Much of society seems to be built on a scarcity mentality. It’s a mentality that tells people that there is a lack in life, that opportunities are few and far between. This is, of course, useful for society because if people feel that there is a lack, then you can get them to buy stuff. And so the economy and society can continue to live and prosper by reinforcing a scarcity mentality in people.
The scarcity mentality can be quite painful for the individual and create a lot of unnecessary fear, anxiety and desperation. An abundance mentality, on the other hand, tells you that there are always new chances and opportunities. This relieves much of the pressure you may feel if you have a scarcity mentality that makes you think that you’ve only got one shot right now. Or it makes you feel like an utter failure just because you stumbled and things didn’t work out. An abundance mentality can help you improve your performance since with it, you’re creating a lot less pressure and anxieties within your own mind.
Here are a few tips to create and reinforce your own abundance mentality.
- Look for the symptoms of a scarcity mentality. If you have a scarcity mentality then you will probably take things too seriously. You may think to yourself: “If I fail, the sky will fall”. It won’t, though, and you know that and need to remind yourself. But you think it will, you become overly nervous and POOF! you have invited that failure because your negativity becomes an obstacle on your path to success. If it’s a game, then you may fumble with the ball. If it’s an exam, then you may not have been able to sleep and will perform poorly on the test. If it’s a date, you may come over as too needy and nervous and not as your usual, more relaxed self. Regain your empowerment by remembering all the opportunities you have been afforded and know that it is all a flow that will always continue.
- Focus on the abundance, not on the lack. What you focus on, you will see in your world. Since you can’t take in everything around you, your reticular activation system – your focus system in the mind – will bring into focus what you focus your thoughts on.This will allow you to see the abundance in your world that you may be missing right now. If you, for instance, have a lack of money, then don’t focus on your lack. Focus and think about the abundance of possibilities in the world to make money. Soon ideas and opportunities to make that happen will start to “pop up” in your world. It’s almost a bit freaky how things that hold solutions for you – perhaps books or acquaintances – that have been there in the background for quite a while just one day suddenly jump out at you.
- Appreciate. One quick way to revert from the pretty normal habit of thinking about what you don’t have is simply to appreciate. Appreciate your food, life, your roof, your friends and family and so on. This can not only turn a sour mood into a more positive one within minutes, but it can also help you notice opportunities you have missed or forgotten about. And it’ll create a more open vibe within you, a vibe that makes it easier to focus on the abundance. So, make a habit of appreciating something in your life for a few minutes each day.
- Get an abundance vibe from other people. Since you get a scarcity mentality from, say, advertising and media, then you can change your input to change your mentality. Cut down on watching the news. Record your favourite shows and skip the commercials. Or just cut down on your TV and media consumption, period. Replace the scarcity vibe you get from that input. How do you do that? “Hang out” with people that have an abundance mentality. Read, listen to and watch personal development material. Besides reading your favourite personal development blogs, read success stories in books and magazines. Have a positive attitude to the abundance and success of your friends, family and co-workers. Hang out with people in real life who have more of an abundance mentality and less of a scarcity mentality. Be selective with what you put into your mind. Create your own environment of abundance.
- Share the wealth. One very good way to acknowledge how much you have is to share it. Do you feel like you’re not making enough money? Give some away. Not enough love? Give some away. Not enough validation, appreciation, recognition? Give it all away. It’s hard for something to feel scarce when you’re giving it away.
- Create win-win situations. People with a scarcity mentality tend to see every relationship is win-lose, as in: “It’s either you or me, buddy, and I want it to be me.” People with an abundance mentality, on the other hand, try to create mutually beneficial relationships in which both parties can win. Instead of winning an argument, for example, try to reach a consensus that you both can be happy with. Instead of competing, collaborate.
- Remind yourself. It’s very easy to slip back into your old thought patterns. You just forget about what you should be thinking about. A useful tool to keep yourself from slipping is to use external reminders. You can, for example, use written notes posted at places you can’t avoid seeing several times each day – your workspace, fridge and mirrors – or put a bracelet on your wrist. Seeing words or quotes that remind you of your new abundance mentality can help your mind snap back into the right headspace once again.
- When the feeling of scarcity is strong, remember previous times when you had an abundance. Realize that you can recreate similar circumstances once again.
- A real-world example of the abundance mentality is the “copyleft” movement, which focuses on loosening the restrictions of traditional copyrights. More and more people are licensing their work with GFDL, Creative Commons, or even releasing it into the public domain. For example, Leo Babauta, founder of the popular Zen Habits blog, decided to release all of his content into the public domain. Many programmers share software and programs freely in the spirit of open source.
- Learn to face the reality of living within your means. Many people have the habit of copying and envying others with greater means. Doing so can ruin your day or your life. It is therefore important to live within your resources while hoping that something better will come along your way. You will be free from stress and undue competition without any satisfaction.
- Don’t get so carried away with an abundance mentality that you become a people pleaser who lets people take advantage of your generosity. Remember to surround yourself with people who also have an abundance mentality, who give as much as they take, or else “parasites” will drain you and eventually leave you with a scarcity mentality.
- Be sure also to not reach a point where you find youself coasting through life with no goal or purpose for yourself. Remember to “seize the day”.
Sources and Citations
positivityblog.com/index.php/2008/01/30/how-to-create-an-abundance-mentality/ – Original source, shared with permission.
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