Have you ever met this person: The one that has everything and shares nothing? A person with all the knowledge in the world, but unwilling to mentor... a person with all the time in the world, but unwilling to help for 10 seconds... a person unwilling to ask for help out of fear that they'll (OH NO) not be the BEST. This is your friend (or frenemy) that has a scarcity mindset. Part of being mindful (our goal this month... and forever), is being aware of your mindset. If you have plenty of worldly possessions, a roof over your head, and food to eat, then these 5 ways to shifting from a scarcity to abundance mindset are for you.
I devour books on mindsets and behavior like homemade ice cream…non-stop, and completely satisfied. I find the power of our mind fascinating. We get to chose how we respond in EVERY SITUATION… good or bad.
"Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny." - Ghandi
Ok, first of all, obviously Ghandi knows what's up. Second of all, the idea that our beliefs and thoughts affect the rest of our body is especially true when it comes to our health! Even some of the world's top oncologists and physicians agree that a patient's outlook and perspective on life has a profound effect on their health. Patients with pessimistic and negative world views typically have poorer outcomes. On the bright side, those with a positive and encouraging mindset tend to have more positive outcomes.
It's true! Your attitude is contagious... to the rest of your body and everyone around you!
I've mentioned simple steps to get healthy before, but let's focus on mindset and being mindful. A mindset is your established set of values, and you may fall in one of two categories. A scarcity mindset, or an abundance mindset. Being in an abundance mindset leads to... that's right, ABUNDANCE! In health, happiness, and dare I say your career? If we're focused on running out, or things being taken away we only draw more scarcity towards us. Here's a snapshot of the differences between a scarcity and abundance mindset. If you find yourself with more check marks in the scarcity list, don’t worry, not all is lost! You can grow abundance if you cultivate it. It takes diligence, and practice!
I'm biased, but I want an abundance of abundance around me, especially when it comes to my well being. In America, our health and wellbeing is declining more rapidly every year. Even more so, Americans (kids included!) are being diagnosed with diseases and conditions that are completely preventable with lifestyle changes. Preventing those diseases is way more cost effective than treating them. We can sit around, worry, and feel bad about it (scared = scarcity), OR we can actually invest and put a solution into motion (investing = abundance). Making health contagious can seem like an impossible task (especially for someone with a scarcity mindset), however, I truly believe we can have an impact on the health of those around us by changing our mindsets.
1. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of a scarcity mind set.
You read that list above? Good. Pay attention and look out for yourself doing ANY of those things! Bookmark it, print it, tattoo it... whatever. Just know the difference between scarcity and abundance, and where it might pop up in your life. If someone is practically running around yelling "THE SKY IS FALLING", that list better pop into your head!
2. Write down one thing you’d like to change.
For example, when looking at the mindset lists above, what's the one character trait you wish you had? It’s easy to find ourselves leaning towards the scarcity mindset… the cost of gas, the corporate rat race, or the fact that SOMEHOW everyone but you can afford to go on vacation all the time?! Do they even go to work, or do they just Facebook their amazing vacations?!? Maybe you fear competition. Maybe you find yourself jealous of your co-workers. Do you have a family member that's always "one-upping" you? Write down something (on a literal piece of paper) you'd like to shift in your mindset, and carry it with you. Picking one thing, and having it near you will help you focus. Decide what you can truthfully acknowledge in people who seem to have it all. What's a tangible and positive skill you can learn from them? You don't need to be them, but you could learn from them!
3. Think long term.
Those hardwired for the scarcity mindset struggle to see past immediate shortcomings and onto potential. Can you picture your life in 3-5 years? Is it overwhelming? We invite you to forget all of the 'coulds' and 'woulds' about every little detail, and focus on long term goals. Your life may not go according to plan… but at least you're aware of your goals, and can start working towards them. Being stuck in the scarcity mindset, you may never see beyond 30 days. Short term thinking doesn’t give way to a bigger, better, more fulfilling future.
4. Perfect the Reverse Debbie Downer.
No, it's not a figure skating trick, but it does make you feel fancy! Replace worry with strategy, or possibility. Worrying does no good, but making sense of a tough situation can be helpful. Celebrate your sense of awareness. How awesome are you for thinking of all the possible outcomes, even the bad ones?! Good job! Being aware of a downward spiral is an important part of getting out of it. Do other people call you "negative", and you call yourself "realistic"? Pat yourself on the back for being so epically "real" and then make a plan to change something. If you can't change, or improve the situation, then get over it. Spend 2 minutes framing the situation in a positive spin.
For example: you just got double booked for 2 conference calls. You despise the very projects and project managers overseeing them. Daycare just called and they have an emergency closing because of the weather. While someone with a scarcity mindset would think "Of course this would happen to me. Everything crashes and burns for me.”…. shift your focus. Quickly shoot sincere emails to reschedule the calls and suggest other meeting times, and high five yourself because you get to spend time hanging out with that cool kid you made a while back! When greeted with compliment-stuffed email, clients are likely to accommodate conflicts, you'll get the afternoon with your kid, and you have more time to mentally prepare for a kick ass conference call (win-win-win).
5. Wake up everyday with 1 thing you’re thankful for.
Focus on how much you have! Do you drink clean water? Can you take a shower (even if you don't want to, ya lazy bum)? Did you sleep in building with a roof? Were you able to hear your kids cry (seriously, some people can’t have kids, or can't hear, both blessings). Do you have the ability to buy that fabulous new purse? Is a mani-pedi with a friend a reasonable splurge? Small or big… start filling your heart with the awareness of all of the great things in your heart and your immediate world.
Get rid of painful anxiety, and shift your mindset to dwell in abundance. Because:
There is enough to go around.
The sky is not falling.
The world is not ending.
Second chances exist.
Stumbling is normal.
Ahh.... I feel better already!