If you have ever had thoughts of not having enough or not being enough then you have experienced the feeling of scarcity.
One who repeatedly has these thoughts and feelings, allowing it to dominate and dictate their life, is said to have a scarcity mindset.
A scarcity mindset is having the belief that there will never be enough. This feeling can appear in many different areas of your life including money and finance, dating and relationships, or even work and business.
Having a scarcity mentality can make you feel anxious, fearful, and stressed. It greatly affects your decision making and prevents you from achieving wealth, seeing opportunities, and advancing in life.
The opposite of the scarcity mindset is having an abundance mindset.
“People with a scarcity mentality tend to see everything in terms of win-lose. There is only so much; and if someone else has it, that means there will be less for me. The more principle-centered we become, the more we develop an abundance mentality, the more we are genuinely happy for the successes, well-being, achievements, recognition, and good fortune of other people. We believe their success adds to…rather than detracts from…our lives.”“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” – Stephen Covey
Scarcity Mindset vs. Abundance Mindset
So what is an abundance mindset?
An abundance mindset stems from the feeling of security. With this growth mindset you exude confidence that is tied with the feeling of self worth.
You are assured that what you have is enough and that there is more than enough for everyone.
Here are some scarcity mindset examples and how they differ from an abundance mindset:
Scarcity Mindset: “I didn’t get the job that I wanted because I wasn’t good enough.”
Abundance Mindset: “That job wasn’t the right fit for me and a better opportunity will come along.”
Scarcity Mindset: “I don’t have enough money to be able to live the life that I want.”
Abundance Mindset: “I am grateful to have a job, a warm home, and a loving family to share my life with.”
Scarcity Mindset: “I can’t find the right person and will probably just be single forever.”
Abundance Mindset: “I am worthy of having a good, loving relationship and will find the right person at the right time.”
There is a blatant difference between these two mentalities. This contrast clearly shows a separation between a happy person and an unhappy person.
And guess what? You get to decide which person to be. You can choose to have an abundant mindset just by adjusting your thinking.
So which mindset do you have and which would you rather possess?
5 Signs That You Have A Scarcity Mindset
You believe that things are permanent:
Continuing to go through life without change because you fear veering from the status quo is a pitfall of the scarcity mindset. The belief that your life is fixed prevents you from seeing opportunities and stops you from advancing in life.
An example of this is the general statement: “Well that’s just the way that it is.” When you have this thought, you are putting a limit on yourself. You are accepting this statement as true without giving yourself the opportunity to grow from the experience.
You are envious of others
When you see someone else succeed, what are your initial thoughts?
Those with a scarcity mindset tend to be envious and jealous of others. They have difficulty acknowledging someone else’s success and may even make rude or striking comments about it.
This may come in the form of gossip or sarcastic remarks.
Being envious of someone else can also cause one to blame another person for their misfortune or failures.
Also, when one comes from a place of scarcity, they may see others as the competition rather than someone who they can work with and learn from.
You hold onto things
This hoarding mentality can come in two forms – physical and mental – and they both intertwine with each other.
The scarcity mentality comes from a place of lack. A fear that there isn’t enough or a worry about not having enough in the future. This can lead to a form of hoarding of physical things – food, money, and clothes, amongst other things.
Wait, hoarding money? Is that even a thing?
There are some people who save and save and save all their lives because they fear not having enough money in the future. Or they may be working really hard to save all of this money for their golden years, missing out on “life in the now.” They put the money in the bank “just in case.”
In the book “Die With Zero,” author Bill Perkins focuses on maximizing net fulfillment in life, not net worth, which I think is an important, yet sometimes overlooked concept when you have a goal of financial independence.
Another way that hoarding money can negatively affect you is when you are being stingy. This reluctance to spend and give can come from a place of fear and insecurity.
Besides the physical hoarding, there is also the psychological hoarding.
The holding onto negative thinking and the feeling of constant worry. Or the holding in of thoughts and feelings when in a relationship due to the fear of being judged.
These thoughts are oppressing and can lead to more serious outcomes of anxiety and depression.
Overindulgence can come in the form of gambling, over eating or drinking, excessive shopping, etc .
When one compulsively overindulges they are looking to fulfill a void. They are seeking a quick fix which is just a temporary solution to a problem.
Instead of acknowledging a problem and looking for a productive solution, a person may instead choose a hasty remedy that may bring immediate pleasure but does nothing to bring value to their life.
Using Scarcity Language
This negative language includes words, phrases, and thoughts such as:
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’ll never make enough money to get out of debt.”
“I’ll just stay in this job that I don’t love because there is nothing else out there for me.”
This scarcity language causes us to avoid challenges and become static in order to avoid failure. It leads to fixating on things that are out of our control, focusing on limitations and thinking small.
How Do I Get Rid Of A Scarcity Mindset?
And more importantly, how do I instead embrace a growth mindset?
Here are 6 ways to eliminate a scarcity mentality and adopt an abundant mindset.
