There is much talk these days about the importance of adopting an abundance mentality and shedding a scarcity mentality. There is also much confusion.
I just read an article on the subject that promoted big thinking and the belief that you can always do better while also discouraging the continuation of poverty behaviors like wasting your limited time searching for discounts and clipping coupons. Unfortunately, the article was totally focused on making more money and buying more things. In my opinion, it missed the point completely.
A scarcity mentality has nothing to do with seeking bargains and being frugal. To some, those activities constitute entertainment, challenge, or environmental concern. What a scarcity mentality does is that it turns everything into something to hoard or fight over because of a belief that there will never be enough. I grew up in a family of seven and a single plate of homemade caramel rolls at Christmas was a perfect example of both scarcity and something worth fighting over!
- Hang on to a miserable job because you don’t believe you will ever find another.
- Claim credit for yourself to protect our own best interests.
- Begrudge others their accomplishments.
- Deny and cover up your mistakes as if each is a permanent strike against you.
- Fear competition because it will reduce your share.
- Assume most deals create a winner and a loser.
- Keep information to yourself so it gives you a sense of power, importance, or job security.
- Struggle relentlessly to achieve some milestone that proves you’ve arrived.
- Constantly compare yourself to others and seek ways to prove or convince yourself that you are better.
- Hold on to things you never use, and maybe don’t even really like, because you might need them some day.
An abundance mentality is about believing there is always more – more opportunities, more things to try, more places to explore, more ways to grow and things to fall in love with, and more ways to turn a bad situation into a success. If you have an abundance mentality, you believe:
- There are other jobs out there as good or better than the one you have.
- Credit is something to share and sharing it only increases your chances of earning even more.
- The accomplishment of others in no way diminish your own accomplishments if you are learning, growing, and conquering your obstacles.
- A missed opportunity or failed project is merely a stepping stone to greater knowledge, stronger skills, and the next opportunity.
- Competition is good because it pushes everyone to be better.
- Every deal can be win-win deal.
- Sharing information and ideas liberally will increase ideas and opportunities for everyone, including yourself.
- No one ever “arrives” and every personal goal, no matter how important, is a means, not an end, in your journey to the next iteration of yourself.
- Comparisons with others are irrelevant because everyone has different priorities.
- Getting rid of unused stuff is liberating, not impoverishing, and, if you need something like it in the future, you will find it somehow.
And my own recent version of abundance: an Urban Experiment can be every bit as sensible and rewarding as living in a beautiful, private rural setting! I totally believe I could live in many places and be happy. I’m always ready for the next adventure!