I was reading about the scarcity/abundance mindsets a few months back and had a gigantic epiphany – I have been living with a scarcity mindset for 90% of my life (so far).
So what is this and how do I exhibit this in my behaviours?
People living with a scarcity mindset have a deep set belief that there is not enough of everything for everyone; If life was a pie, and someone got a larger piece they believe there would be less left for everyone else. This affects not only our perceptions of money and food, but also our relationships, use of time, willpower and judgement.
The belief that there is only so much for everyone often causes lapses in self-control and drains your ability to display judgement and make the most of the opportunities presented to you. You are less able to part with the resources you have, because you believe that once it is gone there will be no more coming to you.
Those who know me well will know that I live with a ‘rainy day’ syndrome in that I’m always holding out for that really bad day when I may need X to make sure that Y doesn’t happen. But it also causes me to not do things – it stagnated me and stopped me from living to the fullest, because I live with these invisible, self-imposed boundaries on what can or cannot be done. Just in case that rainy day comes…
So how do I change my mindset?
Since I had this revelation (and a few other things occured in my personal life), I have made it my mission to stop living this way, because life’s too short to not live the life you want, and if you live with a scarcity mindset you’ll never do anything, and you’ll live with regret.
There’s no point being the richest person in the graveyard (or for me the furnace, because cremation!). And this also goes for other things beyond the obvious, it’s about taking opportunities that are presented to you with both hands and living with less fear – which seems to be a strong theme in my present life, if you read my blog you’ll see how much this comes through in my more recent content.
I actively ask the questions before doing things, which ironically are the same questions I used to justify the not doing things, except my answers would spin it to a negative;
- If money was no object would I do it?
- Will I regret not doing it?
- Would anyone get hurt if I did it?
- Is fear of failure holding me back?
You never know when something will be your once in a lifetime opportunity, because you will never know when your lifetime is up – it can be simple things like, I regularly go out for brunch with my friends because it makes me happy, instead of staying home alone on a saturday to save money. Or more extreme instances like my next holiday to Iceland – by getting out of the mindset you can live a fuller, creative and empowered life.
Has it helped?
Yes, in a word, it has – in more ways than you might think. It may sound stupid or a bit ‘fluffy’ but I actually feel lighter, and it’s helping with my anxiety issues, in that I worry less about the tomorrow’s and focus more on the now’s.
I’ve accomplished a lot in the last few months since acknowledging my mindset, and I am finding that I am more likely to just get sh*t done or, as I like to call it tick things off the f*ckit list – because ‘f*ckit – I might not be alive tomorrow’ is my new mantra. If it fulfills me, satisfies a need, achieves a goal or adds to my life then it is something that I will do – and on the flip side if it doesn’t, I’m more likely to say no – I’ve lost the FOMO and am living for me more, regardless of how that looks of feels to everyone around me.
It’s not always easy, but as my blog title states, it’s a life in progress and it doesn’t matter what stage we’re at, we’re always evolving and adapting.
If any of this sounds a little bit you, here are some resources that helped me to stop living with a scarcity mindset, and discovered exactly how much it was impacting on my life: