How To Go From Scarcity To Abundance Mindset

There just never seems to be enough………

Ever hear somebody say that? Odds on, they have a scarcity mindset. But what is a scarcity mindset? Why is it bad to have? How can the mindset be changed? We’ll answer these and other questions in this week’s article.

What Is A Scarcity Mindset?

A scarcity mindset leaves a person feeling like they never have enough. Life is seen as a finite pie that when one person takes a piece it leaves less for everyone else.  Want a prime example of the scarcity mentality? Look no further than corporate America.

Don’t believe me? Hang out with people fighting for promotions and wanting that management lease vehicle. More and more, promotions and raises are becoming scarce. Resources tighten up so the company can minimize costs. Managers hoard information and micromanage their employees for fear of losing their “empire”. In general, short-term thinking is the norm as executives look for ways to appease Wall Street investors and beat their next earnings report.

How To go From Scarcity to Abundance Mindset

A scarcity mindset can keep people from achieving their goals. It manifests itself as anxiety and feelings that you are not good enough or that you do not have enough to share with others.

A scarcity mindset focuses on what you don’t have or on what limited resources you have right now at your disposal.

It can make you feel like you are not doing enough or that you do not deserve to spend money on yourself.

I know first-hand. As I talked about in this article, both my parents grew up during the Great Depression. They grew up with a scarcity mentality because they were poor and knew of no other way.

The article I wrote is referenced below:

How To Manage Financial Trauma

That scarcity mentality was passed on to my siblings and myself. We grew up learning to do without and always worrying about what we didn’t have instead of figuring out ways to obtain what we wanted.

It was a debilitating experience. The strange part was that it took me years to figure this out and change my mindset from scarcity to abundance. Why?

An abundance mindset is the antithesis of the scarcity mindset. Abundance mindset focuses on what a person has or can acquire. It looks at all possibilities as opportunities.  While a scarcity mindset focuses on limitations, an abundance mindset seeks out options and there are ALWAYS options.

An abundance mindset opens your mind up to new possibilities and new ways of thinking. What seemed like an impossibility before now is a probability.

These are just some of the reasons to switch to an abundance mindset. A scarcity mindset is not only a bad mindset to have but it can also be bad for your health.

Let’s explore that next…..

Why You Need To Break From A Scarcity Mentality

For starters, a scarcity mindset can lead to poor mental acuity. There have been several studies done that show people with a scarcity mindset have lower IQ’s than people with an abundance mindset.

Some reports show a 13-point decline in IQ. This is comparable to missing out on a full night’s sleep.

A scarcity mindset makes it hard to focus and plan for the future. Most of your mental acuity is used to meet your current needs and leaves nothing else left over.

Makes sense. A scarcity mentality makes a person over-focus on the present and worry only about today and not the future. It locks the brain out from exploring other possibilities.

Want to know of other ways a scarcity mindset can affect a person? Their health.

The constant stress can wreak havoc on a person’s body. The chronic stress, often relation to financial worries and feelings of inadequacy, can trigger a variety of ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, weight gains, and much more.

Another side effect of a scarcity mentality is our relationships with others. When we feel that money and resources are scarce, we tend to hog it for ourselves and not share with others. We view our friends and neighbors as competitors not comrades.

A scarcity mindset equates to a zero-sum mindset. Someone must win, and someone must lose.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. An abundance mindset is the exact opposite of a zero-sum game. In fact, it is more of a 1+1=3 mindset. We not only help each other, but our combined resources actually become augmented more than it would happen individually.

Want to learn how to change to an abundance mindset? We’ll explore that next.

5 Habits To Create An Abundance Mindset

Practice Gratitude

The 1st steps to achieving an abundance mindset is to show gratitude for what you have. A scarcity mindset breeds complaining about what you don’t have. An abundance mindset appreciates what you do have.

It does not have to be big or elaborate, start small.

For example, I’m grateful for having a cold diet Coke right now. I’m grateful that I have food in my refrigerator. I’m grateful to live in one of the safest cities in the U.S.

Expressing feelings of gratitude can also boost your mood dramatically.

Practice Gratitude

Want to practice gratitude?

Write down 5 things right now that you are grateful for each day. The simpler the better.

Focus On What You Have

It’s like a saying by Oprah Winfrey: “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”

A scarcity mentality sees limitations instead of possibilities and opportunities. To get out of that rut, turn those thoughts around.

For example, a person with a scarcity mentality may have thoughts like, “there are no longer any high-paying clients” or “I do not have enough transferrable skills”.

On the other hand, a person with an abundance mindset would think, “What new business streams can I create to draw in more clients” or “I will focus using my marketing skills more at my next job”.

Another great example of an abundance mindset is from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. In some of his YouTube Videos and an article in Men’s Health, he talks about the “I Get To” mentality.

To get thru the daily workout grind he puts himself through, Dwayne talks about how he stays motivated. He uses what he calls the “I Get To” mentality. Basically, he treats every workout as an opportunity to better himself and this way he WANTS to do it.

For example, he will tell himself, “I get to kick my ass today and come back stronger tomorrow” or “I get to train hard today and push myself past my breaking point.”

People with a scarcity mentality would do the opposite. They would treat it as a job, a chore they must do.  They use the “I Have To” mentality. They HAVE to go to work today. They HAVE to get up early to take their kids to gymnastics. Every event is treated as drudgery that they are forced to do.

