I’m sure you’ve heard of the scarcity mindset.
It is said that there are two pains in life: the pain of losing something and the pain of missing out. Often we want to improve on something about ourselves, and we start looking for ways to do it. We analyze our actions. Furthermore, we seek advice from others. But often, these methods end up being limited, as they fail to address the root problem – your mindset.
The scarcity mindset is one of those things preventing us from improving ourselves. It’s so subtle and pervasive that it’s almost impossible to detect or change alone. Additionally, it’s also very effective in sabotaging all other attempts at self-improvement.
Scarcity is a mindset – a way of thinking that helps you focus on what you have to do. It takes your attention from worrying about all the things that can go wrong if you have this mindset, no worries!
This article will explore the concept of a scarcity mindset, the effects and tips to build an abundant mindset. After reading, you would understand how to build the right mindset to help you achieve your goals.
What Is a Scarcity Mindset?
Scarcity mindset is when we see ourselves as a limited resource, in contrast to an abundant mindset.
A Scarcity Mindset imagines that life is about struggling to survive. It generates stories like “It’s a dog eat dog out there” and “If I don’t kill it, someone else will.”
Scarcity mindset is the approach of striving to maintain for yourself what is necessary for your comfort and survival. In business, it results in hoarding, saving, and containing expenses. A scarcity mentality makes you consider problems like losing your job, running out of money or failing at business as risks to avoid.
A Scarcity Mindset causes everyone it infects to feel insecure. Startups with a low-grade case of scarcity ask for money upfront or before they invest a lot of their own time on a customer.
Scarcity means that you’re afraid you won’t have enough of what you need to achieve your goals. For example, the fear that there won’t be enough food in the future.
Effects Of Scarcity Mindset
Scarcity mindset occurs when an individual assumes that there just isn’t enough to go around whatever their goal is. In other words, the scarcity mindset destroys the creative intelligence within the human mind and body. The scarcity mindset is characterized by limiting beliefs of a lack of resources or lacking abilities.
People with this mindset are hyper-aware of how much they’ve already accomplished. Their ambitions are tempered, and they tend to put significant pressure on themselves.
We all have enough time to achieve what we want. However, we are the ones who grab that idea and jump into it or who let it slip through our fingers each day. With a scarcity mindset, you will always face failure and setbacks. But with an abundant mindset, you will only experience success and victory.
Below are the ways that a scarcity mindset hinders your progress and what to do instead.
Scarcity Mindset Causes Loss Aversion
Human brains are evolved to notice and respond to both gains and losses as if they were physical objects in the environment. When you drive toward a cliff, your brakes automatically engage because your brain misattributes the risk of going over the cliff as a physical danger. A similar thing happens when people have a scarcity mindset.
The good news is that you can train yourself to think differently if you practice something I call return on thinking: thinking about what else you might gain from doing something uncomfortable.
Acquiring Information Is Harder For Scarcity Mindset People.
A scarcity mindset, especially chronic scarcity, can make it harder to think straight. People with a scarcity mindset find it harder to focus their attention and effort on new concepts. They also find it hard to synthesize disparate information into something new.
People Are More Likely To Make Unwise Decisions Under Scarcity Mindsets
When people feel psychologically scarred over a loss, they are more likely to take unwise risks to recoup that loss. People who feel like they have lost will take more significant risks than people who feel like they haven’t lost at all. This is true whether it’s money or something else.
Scarcity mindsets can limit people’s ability to think creatively when solving problems. Often this is because it activates more primitive, emotional parts of the brain that overrule the logic centers.
Scarcity Mindset Leads To Self-Control Failure
A scarcity mindset means that you believe there aren’t enough resources out there. There are barely enough to go around, so your initial impulse is to protect what you have and cling to it tenaciously. You are more likely to hoard your money, save every scrap of food, and drive the old car until it falls apart. A scarcity mindset leads you to restrain yourself in the face of other temptations too. If you think there aren’t enough opportunities, then you are less willing to explore new neighbourhoods
You Want Things Now, But Will Lose Something
If you want things now, you will lose something. Time is the most precious thing you have, and you can’t retrieve it. Trying to get things now and not planning for the long term will hurt you in the future. One of the underlying traits in the scarcity mindset is that you tend to want things now. You are focused on short-term rewards. It comes from not being able to delay gratification.
How To Manage Scarcity Mindset
A scarcity mindset is the biggest obstacle to success that people encounter. It prevents people from becoming the best version of themselves because they always choose complacency.
Scarcity is the state of needing more of something than there is. It affects our minds and behaviours in many ways. There are two main concerns of the scarcity mindset: the need for success and fear of failure.
