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Scarcity Mindset, What is it, and How Do I Avoid It?

“I don’t have enough time to right now, honey.”

He groans and shuffled off with his favorite dinosaur— the favorite one with the moving mouth, and his head down, lip out, and he finishes with a tiny “hmph”.

It was pitiful.

I am a monster.

My three year old wanted me to read him and his dinosaur his favorite book, “Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas”.

It talks about butts. Boys love butt jokes.
Or even just mentioning butts.

But there will be no silly butt talk today because mommy is too overwhelmed.

I had to do dishes, fold laundry, and clean that weird smell out of the bathroom.

There isn’t enough time in the day to do all the things mommy needs to do AND refill everyone’s love cup AND deal with my own things.

Maybe you’ve felt the same. There is too much to do, and not enough of me to go around.

That, my friend, is a scarcity mindset.

What Does Scarcity Mentality Mean?

Scarcity mentality, or scarcity mindset, is believing there is never enough.

There are a few key ways you can see if you have a scarcity mindset, do you feel like this?:

  1. You are a victim of your life
  2. Life is happening TO you.
  3. You’re unlucky.
  4. Your decisions are made from fear.

Still not sure? Let’s dig a little deeper.

There is no more of me to give.

When you feel like this, it’s often because you’re overwhelmed and at the end of your rope.

With a scarcity mentality, you have a tight grip on life and a fear of what will happen if you loosen your grip.

That sounds a lot like fear, right? Decisions made in fear are rarely well-thought-out.

When is the last time fear lead you to a good choice?

This is a tough place to be in. When you’re in a place of scarcity the future is uncertain, or even painful to think about. It’s easier to not think about it at all.

scarcity-mindset-to-abundance-mentality

Maybe you can’t bring yourself to make goals because you’re stuck in scarcity mode.

It’s easier to convince yourself you’re satisfied with what you have or to convince yourself you don’t have time to think of the future because your present-day is so overwhelming.

Does this sound like you?

Me too.

Let’s agree to use this post to help ourselves, kay?

First things first. I don’t want us feeling like losers. That’s not the point of this post.

Has beating yourself up in the past helped you?

Kindness will always serve you better. “Why do I feel like this speaks to me?” sounds a lot better than “Why can’t I just do better?”

Think back to the last time you changed your mind about something. Did someone being hurtful or mean help that decision, or did someone with compassion and kindness help you?

Kindness. Always choose kindness.

Scarcity Mindset Vs. Abundance Mindset

What is the flip side of scarcity? Abundance.

Here is how you can tell if you’re in an abundance mentality or mindset:

  1. Life is happening FOR you
  2. You’re lucky
  3. You’re not afraid to move forward, even into uncertainty
  4. Generosity

Negative feelings still exist when you’re in an abundance mentality, but they don’t hold you back from your future.

You’re excited about it, in fact thinking of the future makes you happy.

You love thinking about your goals and the steps you’ll take to get there. You know that when you put in the work you can achieve whatever you want.

Getting Out of the Scarcity Mindset

Most of the time scarcity mindset is so engrained you might not even realize that’s what it is. Sometimes it’s just your natural state.

How Can You Tell You’re in Scarcity Mindset?

There are a few questions you can ask yourself to find out if you’re in a scarcity mindset:

  1. What emotions do you feel the most?
  2. How does it feel (good or bad) when you think about the future?
  3. Do you not have enough of something in your life? Examples are love, time, money, resources.

Once you answer all or some of these questions honestly you’ll be able to better assess your situation and move forward. If you answer with what you hope for yourself instead of where you are right now, you won’t be able to see the change you need. Remember we need to treat ourselves with compassion.

How to Overcome a Scarcity Mindset

How can you take your scarcity mindset, and turn it into an abundance mindset?

It’s great to know they’re different, but what good is that without a plan to move forward?

Mindfulness

Watch your thoughts, and be aware of how you’re talking to yourself.

The best way to do this? Brain dump!

Spend 10-20 minutes pulling all of the thoughts out of your brain.
You’ll get some that aren’t relevant like “buy dog food” or “learn to sew so you can fix your daughter’s dress”, but getting them out of your brain and on to paper will help you get out the deeper thoughts that need attention.

So let it all out!

Mindfulness isn’t just in your brain. It’s important to listen to your words too. When you complain about something, you’re giving that thought more power.

