“If you approach the ocean with a cup, you can only take away a cupful; if you approach it with a bucket, you can take away a bucketful.” – Ramana Maharshi
That sums up the abundance mindset so elegantly and concisely.
Do you know about the source of your happiness and wellbeing? Many of us think that materialistic gains can get us these and more. It is true sometimes and to some extent.
Have you ever felt hollow on the inside despite getting what you want? You expected to feel happiness but somehow feel nothing. Any idea why you feel this way?
The true source of happiness and mental as well as physical wellbeing is in the mindset. It is your mental makeup that helps you feel on top of the world whether you win or lose.
This article is an attempt at understanding how your mind can influence how you feel and react to what is happening to you. It offers you the definitions for scarcity and abundance mindset and the benefits of having an abundance mindset.
You will find here why you should develop an abundance mindset and steps to make it happen.
What is a scarcity mindset?
Scarcity mindset refers to seeing the world as a finite entity. If one person is taking a piece of it, that leaves less for the rest. This means you need to scramble to grab as much of the good things you can for yourself before others have a chance to claim it. You are always competing against others for the best things life can offer.
A fallout of the scarcity mentality is that you are always left wanting for more and feel as if you are not enough or you do not have enough. This means you are unable to enjoy and share what you have.
When you are feeling you are not good enough, or you are not doing enough, you are left with the feelings of being inadequate and unsatisfied. When you feel that you are never going to have enough, you feel reluctant to spend, consume, and get pleasure out of what you actually have.
When you think “I can’t do that”, you are holding yourself a prisoner in your own mind. You and only you can release you and help you escape from this prison you have created for yourself.
What is an abundance mentality?
Abundance mentality refers to viewing the world as an unlimited resource from which each one of us can take how much ever we want and it would still have enough to meet the needs of everyone else.
This rule applies to all aspects of life. Such as money, love, success, materialistic things, or anything else you may ever want to possess. With an abundance mindset, you see unlimited potential and possibilities in life, including yourself.
Having an abundance mindset means:
- You tend to think big instead of limiting yourself to narrow perspectives and opportunities.
- You have a growth mindset. This means you believe that you can improve your knowledge, skillset, and your life. You are not stuck with what you have or where you are.
- You are optimistic. You see the glass as “half full”. This means you focus on what you have rather than what you lack.
With an abundance mindset, you feel secure in the knowledge that another person’s success is not going to diminish your chances in any way. This makes you feel generous, openhearted, and proactive in your approach. You are ready to accept changes, ready to make plans, and well aware of your pluses and minuses.
“The secret to having it all is believing you already do.” – John Assaraf
What is the difference between scarcity and abundance?
From the definitions of the two mindsets given above, it is easy to deduce that they are diametrically opposite in every possible way.
The scarcity vs abundance perspectives can be summed up as:
|Think small||Think big|
|Fixed mindset||Growth mindset|
|Resist changes||Accept changes|
|Play it safe||Ready to take risks|
|Selfish and narrow-minded||Generous and openhearted|
|Reactive and not enthusiastic about the future||Proactive and looking forward to the future|
|Zero-sum view of the world||Believe that the world has unlimited resources to satisfy the needs of all|
Why is an abundance mindset essential?
A scarcity mindset entails a fixed mentality that views intelligence and skills as inborn and cannot be expanded further. With such a perspective, there is no scope for improvement.
On the other hand, an abundance mindset is associated with a growth mentality. People with this mindset believe that they can develop their intelligence and skill set by working on it and it will grow with time and experience.
A person with a scarcity/fixed mentality tends to:
- Believe intelligence and talent is inherent and cannot be developed
- Try to make themselves look more intelligent
- Try not to do things that will make them look unintelligent
A person with an abundance/growth mindset tends to:
- Believe that hard work and experience can improve their intelligence and skills
- Recognize the possibilities and opportunities for personal growth
- Set goals and motivate themselves to grow further
Clearly, for someone with a scarcity mindset, the future is not rosy. As they believe that it is not possible to improve themselves, they won’t feel motivated to work hard or set goals and achieve them. This means their chances of success in life are very limited.
Alternatively, for those with an abundance mindset, even challenges and setbacks are growth opportunities. They are willing to work hard and accept challenges to scale new heights. For them, the sky’s the limit to what they can achieve. This is the sure path that will lead us to success in life.
How do I get over my scarcity mindset?
Whichever way you look at it, a scarcity mindset can only harm you and impose restrictions on your present and the future. It is to your advantage that you shift from a scarcity mentality to an abundant one.
Once you have identified that you have a scarcity mindset and want to get rid of it, it is half the battle won.
Shifting mindsets is a doable task if you are well-equipped with a strong desire and resolute willpower.
Here are some time-tested methods to discard your scarcity mentality.
- Take your focus away from what you lack and focus on what you have.
- Stop comparisons with others as this can only lead to misery.
- Look for a lesson you can learn in the event of a failure.
- Discontinue association with people having a scarcity mentality.