A scarcity mindset makes it hard to focus on the long term because your attention is always drawn to today’s problems. You have so many things you need to do that you can’t afford to think about anything else right now. This is fine when you’re busy. But as a frame of mind, it’s your enemy.
The basis of the scarcity mindset is the belief that you need to do everything yourself and do it right now. Thinking like this can lead to stress, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed
10 Ways To Go From Scarcity To Abundance Mindset
The best ways I’ve found to get out of a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset are;
1. Become aware of your current thinking
To realize our potential is within us, we must first become aware of our current limiting beliefs. We all have them; we are products of the programming and conditioning we’ve received from family, friends and society. Only when we become aware of these limiting beliefs can we overcome them and experience the abundance that is right in front of us.
2. Remember the law of supply and demand.
Many know about the principle of supply and demand, but not everyone thinks of it in terms of abundance or the lack thereof. The law of supply and demand is a simple economic rule that states that when supply is able to meet demand, then prices are low. Alternatively, when demand outstrips supply, then prices rise to reflect the higher costs. When you understand that everything in life is subject to the law of stocks, you will be able to see abundance all around.
3. Choose to focus on abundance.
When you begin to focus on scarcity, you will attract it. It’s a law of the universe and something that is true regardless of what you want to attract. Understandably, we all approach life with different levels of abundance and scarcity. However, focusing on abundance can be one way that helps you create the life you want to live.
4. Live Below Your Means
Living below your means is one of the best ways to go from scarcity to abundance mindset. It’s a principle that encompasses a lot of areas in life where it’s possible to live a life of lack.
5. Eat At Home
Most people have no idea how easy it is to cook healthy food at home for a meagre cost. Food tastes just as good if not better, and you control the ingredients. Cooking your own food will save you hundreds of dollars every month, whereas eating out every day can add up quickly.
6. Read/Watch Content that Inspires (and educate)
Whether you’re starting a new business, taking on a new project, or have overcome a significant personal challenge, reading inspirational content is essential. It can help you to refocus your intentions when doubts and fears creep in. Inspiring content can fill areas of scarcity that occur in our minds as we take on challenging situations and push us to our potential.
7. Say Thank You More Often
Staying grateful can really help you see the abundance in your life. Grateful people move towards what they want. However, negative people will stay where they are because of fear of scarcity and fear of failure.
8. Plan your work and work your plan
You need to have a plan if you want success. Anyone can have the right idea, but only those who actually follow through with it will succeed.
9. Make time to do the things that will bring you the results you want
Most people could do productive things every day if they just made the time and had the right mindset. But for some reason, they allow distractions to knock them off course and prevent them from achieving their goals. To get the life you want and deserve, you have to create the time to attract it.
10. Invest in other areas of your life
Most of us are caught up in a constant state of wanting. You want bigger, better, newer, shinier things, and it’s blinding you from other opportunities. This scarcity mindset can trap you in a perpetual cycle of never enough, always needing something else to be happy. Nothing brings you long-term happiness or satisfaction. This is because your whole life is based on this illusion that the next thing will fulfill you. What will get you out of the scarcity mindset is focusing on improving yourself. It also helps you invest in other aspects of your life other than career and money.
Why is a Scarcity Mindset bad?
Scarcity is a cognitive bias that messes with our sense of reason, thus making people act irrationally.
What causes Scarcity Mentality?
There are different ways scarcity mindset is caused. A common source of a scarcity mentality is the memory of times when you were poor (or socially excluded). You might have looked around and seen that there was very little wealth and a lot of people. This might have caused you to assume that you would always be among the scarcest resources.
What is the difference between Abundance and Scarcity Mindset?
In a Scarcity Mindset, personal success is about beating others, standing out in the crowd and winning recognition. In an Abundance Mindset, success is about contribution, connecting with others and finding value.
How do people handle scarcity?
Scarcity is something everyone experiences at some point. The old view about scarcity is that it makes people greedy. But that’s not the right way to think about it. When you’re in a situation where there isn’t enough for everyone to have some, then the real question is whether people are going to compete and fight with each other over it. It could also be whether they’re going to find ways to share fairly.
How do you release the scarcity mindset?
There are plenty of online resources, such as TED, blogs, self-help books and courses. You need to release the scarcity mindset by filling your mind with positive ideas.
There are a lot of ways in which you can start changing your mindset. Many have already been listed within this article. Regardless of anything that has been said, the ultimate decision is yours. The most tremendous success comes when you make a conscious decision to let go of the scarcity mindset. You should adopt the one where you think positively and only of the positive outcomes that can come about as a result of your efforts.