Choose Your Path to Abundance

Where do you want to be someday, and how do you want to think? You have to focus on your end goal so you know which path to take.

There’s going to be a time when you’re given two options, and you won’t know which to take. This is when you’ll need to remember where you’re going and take the path that will lead you there.

You can intentionally decide what you want to believe. When I quit chewing my nails I decided I am not a nail biter. When I would catch myself biting my nails, I would get confused, because I am not a nail biter.

Related: Everything You Need to Quit Biting Your Nails

Become Your Future Abundant Self

Yeah, I said it.

It seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? But just think about how often you’ve heard the familiar cliche,

fake it til you make it.

Look into your journal (you know, the one you’re starting for this journey??) and see those toxic thoughts. Is that something you’ll be saying to yourself in a year?

Then why are you saying it now?

Practice Gratitude to Reduce Scarcity

Forward-thinking is amazing, but it’s also incredibly important to be thankful for what you DO have.

Finding the joy in your current situation will help you feel less like your whole life is just grasping at straws of sanity.

Another side of gratitude is sharing what you have.

Own Your Thoughts

You control how you react to circumstances, not the other way around.

Life doesn’t treat you like anything. It’s not against you, grudge-holding, or unfair. It’s indifferent. Our thoughts are what defines it.

You can go through some major trauma and let it define you as a victim in this life, or you can use your experiences as fuel to give you the strength to help you push past anything in your way.

Find the Positive

This is easily the most exhausting, although I’m not sure what’s more exhausting.

You can bask in the negative thoughts, or you can continuously adjust them and find the positive.

How Do You Make An Abundance Mentality Mindset?

It’s a scary time for you right now.

You just found out how toxic your thoughts have been, and that’s a tough pill to swallow.

I’m right there with you. I don’t like feeling this way, so I’m finding a way to be away from it.

If I could go back to that day, I would stop what I was doing and connect with my son. I’d read the silly book about butts, and we would laugh together and then probably talk about silly piranhas and butts.

Thinking back to that day makes my cheeks burn with embarrassment.

It’s not the mother I want to be, or ever thought I would be.

Life in Abundance

There will be times in this journey where you feel happy and content, living in abundance. There will also be seasons where you feel negative and like your cup is completely drained.

You’ll come to see your triggers and it will probably be due to high stress, lack of sleep, or . . . wait a minute did I just describe motherhood?

Remember to always choose kindness with yourself.

It may be a long journey, but every step you take will lead you closer to the result you want, so keep stepping.

Action Steps:

What do I do now?

  1. Get out a paper, and find out if you’re in a scarcity mindset. remember the questions I asked you?
  2. Remember we are choosing compassion for ourselves.
  3. Download my journal prompts for stress below, and begin feeling better. Find it below
  
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    8 thoughts on “Scarcity Mindset, What is it, and How Do I Avoid It?”

    1. I love these, and the journal prompts. I didn’t realize I was feeling so innately negative all the time. Thanks for the tips!

    2. This is a great topic! I know many people who have a scarcity mindset when it comes to money and it shows in the financial decisions they make. I prefer abundance and while I don’t see myself as lucky, I believe you can have abundance if you work hard for it and create a mindset that encourages it.

      1. That’s a little odd, isn’t it? I thought the luck thing was really dependant on the person, I know many people with an abundant mindset who don’t see themselves as lucky. But then my husband is very much the abundant mentality type and believes he is lucky.

        But he also doesn’t think luck is just luck, he believes it’s due to hard work, not so much luck. Which I think is interesting too! 🙂

        Thanks for the comment! <3

    3. Love love love this post! You’re ideas for shifting from a scarcity to an abundance mindset are really genius 😉 I definitely see a spike in my positivity when I do a gratitude list every day! And I often remind myself of how seemingly awful things turned out to be great for me in hindsight…it’s hard to see how difficult situations are good for us in the moment but hindsight is always 20/20!

      1. Yes! I agree completely! I actually noticed a few weeks ago when someone asked me about changing anything in my life. I realized I wouldn’t change anything, because everything lead to right here to where I am.

        I agree so much with this comment! 🙂

      1. It truly does! And all it takes is a decision.

        When you find yourself in a rut, that is. You recognize it and decide ” I’m not going to let this ruin my day” and you can CHOOSE to have a good day.

        I know it’s not always that easy, but most of the time it is. 🙂

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