This type of mentality leaves a person weighted down with stress and anxiety…… not a good way to live.

You know what else a scarcity mentality does? It limits options and idea generation which is our next topic.

Open Up To New Possibilities

For people who struggle with a scarcity mindset, they tend to think negatively and undermine their own self-worth. Instead of seeing mistakes or failures, shift the mindset to see the possibilities yet to be taken advantage of.

Learn to ask the question, “What if I……?”

For example, a failed job interview could act as redirection you needed for finding the job of your dreams. A job layoff could be the catalyst needed to discover what you REALLY want to do with your life (i.e., What if I seek out what I really want to do with my career?”)

When failure is interpreted as opportunity, a person actively is choosing an abundance mindset over a scarcity mindset.

The first step for removing this scarcity mindset is to ensure that we are leading from an abundance of love and understanding for both ourselves and others. The trigger for this is to start being brutally honest with ourselves.

Being honest with yourself enables you to understand yourself better and understand what you truly want out of life. Doing this turns on our mental “antenna” to receive new information that has been staring at us in the face and has been getting ignored or blocked out.

The brain can only absorb so much information before it goes into overload. If your paradigms and beliefs are that it’s impossible or that you can’t do it guess what? You won’t find a way to do it.

However, if your belief is that anything is possible and that every problem has a solution then guess what? You’ll figure out a solution. The information was always there but your paradigms and scarcity mindset put up a wall that blocked you from receiving it.

A good way to get started is to start training your brain to loosen its focus and create an expanded awareness. Ask yourself if you had all the time, money, and resources in the world at your disposal and you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you be doing to make it happen.

In the end, what you believe is what you receive.

As Henry Ford used to say, “If you think you can do something or think you cannot do it, odds on you’re right.”

Do you also know what successful people do that sets them apart? They befriend other successful people which leads to our next habit.

Surround Yourself With Abundant People

It’s been said that you are the average of the 7 people who you hang around with the most. If you hang around a bunch of people with a negative or scarcity mindset, odds on you’ll also have a scarcity mindset. If those people are humble, generous, and successful people, odds on you will be as well.

Why is that? It’s because we unconsciously emulate who we associate ourselves with. To be “part of the group”, you need to act like part of the group. If you don’t act like them? Then it’s time to find a new group of people.

It’s been scientifically proven that your thoughts and actions will echo and emulate those of the people you spend the most time with. Who you befriend and associate with has a direct impact on what you will become.

Don’t believe me? Ask any professional athlete. There is a reason that every professional sport has an elite league where the best train with each other, and why parents fight to get their kids into these elite leagues at an early age.

The reason is their child’s athletic ability will elevate to match the people around them. It’s human nature.

In your personal and professional life, if you want to elevate your game then go find people who are better than you and that you aspire to be like. Over time, you’ll naturally and sometimes subconsciously find ways to elevate “your game” to match theirs.

Seek out those people who see the glass as half-full and think outside the box. Start spending time with them. Over time, your perspective will align to theirs.

Remember, the quality of a person’s life is the direct reflection of the expectations and aspirations of their peer group….. write that down! 😊

Develop Win-Win Scenarios

A scarcity mindset is all about win-lose scenarios. It’s a zero-sum game. One person must win while another person must lose. Period.

An abundance mindset is all about win-win scenarios. The mindset is all about helping others be the best they can be because at the same time, you also help yourself be the best you can be.

I had a good friend in college who LOVED to negotiate deals and win-win situations. One of his favorite catch phrases was, “It’s a win-win!”. At the time I didn’t fully grasp what that really meant because my scarcity mindset kept telling me that someone ALWAYS must lose. How could there ever be a “win-win”?

Boy, was I ever wrong. Looking for ways so that both parties benefit leaves you with a sense of accomplishment and an overall better feeling about the relationship. It feels good to help others and it feels good to also find ways to help yourself all at the same time.

But how do you do this?

It involves a lot of things. First learn to listen with empathy. Seek to understand others before trying to have people understand you (1 of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). This also means learning to live without judgment or censorship. Don’t make preconceived notions about a person or situation.

Another thing is to brainstorm solutions to a problem. More often than not, a person who THINKS they know what they want does not truly understand WHAT they really want and WHY they want it. Work together to understand each other’s “what’s and why’s”.

Lastly, to develop win-win scenarios sometime involves compromise and flexibility. A scarcity mindset drives you to use an uncompromising point of view because it HAS to be that way. Change the mindset from “has to be” to “what could it be”.

It’ll go a long way toward adopting an abundance mindset and bettering yourself in the process.

Bottom Line

Constantly telling yourself that you are not good enough or not deserving of success is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think it then it will happen. Almost a certain guarantee.

Go From Scarcity To Abundance Mindset

On the flip side, if you change that mindset to abundance and believe you ARE good enough and you ARE deserving then it can also be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The end result is that it’s all about what you think and what you believe.

An abundance mindset refers to the paradigm that there is plenty out there for everyone. If I can learn this so can you. What you believe is what you will receive.

I leave you with this quote, “The mind is everything, what you think, you become.”

Go become that person you always wanted to be. 😊

Until next time………

Live The Life You Love, Want, And Deserve.