Imagine this: it’s a Sunday morning and you’re catching up with a friend over brunch. “I’ve got some news,” she tells you excitedly. “We’ve put an offer on a house!”
Her words feel like a punch to the stomach and as much you desperately want to feel happy for her, you can’t quite muster any genuine feelings of excitement and joy. Instead, you’ve gone into a spiral of lack, envy and fear. Somehow, you’ve decided that her success equals your failure.
This is a scarcity mindset in action. It’s when we see others get what we want and assume this means there’s less to go around for us. You might also encounter it when applying for a new job. You fine-tune your CV, brush up on your interview skills and are convinced this wonderful role is yours for the taking… only to be pipped to the post by another candidate.
You might (wrongly) assume that you’ve missed your one opportunity to succeed, instead of seeing it for what it really is: a redirection to something better.
Tapping into an abundance mindset
Fortunately, you can replace a scarcity mindset with an abundance mindset.
Melissa Ambrosini sums up the distinction between the two in her book Comparisonitis. She says a scarcity mindset is a little like a pie. When someone takes a piece of that pie there is inevitably less left for you, and you might have to scramble to get the last piece before it’s all gone.
An abundance mindset however is like a candle. Picture a dark room, full of people. When you light your candle, it bathes everyone it touches: there is more than enough light to go around. If your candle isn’t burning, another person can light it using their flame. That way, we all shine brighter; we can all enjoy the glow.
To put it simply, seeing another person burning brightly, whether they’re nailing it in their career, or buying a home, doesn’t snub out your flame, it ignites it. When you see another person succeed, it paves the way for you to succeed too, because you know what they’re doing is possible. And if it’s possible for them, it’s possible for you too.
According to Steven Covey who coined the phrase ‘abundance mindset’ in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, abundance is “a concept in which a person believes there are enough resources and successes to share with others.” It’s not just about money, but a wealth of love, kindness, joy, success, possibilities, and opportunities too. Absolutely everything is unlimited and available to you.
So are you ready to replace scarcity, lack, and fear, and start living life with an abundance mindset? Here are some tips to help you make the switch…
Turn envy into inspiration
Imagine that you’re mid-scroll and envy strikes. You see someone living their best life and suddenly feel less than about your own. You have two choices: wallow in self-pity or get analytic. The latter means looking closely at what has triggered these feelings of scarcity and deciding (honestly) if you’re feeling bad because you want something they’ve got but feel that you can’t have.
Scribble down all your thoughts in The Head Plan Productivity & Wellness Journal – and, if during your journaling practice you uncover a new goal, know that it’s possible for you, and add it to your long or short term goals list.
See rejection as redirection
Know this: rejection can really sting and you might take it as a sign to give up. You may see it as proof that there really isn’t enough to go around.
But try this perspective shift on for size: the next time you face a rejection (maybe you were turned down for a job you really wanted or things didn’t work out with a blind date) consider the possibility that there is something much more aligned for you around the corner: like your soulmate or a job that’s more amazing than you ever could have imagined.
Repeat after us: Rejection isn’t a sign that there’s a finite supply: it’s a sign that something better is coming.
Double down on gratitude
What is the opposite of scarcity and lack? It’s a feeling of fullness. And how do you create a feeling of fullness? Gratitude.
There are so many ways to practice gratitude, from keeping a daily gratitude list in your The Head Plan Gratitude Journal to writing down your highlights at the end of each day.
Where a scarcity mindset is concerned, you might like to counteract negative thoughts based in lack, scarcity and fear, with grateful thoughts. The next time you catch yourself thinking a lack thought, come up with five things – any five things – to be grateful for on the spot.
Mantras can help you tap into feelings of gratitude too. One of our favorites from Roxie Nafousi’s new ‘the Mantras’ deck is “I am always attracting abundance into my life” - Try repeating these words when you feel that sense of lack and watch your state of mind transform.
Seek out mentors
Imagine if you were trying to achieve a goal so out-of-this-world unique that no one had ever achieved anything even remotely similar. It would be pretty tough, right? You couldn’t Google the answers when you’re feeling a little lost and need support, because nobody would have written about their experience of achieving this particular goal. You couldn’t reach out to someone you follow on social media and ask them for advice either because there wouldn’t be anyone equipped to offer any guidance.
This is why seeing other people achieve the things you want for yourself is actually a blessing. They’ve paved a path for you. Not only do you know it’s possible because they’ve done it, you can also find out how they did it. That might mean reaching out and asking someone for their tips, listening to a podcast that’s full of useful advice, or discovering a book they’ve written on the topic.
It can be easy to see these people as your competition, but that’s symptomatic of a scarcity mindset. Get into the habit of making successful people your mentors, and you’ll soon see that you can succeed too.
Everything you want and need is available to you…
Look outside your window and notice how the grass doesn’t strain to grow. Likewise, the flowers and trees aren’t worrying that they won’t get the water, nutrients, and sunlight they need to thrive. The universe is always providing for them, as it is for you.
You are an empowered, expansive being and your continual growth is inevitable. Whatever it is you want to achieve, just like a tree inching closer to the sky, there’s an unlimited supply of resources to help you get wherever you want to go.