As you go through your daily life, think about how you’re reacting to situations. Are you responding from a place of anger, fear and want, or are you open, accepting and curious? There are two common mindsets associated with these feelings: scarcity and abundance. For many, the overall perception of life and whether you have available resources was instilled in your youth. You may have grown up with a sense of lack, constantly yearning for something, or perhaps you regularly had the ample resources (time, food, joy, love, money, health, etc) to live a comfortable and happy life. As an adult, you have the power to decide how you continue perceiving the world – starting NOW.
When one operates from a scarcity mindset, it comes from deep beliefs that the above resources in life are limited. The results are behaviors of being miserly, protective, defensive and guarding of what one does have available. This sense of lacking resources comes from a place of fear, a place of worry that there will never be enough to meet one's needs. Scarcity and lack mindset usually stem from feelings of unmet needs, inadequacy, or actual life experience of insufficient food, money, clothing, emotional support.
In contrast, abundance mindset stems from beliefs that the needed resources are readily available. Some people are raised feeling they have sufficient resources and have not experienced ‘want’ in life. For many others, abundance mindset is curated over time and develops once there is a sense of security about having or being able to obtain what is needed. Needs vary for everyone. To grow an abundance mindset, the starting place is feeling deep gratitude for what is already available, without judgment or self-satisfaction, and living in contentment, regardless of the situation.
In this fast-paced world, with constant barometers to measure yourself against (thank you, social media), it is more common to feel unfulfilled than satisfied. By having awareness of how you perceive resource availability, you can actively choose to mindfully cultivate more joy and abundance in your life.
How can you bring more abundance into your life?
Practice gratitude daily. Being thankful for the blessings your already have is essential to feeling fulfilled. Your health, your mobility, having a home to keep you dry from rain, having people to laugh with, having food to make dinner for your family, amongst other things which bring joy in your life, are things which can often be taken for granted. Take a moment each day and recall 1-3 things for which you are grateful – express this or keep a gratitude journal.
Look at the glass as half-full. Examining life with a lens of optimism rather than pessimism changes how your mind processes information and shifts your brainwave energies. When you think of the outcome of a situation, you may actively choose to believe it will turn out in your favor, or you may believe that it won’t. From the theory of energy conservation, wherever you put your energy, you are giving that outcome momentum. Energy flows where attention goes.
Recognize when fear shows up. Fear is incredibly powerful, and it is a driver for many human behaviors. When you can pause for a moment and recognize yourself responding from a place of fear, you give yourself a moment to understand the root of that fear. Think about these common fear statements: ‘I have to drive faster on the road or I’ll be late,’ or ‘I better fill my plate first to make sure I get some,’ or ‘I don’t want to try something new because I don’t know what will happen.’ When these or similar thoughts arise, ask yourself: Am I in danger? Most of the time you are not. If there is no actual threat, then the fear is likely originating from a place of scarcity mindset. Acknowledging the absence of real threat, you may redirect your mindset, understand you have enough, and calm the fear.
Share. Being human, of tribal descent, there is a piece of you that feels wholly better when you share what you have with others; humans are social creatures, happiest when in community. Actively sharing what you have helps you realize when you have more than enough, and that by sharing, you can improve other’s lives. Charitable donations, sharing cookies at work, spending time with your family, volunteering in the neighborhood are small (or large) ways you can spread kindness and promote abundance in your daily lives.
When you can shift your mindset and actions to come from a place of abundance, you master your emotions and responses. From there, you can begin to look at challenging situations with optimism and curiosity, seeking to understand what you might learn. In abundance mindset, you stop viewing yourself as a victim in situations and begin taking ownership for how you manage yourself and your responses; your overall energy shifts from being closed-off and guarded to open and welcome to receive. And when you are open to receive, you realize how joyful life can be, just as it is, thankful for what you have and without need for anything more. How will you master your mindset?
By Jen Rizza, Founder of Newtown Wellness Collective, Wellness & Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master Teacher
**If you're interested in learning more about shifting your mindset while cultivating greater meaning and purpose in your life, take a look at Jen's online self-discovery and growth program: Cultivate Your Purpose, launching in February 2024!