Focus On What You Have:
Instead of seeing limitations in your life, turn your thinking around and focus on the opportunities.
Stop thinking “I am not enough” and concentrate on the skills and traits that you already possess. You have a lot to offer the world and to those around you but no one will see these attributes if you don’t see them and believe in them first.
Being generous isn’t all about money. Giving your time, listening to others, and working with someone towards a common goal are all ways of being generous.
Sharing knowledge and connecting with others is important when trying to overcome the scarcity mindset. It’s important to remember that there is enough to go around and that we can all be successful in our own ways.
Stop Comparing Yourself To Others:
When you compare yourself to others, especially those who are successful, you tend to only see your shortcomings and your failures. Instead of seeing how you match up to someone else, focus more on your skills and abilities and how they can help you to flourish.
You need to start believing that you are worthy of success and good things.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, you should compare yourself to an old version of you. This will give you an idea of how you have changed and grown over the years. It will also allow you to see what you can work on to continue to improve upon your life.
Train your mind to identify your potential:
We sometimes believe that we are a product of our past. Instead, we should be learning from our past and need to come to the realization that we can change and adapt.
Embracing change allows us to bring awareness to the present instead of dwelling on what could have been. Bringing your mind to the present situation will help you to identify an action plan based on what is within your power to control.
Embrace the change instead of fearing it.
We need to keep an open mind and recognize the possibilities in our life. Your life is full of options and choices.
When you do get that feeling of “things are not going my way” and “why can’t I get ahead” respond by finding the lesson in the situation. Determine how you can use this situation to learn, develop and grow.
Change your mindset to find the possibilities that exist.
Having an abundance mindset is centered around choosing to see life a certain way. It’s about seeing the positive, focusing on what you have, and believing that what you have is enough.
A person who feels gratitude is appreciative for what they have in their life.
When we choose to see the positive in our life, we are automatically practicing gratitude and pulling ourselves out of the scarcity mindset.
If you have never kept a gratitude journal, you should give it a try.
Try writing down 3-5 things that you are grateful for each night before bed or first thing in the morning.
If it is at the end of the day you can choose things that you want to remember about the day. What good things happened in your life that you want to look back on? Can you pinpoint something that made your day better?
Surround Yourself With Positive People:
You should always surround yourself with people who compliment you, challenge you, motivate you and push you to be better.
If you associate with others who have an abundant mindset they will automatically make you feel more positive about life.
When you are in the presence of positive and successful people you are more likely to adopt empowering beliefs. They make you want to go out in the world and do great things. The energy that they exude is contagious.
We all know that one person who always sees the glass as half full. Their positivity seems to draw good things into their life. This is the person that you want to hang out with.
Scarcity Mindset And Money
Is your scarcity mindset keeping you poor?
A money scarcity mindset stems from all of your beliefs about money over your lifetime.
It can come from your childhood experiences regarding money or from lessons learned in your past regarding negative financial habits and attitudes.
This mindset is rooted in your current financial habits, your beliefs about money and your approach to addressing your personal finances.
A scarcity mentality can be the reason that you are not hitting your financial goals or why you are limiting yourself to your current income and not seeing your earning potential.
It can cause you to have a fear of never getting out of debt or losing your money. This broke mentality is something that will hold you back.
How the scarcity mentality has affected our lives
This money scarcity mindset is something that has come up in our life and admittedly still pops up once in a while.
I grew up always saving my money, which is great when you are 10 but as an adult, I have learned that this money has a lot more potential for growth if it is invested rather than sitting in a bank account. But that fear of the unknown and of losing money was and still is real.
We are working on adopting a more abundant money mindset by educating ourselves and taking more risks. Also by believing that we have enough money at this point in our lives and that it is not something that we lack. It is also something that we can make more of. It is not something that we should fear will disappear.
We want to start focusing more on the things that can go right in a situation and not the things that can go wrong.
Another way that the money scarcity mentality comes into play in our lives is when we say the phrase “It’s too expensive,” which we say much too often.
Paying more for a quality item that will last for years is a lot more beneficial than buying a lower quality item that will only last a year or two. This may seem obvious but we still struggle with being OK with it.
We want our children to learn from us the value of money but also that they do not have to fear it. It is important that they learn to appreciate what we have and to see money and life in a positive light.
We have come to the realization that having a scarcity mindset can hold us back from achieving more and progressing.
Instead of having the feeling that our life is stagnant we instead have the desire to do something more with our lives.
Our goal is to be more open to opportunities and take risks where they are worth taking. To try new things without fear of failure and to grow as individuals and as a family.
Final Thoughts On Overcoming A Scarcity Mindset And Embracing An Abundance Mindset
Changing your mindset is not an easy task.
But you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by ditching the scarcity mentality and adopting an abundance mindset.
By having a positive attitude and beliefs you will be able to manifest positive things in your life.
If you want to live an abundant life, make deliberate choices to attract it.