Scarcity vs Abundance
A scarcity mindset is characterised by the belief that resources, opportunities, and success are limited, which results in feelings of anxiety, competition and a constant need to protect ourselves. Sounds pretty scary. I’m guessing it also sounds pretty familiar.
In contrast, an abundance mindset is based on the belief that there are ample resources, opportunities and success for everyone. This means that we can be super happy for others when they have a win, or succeed at something, because it in no way threatens our own sense of self worth or potential to provide, prove ourselves or whatever other motivation is getting us out of bed in the mornings.
The challenge is we’re in a world that is framed to make us feel that resources are scarce, that we are less than, that we’re being left behind. What used to be limited to “keeping up with the Joneses” is now amplified through our brag lives on social media, a whole ton of filters (both literal and figurative), and billions of dollars and a bunch of rocket scientists focussed on getting you to feel more anxious, buy more stuff, and treat every day life like the Hunger Games.
Yet (despite inflation) we have more stuff than we have room for, the upheaval of the past few years has opened up more avenues for flexible working, career changes, rebalancing of work and life, and while the coming of the machines may seem a little overwhelming we’re on the precipice of more innovation and opportunity than we’ve ever seen before. Do I sound a little upbeat? Well that’s one of the side effects of an abundance mindset. Let’s focus on how to cultivate one…
Calling time on scarcity
If you want to feel happier, less attached to “the shoulds” and generally like a more balanced, contented human, you need to call time on these note being enough success to go around. Life is not a zero sum game, if you’re currently playing one you’re missing the bigger picture, and most of all you’re missing out. So let’s talk abundance.
Developing an abundance mindset involves changing our thought patterns. Here are a few tips on how to unwind those scarcity neural pathways and pave some new abundant focussed ones:
1. Celebrate the success of others: congratulate and support others when they achieve their goals. Better yet, if you can, help them do it.
2. Focus on collaboration: engage in cooperation rather competition and see how much further you can go (and how much better it feels).
3. Cultivate generosity: practice acts of kindness, do something for others and reap the rewards of increased dopamine and a sense of belonging.
4. Check your crew: surround yourself with abundance-minded people, and let emotional contagion do its thing.
5. Embrace change: viewing obstacles as opportunities to learn helps us see potential rather than limitations.
6. Gratitude: regularly recognising what we have can shift our perspective. Couldn’t help myself, has to feature somewhere, it’s too much of a game changer not to.
Sound a little happy clappy? Maybe. But in a time when it’s all too easy to entrench ourselves and compete, take a look around. Are the happiest people around you the ones pushing others down, or the ones lifting them up?
Until next time take care, stay safe and be kind 🙌
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