Okay, think real hard: do you have a scarcity mindset? Have you ever made a mistake because you were so focused on not making that exact mistake? Have you spent time dwelling on someone else’s success so much that your actual success was no longer your main priority? Have you tried to mold yourself into something that you aren’t, just to keep up with some fleeting trend?
Here’s the million dollar question: Have you done all of these things while “hoping” for abundance to come into your business or your life?
If you are a go-getter, a self-analyzer and a successful person, the answer to these questions absolutely has to be yes. And if you’re really good at self-analysis, you probably realize the problem with each of the above scenarios is that you had a scarcity mindset.
Scarcity and abundance don’t mix. So it isn’t surprising that abundance doesn’t come from being a scarcity…er scaredy cat. Abundance comes from ambition and motivation comes from knowing a lack of abundance and getting over that hump, in spite of the scarcity.
An Easy Illustration of the Scarcity Mindset
Here’s a perfect example of the scarcity mindset that most can relate to (or maybe even twitch at in retrospect): have you ever gone shopping when you were nearly broke and spent more money than you would have if you were feeling flush with cash?
It seems like whenever I go to the mall (or look on Amazon, who goes to the mall anymore?) with a mindset of abundance—ready to spend my wad of cash—I can’t find anything I really want and then I realize I don’t really need anything. But when I shop with a scarcity mindset, I’m much more likely to run up $500 (on stuff I don’t even really want) on my credit card and then feel depressed about it and maybe even take half of the stuff back later out of guilt.
The only reason we do this kind of thing is because we are busy contemplating what we DON’T have, rather than focusing on what we actually HAVE. We feel bad, so we buy stuff to make ourselves feel better. And often it’s because we see something that someone else has, we compare ourselves to them, and we act upon it in an irrational way.
Scarcity in Business
If we do it in our personal lives, we do it in business too. Have you ever agreed to take on a project just because you know your competition would do it? Or have you ever agreed to work with a client who is not ideal because you were feeling desperate for work? Go ahead, think about that meeting you just left where you felt envious about everything that company was doing, even though your goals, ideas, strengths, and weaknesses are completely different.
That’s the scarcity mindset. Looking at something else and deciding that it is abundant, without considering your own abundance.
Why in the world do we do this?
We freak out when we don’t have something that someone else has. I know, it sounds absurd, doesn’t it? But in the midst of the shit scattering all over the room from the fan being on high, it’s no laughing matter. It’s as real as it gets. And it probably has something to do with the fact that we aren’t like our biggest competition.
KNOWING your competition isn’t BEING your competition. It’s understanding what you have to offer and why. Ultimately, it’s better to focus your energy on capturing your audience than trying to be more like other businesses within your industry.
We need to stop knowing our competitors’ perceived abundance and start knowing the abundance that lies within our client bases if growth is to occur.
Right? NO! Less wasteful conceptual planning and more actual research and development. Less blame on the conditions of the business environment or economy, and more taking the reigns on the power of what makes us special and unique.
More purging of excess weaknesses and less complaining of staleness. Abundance! Not scarcity.
Quiz time: of the following, which do you resonate with the most today (it’s different every day!)?
- Focused on the short term vs. Focused on the long term
- Jealous vs. Grateful
- Faithful vs. Hopeless
- Sad vs. Happy
- Indebted vs. Empowered
- Blaming vs. Responsible
- Organized vs. Scattered
- Balanced vs. Unsure
If you hadn’t already figured it out, the first column would resonate more with someone who is working with a scarcity mindset, the second is the one working with an abundance mindset.
Certainly the thing to do is to shift from the first column to the second, but that’s easier said than done and requires attention in daily life. There are plenty of everyday ways to bring more gratitude, hope, empowerment, and organization to your life that allows for a scarcity mindset to shift, along with all that follows when one is truly anchored in an abundance mindset.
And what better time of the year than now…as Autumn is upon us—harvest time—and the seasons are a-changin’?
1. Organize your desk, your closet, your checkbook, your calendar.
Force yourself to actually look at everything you have, and organize it better. Here’s a trick I learned this past week, replace all “I should’s” with “I want’s.” It’s really incredible what happens when you start viewing your responsibilities through that lens. Oftentimes what you’ll end up doing is getting rid of stuff, roles, engagements, and calendar items you don’t need. And nothing provides a momentary understanding of abundance more than having more than you need and seeing it for yourself!
2. Unsubscribe from emails begging for you to indulge.
When you look at all the stuff you have rather than what you don’t have, you realize abundance for yourself. All the emails offering you more stuff you don’t need only encourages the feeling of scarcity and makes you forget what you actually do have (and the fact that you probably have too much!).
3. Gain some perspective.
Consider having a conversation with someone who truly has nothing, but is grateful for all that he or she has. It’s inspiring. Or spend some time researching a cause that you feel passionate about supporting. Volunteer your time and let it remind you of how much you have.
4. Keep your head down.
If you stop paying attention to the media hype, to the crazies getting the most attention simply by yelling the loudest and stop buying into the bullshit, you’ll probably stop comparing yourself and your business to other people and other businesses. It’s that simple. Be choosy with what and who you consume.
5. Find ways to be grateful and express gratitude.
Anger and gratitude can’t exist in the mind at the same time. Express gratitude instead of anger—toward your colleagues, toward your friends, toward your family, toward your boss, toward your partners. When you are grateful, you count your blessings. When you count them up, you have no choice but to see and feel the abundance!
6. Share the wealth!
When you make it a priority in your life to share what you have, you can only know that you have plenty to share. Some of the best and wealthiest business people in the world give more than they take in. They use their wealth to make things better by throwing it around as much as possible. The old adage “vote with your dollar” encourages a business and personal mindset to share what you have and put it in all the right places. In this way, you are absolutely involving yourself and your business in sharing in the attitude of abundance, making it continually better for you!
If you’re interested in consuming abundant energy, and are looking to see that like creates and attracts like, and bigness helps business, give me a call! I’d love to hear about all the great stuff you’ve going on and I’d love to share all the great stuff I’ve got going on. Abundance: it’s contagious!
Photo credit: Dean Drobot