“The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts.”
~ Marianne Williamson
Many a times we have all heard and read – “The mind is everything, what you think, you become.” How true that is! A research from Stanford says that children who have a mindset in which they believe intelligence can be developed rather than is predetermined, are better able to overcome academic challenges and succeed. Basically, our mindset can bring success to us.
In life, our mindset determines which road we take and there are always two roads. One road is paved in Scarcity, whilst the other is of Abundance.
Henry Ford once stated – “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” This profound statement suggests how our attitude and beliefs determine our success or failure. We may not realise it, but our self-limiting thoughts have a lasting impact on our lives. Positive reinforcements can help us make better choices, leading us to success. To get a better understanding of this, let’s explore what Abundance and Scarcity Mindset is.
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What is a mindset? A mindset is nothing but the lens through which we view the world, the way we understand and perceive things around us. A mindset can either support us or pull us down. We perceive situations either through lack and limitation, or through unlimited belief and possibility. And whatever lens we wear, that’s the kind of experience we end up creating.
SCARCITY MINDSET operates from the belief that there is not enough. Imagine life as a pie. If someone gets a bigger slice of the pie, then there is less available for others. Here, the pie represents limited possibilities, possibly even infinite. It characterises –
- Belief that there will never be enough
- Feeling of insecurity and anxiety
- Inadequacy or jealousy
- Clinginess for what we possess, out of fear
- Settlement for less
- Everything becomes a competition (Me vs. Others)
ABUNDANCE MINDSET operates from the belief that there is enough for everyone. Imagine yourself in a crowd, around lot of people who are breathing. Do we tell the other person – don’t breathe, because if you breathe then we will not get air to breathe? No, because we know that air is available in abundance. That’s what it’s about. It is with respect to three areas –
- SELF: An Abundance Mindset operates from one’s core belief, hence begins with the self. A person who has an Abundant Mindset believes that they are capable and adequate. There is a huge amount of belief and trust in ourselves and a feeling of being good enough, which leads to a lot of confidence. Additionally, there is the self-belief, ‘I will be able to deal with things.’
- OTHERS: It’s not just about ourselves, but also the people around us. The belief is, ‘there are people in my world who will support me when I need them’, leading to a sense of emotional safety. A sense of collaboration and co-creation helps up not operate from mistrust, but from a sense of possibility with people around, which makes life beautiful.
- WORLD: Abundance Mindset believes that the world is a safe space, and that we can explore the world and all the opportunities with a confidence, freedom, and fearlessness. When one is operating from that space, it creates a huge number of possibilities.
The orientation of a Scarcity Mindset is of a victim, whereas the orientation for an Abundance Mindset is of a creator. As victims, we are at the receiving end whereas creators have the power to create their own life experiences.
When we tend to have a Scarcity Mindset, the emotions we experience are anxiety, impatience, feelings of overwhelm, powerlessness, anger and sometimes frustration. If we feel any of these emotions related to relationships, health, work, people – chances are, we are operating from lack and limitation. The mental energy of a Scarcity Mindset is narrow thinking, tunnel vision, focus on negatives, ‘not enough’, ‘impossible’.
Abundance Mindset, on the other hand, is the opposite of these emotions. It’s all about being hopeful, empowered, positive and excited about opportunities. The mental energy of an Abundance Mindset is flexibility, adaptability, creative thinking because then, we are always looking at what can be created. There is a sense of being non-judgmental not only towards others, but also ourselves, and the thought process tends to be different. There is a non-judgemental and creative attitude toward life with a belief that the choice is with us and there’s always be another way to look at life.
Time to ponder upon our own mental chatter, as this will suggest which Mindset we operate from – Scarcity or Abundance? Are we born with an Abundance Mindset, or can we create it? The answer is – it can be consciously created.
STRATEGIES TO BUILD AN ABUNDANCE MINDSET:
- Focus On What You Have – If one is going for an interview, instead of thinking ‘There is so much competition in the market, how will I be able to beat them?’ or ‘Do I have enough skill sets?’ or ‘Am I good enough to be selected?’. These are all thoughts based on Scarcity that sees limitations instead of opportunities. Turn these thoughts to ‘I have an experience of 10 years in sales, have great communication skills, have good IT skills, there is no reason why I would not get through’. Those with an Abundant Mindset tend to only compare themselves for the vision and standards they set for themselves.
- Choose Your Company Wisely – Attitudes rub off, and if you are surrounded with people who have Scarcity Mindset, eventually it will impact your thinking too. As per Tony Robins, “The quality of a person’s life is most often a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group”. You need to look for people living the life you aspire for, who appreciate what they have.
- Build Win-Win Situations – We must try to create a win-win attitude in our lives to combat the Scarcity Mindset belief, that says if one person wins, another loses. Instead, we must look forward to ways where both sides can have a sense of accomplishment and a better feeling about the relationship. This would mean non-judgemental listening, empathy for others and finding solutions that satisfy both parties.
- Express Gratitude – Oprah Winfrey says, “If you look at what you have in life, you will always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” When we express gratitude, it’s difficult to feel fear or sadness or any negative emotions. Gratitude improves one’s mental wellbeing as it impacts overall happiness – which is long-lasting. The best way is to maintain a gratitude journal where we write even the simplest thing that we are grateful for, e.g., rain, flowers, sunrays.
- Recognize Possibilities – We must start training our minds to move away from focusing on beliefs like ‘I can’t do it’ or ‘This is impossible’. Our brain absorbs these thoughts and hence, even if there are possibilities right in front of us, they can go completely unnoticed. An Abundance Mindset allows us to see more in our lives – more options, more choices, more resources and more possibilities. Remember – what we believe in is what we receive; create an expanded awareness that fosters the Abundance mentality.
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- Understand the Power of Words and Thoughts – What we think and say shapes our reality. Be mindful of what we are telling ourselves – stories of Scarcity or stories of Abundance. The Law of Manifestation asserts that our inner world reflects our outer reality, and that our thoughts and emotions determine what we manifest into the physical world around us.
- Build Beyond a Growth Mindset – Move away from the belief that abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Be curious about other people and their experiences. Practice listening to others instead of talking about yourself and offering advice. Reflection on our own beliefs in the light of other’s experiences and abilities would allow us to change and grow.
- Think Like a Beginner – A beginner’s mindset is all about having the ability to maintain an attitude of openness, enthusiasm, willingness to override preconceptions, whilst encouraging us to learn and grow, defying an attitude of ‘I know it all’. Abundance Mindset craves learning and growth even when we have mastered the subject.
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Keeping a Scarcity Mindset is difficult to begin with, but it has the power to transform your life experience. People with an Abundant Mindset see the limitless possibilities in the world. Their focus in their daily life is on ‘What is working?’. The path we have travelled thus far is not set in stone, which is the beauty of life. We can change. Deciding to change paths is the first step.
“Thoughts of lack manifest as limitation. Thoughts of abundance manifest as success and happiness.
Failure and success are but two ends of the same stick.” ~ Ernest Holmes