Abundance trusts that there will be enough
Scarcity fears that there will not be enough
How Healthy is Your Mindset?
Today we explore our first mindset pairing: Abundance vs Scarcity. As a reminder, we are discussing the difference between healthy and unhealthy mindsets because behavior follows beliefs. If we can change our beliefs, new behaviors will follow. I admit, this concept might seem overly simplistic, but it is sufficient to start growing in self-awareness so that you can get out of autopilot. We all need to start somewhere.
The Mop That Broke the Camel’s Back
For me, an example of a Scarcity mindset involves a mop. My wife and I were in a season where our finances were tight. I was feeling stressed and was doubting my ability to be a sufficient provider, so when she asked if she could buy a $30-dollar mop (which we needed), I replied with an emphatic: “NO.”
My tone was not-so-subtly-condescending. And it had its intended effect – hold the line. Looking at her, I could sense the disappointment in her body language, but I felt justified. A part of me even resented her disappointment. How dare she? I was protecting us from total financial ruin after all! Sure, she might be irritated now, but in the long run she’ll thank me. I told myself that could have been the mop that broke the camel’s back, and if that happened,
we certainly would have lost everything.
Yikes. Hello, Scarcity.
I later noticed my unreasonable behavior and apologized. I realized that I had been in a Scarcity mindset. Unfortunately, this mindset often causes people to walk on eggshells around us, because we become reactive to our own fear-producing, worst-case-scenarios. In Scarcity mindset, we don’t allow room for others or their perspectives. This hurts them and isolates us. It is all an attempt soothe our fear.
Scarcity gets laser-focused on what must be maintained at all costs, because it fears that there will not be enough. Fear activates our survival brain and makes the calm, rational parts of us harder to access. Because of this, we are slow to make positive changes and tend to act miserly toward ourselves and others with our resources such as time, money, energy, health, spirit, relationship, intellect, creativity, etc. Scarcity is a non-starter when it comes to healthy problem solving. When we don’t invest our resources, we’re not going to magically receive a big, positive return. Therefore, healthy change, whatever it might be, requires investment of our resources. Scarcity (fear) prevents us from making the necessary investments that help us grow and resolve problems.
Consider the following growth opportunities:
I want to go back to school
I want to change my career
I want to travel more
I want to take up a hobby
I want to have a thriving marriage
I want to reconnect with old friends
I want to make new friends
I want to get in shape
I want to get my mind healthy
I want to get out of debt
I want to give back to my community
I want to start dating again
I want to parent my children differently
I want to _______________ (insert your own)
Reflect on why you are not making progress in an area that is important to you. My guess is that you might believe that there isn’t enough of something (time, money, effort, daylight, support, knowledge, capacity, etc.). However, is it possible that your belief is just a perspective – perhaps evidence of a Scarcity mindset? What would it be like to try on an Abundance mindset and trust that there will be enough for you to grow and heal?
Written by Tom Page, LPC