- Take steps to convince yourself that the world has enough to meet the needs of its inhabitants.
- Every time your thoughts turn negative, flip it over and force yourself to consider the opposite option.
- Try taking small chances even if your mind tells you that you are going to fail. Give it everything you have to make it a success. With each success, your confidence will grow.
How to build an abundance mindset?
Shifting from a scarcity mindset to abundance is not an easy one. With every attempt you make to change it, your mind will resist. It will keep telling you that you are going to fail.
The only way to make the change is by not listening to yourself. Follow these steps to develop an abundant mindset.
1. Acknowledge and accept your flaws
This is the first step in improving yourself. With a scarcity mentality, you tend to live in denial. You refuse to believe that there is scope for improvement.
By recognizing your flaws, you are making the first move towards a positive mindset. You are accepting that you have opportunities to learn and grow.
2. Nourish your strengths
Even when you are fixing your flaws, you can strengthen your positives. This can help you in enhancing your confidence in your abilities and chances to succeed.
Self-esteem and self-belief can help you look at yourself in a new light and add value in your eyes. With this, you will feel less threatened by others and feel more secure and confident.
3. Pay attention to what you already have
“Not enough” is the theme that will be repeating in your mind if you have a scarcity mindset. To change that, turn your attention to what you have. Make a thorough inventory of all your positives.
You may include in the list things like:
- A comfortable home
- A satisfying and well-paying job
- A loving family
- Good health
- Loyal friends
- Enough food
You may include anything that you consider important to you in the list – whether big or small. As the list gets longer, you will realize that your life is not as bad you thought it was. You have been blessed so much that you should be feeling grateful.
Once you experience the feeling of gratitude, you are on the right path. The thoughts about not having enough and the zero-sum mentality will slowly disappear.
4. Stop comparing yourself with others
There is no better way to kill your enthusiasm and joy than by comparing. It can only make you feel stressed and miserable. Even when you achieve something, it is either never enough or you achieved something someone else achieved before. Ultimately, you will be left feeling sad and depressed even when you succeed.
In case you are impressed by someone else’s achievements, use it as an inspiration and not as a yardstick to measure your success. Run your own race because you did not start at the same time nor do you have the same skillset or resources. Don’t pull yourself down and take the joy out of your success with comparisons.
5. Keep the focus on your goal and your path.
Set goals and work hard to achieve them
One of the downsides of a scarcity mindset is the belief that you cannot improve yourself. Overcoming this is not very easy. One time-tested method to discard this belief is to set goals and focus on achieving them.
To begin with, try smaller intentions that are easier to achieve. With each success, your mind will move farther and farther away from the scarcity mindset towards abundance. As you gain experience and confidence, raise the bar and set bigger goals.
6. Visualize your success
Imagine you achieving success in your chosen field. Research and studies have proved the efficacy of this exercise to promote positive thinking.
If you have already seen in your mind’s eyes your journey towards the goal and your success at realizing it, when you take the same path in real life, your brain would know what to expect and react positively.
7. Flip the negative thoughts
Every time your mind comes up with suggestions and excuses to think negative, deliberately turn it around to positive.
For example, convert “I can’t do it” into “I can do it”. Adopt these positive statements as affirmations and repeat them to get them to seep deep into your mind. Don’t expect magic or miracles or results to show overnight. With patience and determination, you can make it happen.
8. Experience the joy of giving
Scarcity mindset makes you think that another’s gain is your loss. To overcome this mindset, give away whatever you have to others, such as, love, respect, attention, time, money, and suchlike.
Initially, you may have to force yourself to do this. But when you see that this act is enriching your life and offering you purpose, direction, and fulfillment, you will experience a change in heart slowly but surely.
You will understand that when you give more to others, you get more in the form of gratitude, happiness, and fulfillment.
You may also want to take a look at our guide on how to attract abundance.
Affirmations for an abundance mindset
These simple positive statements are your best friends when it comes to changing mindsets. Unbelievable, it may seem, affirmations can do the work for you with the least effort and time.
Here are some abundance affirmations to get you started.
- I am enough.
- I can achieve whatever I want.
- I have everything I need for success.
- I can make my dreams come true.
- I deserve to enjoy all the good things in the world.
- I am grateful for all the blessings.
- I am aware of the unlimited opportunities available to me.
- I am capable and talented to succeed.
- I believe in myself.
- I willingly share my blessings with others.
Repeat a few chosen affirmations multiple times a day.
This debate of abundance vs scarcity has been going on for a long time and has been researched and studied considerably. It has been proven beyond doubt that a scarcity mindset can only harm you and restrict your life. The best choice available is to move from scarcity to abundance.
Our minds can play tricks on us by focusing on the negatives and ignoring the positives. The opportunities and possibilities were already there. All you needed to do was to open your eyes to see them and become aware of their existence. Take your mind for a fascinating journey with abundance mindset exercises that will help you achieve your dreams and take you to the next level of success.
“Abundance can be had simply by consciously receiving what already has been given.” – Sufi saying