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.
– Stephen R. Covey
When we grow up:
- Without money
- With traumatic experiences
- With a lack of access to resources
The problem is scarcity can have a significantly negative impact on your life.
Positively, you don’t need to be stuck with a mindset of scarcity. You can choose to approach life from a place of abundance and we will discuss (1) a scarcity mindset, (2) an abundance mindset and (3) how to shift from scarcity to abundance.
Hallmarks of a scarcity mindset are:
- Fear of loss
- Constant worry
- A limited perspective
- Focus on what’s missing
- Difficulty making decisions
The metaphor that jumps out to me when I think of a scarcity mindset is someone who won’t share their pie with you because they’ll have less pie for them.
Overall, a scarcity mindset can lead to feelings of isolation, unhappiness and a lack of fulfilment in life.
The Marshmallow Experiment
Last week, we talked about the Marshmallow Experiment , which highlighted a 1972 study by Stanford Psychologist Walter Mischel on Delayed Gratification.
In the study, children were offered a choice between:
• One small but immediate reward, or
• Two small rewards if they delayed gratification
They were left alone for 15 minutes in a variety of scenarios.
When they followed up in future studies, years later, the researchers found a correlation between the length of time a child could delay gratification and:
- SAT scores
- Life outcomes
- Level of education
- Stress management
- Anxiety management
One of the largest critiques of the marshmallow experiment is that it favored children from wealthy backgrounds.
That is, the children who grew up in a place of abundance had less challenge delaying gratification. They didn’t have a sense of distrust that the second marshmallow would come.
The children who grew up with a lack of money and resources were not able to share the same faith in the future. They could not view the experiment from a place of trust or abundance.
I look at it differently:
- An abundant mindset allowed delayed gratification
- Delayed gratification correlated to higher performance in life
- You can make the shift in life from scarcity to abundance and it will benefit you
I would have failed the marshmallow test.
I grew up without money or resources and if you didn’t eat your marshmallow, a sibling would.
Over time, I was able to understand the difference between a scarcity mindset and an abundant mindset and make a choice to live in abundance, a choice I will never regret.
While I chose abundance, I also increased my ability to delay gratification and to move from a focus on days to a focus on decades. When I did, my wealth increased.
Hallmarks of an abundance mindset are:
- Positive outlook
- Focus on possibilities
If we go back to our pie example and contrast it with someone who has an abundant mindset, they will think to themselves, how can we make this pie bigger, together, so Everyone Can Eat.
Overall, an abundance mindset can lead to feelings of joy, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose in life.
From Scarcity to Abundance
It is possible to go from scarcity to abundance.
It was a change I made that’s significantly impacted my life.
If you want to move from scarcity to abundance, take these steps:
- Take action
- Practice gratitude
- Share with others
- Focus on possibilities
- Challenge limiting beliefs
- Surround yourself with positivity
Move forward toward your goals.
Focus on the process itself, not the results nor perfection.
When you make progress towards your goals, you’ll begin to develop an appreciation the glass is half full.
When you practice gratitude, you focus on what you have in your life instead of what’s missing.
If you can be grateful for your life: mental, spiritual, emotional, physical and financial, you’ll set yourself up for happiness.
It will allow you to start to see the world as a place that happens for you, not to you, and you’ll be able to move towards abundance.
Share with others
Grow the pie.
Share it with others.
Give people your time, resources and knowledge.
When you put yourself out in the world with no expectation of getting anything back, the world will open up to you.
Focus on possibilities
Don’t think about what you don’t have.
Don’t think about what you can’t do.
Focus on what you have.
Focus on what you can do in life.
When you shift your focus from what’s holding you back or what you don’t have to what’s possible in this world, you’re going to be surprised by what you’re able to achieve.
Challenge limiting beliefs
This is the big one.
We talk to ourselves in ways we shouldn’t.
As we shared above, we’re often raised to scarcity. Conditioned.
Journal on the topics we’ve shared above and challenge your thinking on them.
More important than anything, practice thought auditing to challenge the limiting beliefs.
Surround yourself with positivity
You are who you surround yourself with.
If you’re consistently surrounded by people who have a scarcity mindset, you’ll be apt to a scarce mindset.
If you consistently surround yourself by people who have a fixed mindset, you’ll be likely to have a fixed mindset.
Surround yourself with people who push you, challenge you and support you. People who are positive and abundant with their time, energy and resources.
When you surround yourself with these people, this is who you will become.Subscribe to the Newsletter