. Commit to the process. Watch your world change.