Scarcity vs Abundance. If you’re not so familiar with these contrasting concepts, it can be easy to brush past them and dismiss their significance. After all, they aren’t exactly common amongst the words we use to describe ourselves. So what are they all about?
Someone with a scarcity mindset might have thoughts like this:
- I’m not attractive enough to be liked by other girls/guys.
- I’m not fit enough to do that activity.
- I’m not knowledgeable enough to contribute to the discussion.
- I’m not brave enough to take the risk.
- I’m not confident enough to make the first move.
- I’m not experienced enough to apply for the job.
- I don’t have enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.
- I don’t have enough money to pay for a course I’d love to do.
It can also show up in more subtle ways when referring to the future:
- I won’t have enough time for myself if I help others first.
- I won’t have enough food if I share my own.
- I won’t have enough money if I buy this gift for someone or donate to this charity.
A scarcity mindset is fuelled by these core beliefs:
I am not enough/I won’t be enough – a feeling of inadequacy in comparison with others.
I don’t have enough/I won’t have enough – a feeling of lack.
By-products of this mindset can involve: paranoia and anxiety; jealousy and judgement; self-pity and low self-worth; selfishness and hoarding; a focus on the cost of things rather than the value.
Pretty powerful right? Here’s the scary part: without awareness of this mindset, it becomes your identity. You don’t even think to question these beliefs because you think that’s just who you are.
In fact your very first thought of the day might be, ‘I didn’t sleep enough’ and your last thought might be, ‘I wasn’t productive enough.’ It takes over and we accept it as normal.
But let’s not name and blame here. It’s easy to see scarcity mindset as the bad guy but there’s always a positive intent if you look carefully. This usually revolves around security and certainty. By not putting yourself out there (because you’re not good enough), you are protecting yourself from potential rejection. By not spending your money, giving up your time or sharing your food, you are protecting yourself from potentially running out. This way, you remain secure and certain in that familiar place known as your comfort zone.
Let’s look at the abundance mindset. Your internal dialogue will sound something like this:
- I’ve never done that activity before but I’d love to try it.
- If I don’t get the job, there will be more I can apply to.
- I like to express my opinion; it’s okay if not everyone agrees.
The core beliefs here are:
I am always enough.
There is always enough.
The special thing about an abundance mindset is that it comes from a place of love. These people have a deep sense of personal self-worth and security (self-love) which in turn allows them to spread this love outwardly without the fear of becoming or having less.
As a result, these people will:
- Share and give freely
- Express genuine joy for others’ successes
- Seek opportunities and alternatives
- See win-win situations
- Express gratitude for what they have now
- Focus on the positive lessons learnt
- Focus on the value of something rather than the cost
A key point to understand here is this: what you focus on, you attract more of. Therefore, if you focus on what you don’t have, you will continue not to have these things. If you are grateful for what you do have, abundance will show up for you.
“Gratitude is the open door to abundance.” – Yogi Bhajan.
It’s not easy to shift from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset. But the first step is being aware of them. And that you can make the shift. Choose a scarcity belief that you can relate to and commit to transforming it into an abundance belief with a daily affirmation. This can be as short or as long as you like. Here’s one I created which I would say out loud whilst driving:
The universe is infinite and unlimited. There is always enough.
I have unlimited love and joy. I have unlimited time and energy.
I always have an impact on others. I always count.
I choose to spread my love and joy to others.
I choose to make others feel good.
Which mindset can you relate to? What beliefs are running it?