8 Strategies to Overcome Scarcity Mindset
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One of my all-time favorite quotes is:
"It may come as a surprise that living full and extended lives is one of the most difficult challenges we face as human beings."
That said, how can we do that, and what is a mindset of scarcity? The mindset of scarcity is something we are probably all familiar with. When scarcity is present, anxiety often follows and is part of the equation. We strive for a sense of perfection, which often leads us down a path of suffering and hurt. The idea of being perfect is something that surrounds us constantly, thanks to social media and the flood of information on the outside. We tend to project our unhappiness onto the idea that we are not perfect and may never be. As a result of this projection, we lose sight of our inner selves, our self-worth, and our abundance.
"We spend an inordinate amount of time calculating how much we have, want and don't have, and how much everyone else has, needs and wants," says Brene Brown, an American research professor and author of Daring Greatly. According to her, people share an underlying fear she calls the "scarcity fallacy." We believe we don't have enough at any given time, and this lack creates a sense of shame and worthlessness. This leads to a mechanism in which we have to control ourselves to avoid these very feelings. This scarcity fallacy encourages us to work hard to achieve more, especially in our work culture. It let’s us believe that one day we will reach a point of abundance and have enough. The question arises, how we can train ourselves to feel that we have enough in the here and now?
A good place to start is to first closely examine our individual scarcity mindset. You can start by asking yourself the following questions:
What is it in your life, that you don't have right now?
Do you feel you are lacking something?
How do you feel about others when they have something that you don't have?
What is it you want in life?
If you had everything you want in life would your life be better?
If you find signs of a scarcity mindset in each of your answers, you are not alone. Congrats! You took the first step of being honest with yourself. Now let’s take a look at how to move further into an abundance mindset:
8 Strategies to Overcome Scarcity Mindset
Appreciate and focus on what you have
Create new habits to see and appreciate the wealth in your life. If you want, you could start by creating a journaling habit. Here is an article on how to start and keeping a gratitude journal.
Move your body
Moving your body will connect you to the here and now and what is present in this current moment. Include small exercises or movements into your day.
Mindfulness and meditation
This can help you create the time and space to develop a new habit of gratitude.
Focusing on the opportunities you have and aligning yourself with what you want in life. The key is to be honest with yourself and look at the things you want to achieve with a mature attitude: This can look like: Writing down little notes of what it is you want and being clearabout taking it one step at a time. Grow with your limitations and restrictions, focus on gratitude despite the circumstances around you.
Attitude is the key!
First, trust that you are capable of acquiring the skills you need and use the available assets you have around you and within you. A Resource you could start is, by setting the intention to create meaningful and memorable experiences. It can also help to not be too hard on yourself. Find out about your unique strengths and skills. Write them down or find someone to support you in finding out what it is that you are really passionate about and great at.
Lean on your support system and what is already in place. Developing this new mindset will not only boost your confidence but also your self-worth.
Reflect and gain new perspectives
Sitting down and reflecting on your life until now, can help to see different aspects of it and help you realize how far you have come.
Exchanging thoughts on different aspects of your life with a person you trust, might help you understand your belief systems better and what hinders you in achieving what you want.
Everyone knows that starting a new habit and letting go of old patterns isn't always easy. Reflection and receiving support are processes that can help you break out of the scarcity mindset and pursue the things you want. Like this you can find ways to create abundance, self-trust, and self-worth in your life. Changing a pattern in our lives often comes with an overall sense of feeling better and happier.
We hope these tips will help you on your journey. If you need neutral support in starting the new habit, feel free to contact us via chat or book a coaching session so we can find out together what will best support you.
Author: Nallely Courtney
Brené, Brown (2015): Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. ISBN-10: 1592408419.
Mullainathan, Sendhil; Eldar Shafir (2013): Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means so Much. First edition. New York: Times Books, Henry Holt and Company.
https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-scarcity-mentality (Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on October 25, 2021)