This world struggles with a scarcity mindset.
There is this underlying belief that there isn’t enough to go around. That we must be the first in line, the highest ranking or the most impressive in order to be successful.
It feels like we are always trying to outdo each other, in our careers, in our home décor, in our families and in our quirky hobbies.
We are afraid of cheering each other on or sharing the lessons we’ve learned along the way in case it helps someone get ahead of us. We want to keep everything under wraps, close to our chest, tucked away so that maybe we will have an advantage in this race for the finish line.
When I think of having an scarcity mindset, I am reminded of this quote that my mum loved to tell us as kids…
“Blowing out someone else’s candle won’t make mine burn brighter.”
Because scarcity leads us to believe that other people’s candles get in the way of our own. That in order to shine the brightest, we have to dampen their light.
And whatever we do, we should definitely NOT stoop down with our own lit candle and help someone light theirs.
Learning how to develop an abundance mindset is so important, especially in this world where success often looks like trampling over anyone who might get in your way.
Where we are all in constant competition with one another. Where everything is measured, monitored and evaluated to calculate how much it is worth.
I recently listened to an episode of The Little Chapters podcast on abundance vs lack.
The hosts spoke of the common misconception that everything we want out of life can be represented by this metaphorical pie. A pie that everyone is fighting to get a slice out of. A pie that depletes quickly and once it is gone, cannot be replaced.
A lot of us tend to live in this fear that if someone takes a slice of pie before us then we will miss out.
So we scramble to get in first, to be the best, to be different to the rest.
We live in this place of lack, of scarcity, of fear that we might miss out.
I’m an Enneagram four so for me, the scarcity mindset plays out in my need to be special.
One of the characteristics of fours is our deep desire to be individuals. This makes it really difficult for us to share.
I want to be the only one with that exact brand of shoes so I don’t want to tell you where I got mine.
I want to make the BEST chocolate chip cookies so I don’t want to share my recipe with you.
I want my blog to do really well so I don’t want to share the brilliant marketing tips I’ve read about.
I have been working really hard to develop an abundance mindset in my own life. It is so counter-cultural, so vulnerable and so not how I usually think. It takes work every day to remind myself that there is enough.
I thought I would share some advice for those of you who are struggling with a scarcity mindset…
How to develop an abundance mindset:
Give positive feedback
When you read something you really like, tell the author. Leave a review for them on Amazon so their book will rank higher. Write them an email and let them know you are a fan of their work.
Leave comments on your favourite blog posts. Reply to blogger’s stories on Instagram or send them direct messages.
Or in the real world, be kind to people. Share the lovely things you think about people instead of keeping those thoughts to yourself.
Remember: Other people’s success does not indicate your failure.
Share other people’s work
Tell your friends about the things you love. Give people recommendations on podcasts, books, Ted-talks or shoe brands that you think are brilliant.
Word of mouth is such a powerful marketing force. You never know how much that exposure could mean to a small business or artist.
Remember: The world needs more creativity, innovation and vulnerability. Sharing other’s successes won’t mean there is less space for you.
Do things just for fun
Make time for things that have no external purpose outside of the moment.
Do some things just for the sheer joy, without needing to be productive, or perfect or feeling like you have to share the moment with anyone else.
Remember: Collect moments, not things. At the end of the day, the most precious things in life can’t be measured by wealth or fame.
Stay in your lane
Focus on your passions and strengths rather than comparing yourself to others. You have a unique story and way of telling it.
Don’t get so caught up in trying to be better than your perceived “competition” that you lose sight of yourself. You simply cannot be the best at everything. So be the best at YOUR thing.
Remember: We need YOU. Your gifts, your story, your unique way of creating something of beauty, inspiration and encouragement.
Say these abundance mindset affirmations:
- There is enough space for everyone
- There is only one of me, I am a one-off
- The way I tell my story is unique
- Community is more important than competition
- Creativity is endless
Do you struggle with a scarcity mindset or have you figured out how to master an abundance mindset?
I love all of this, especially the reminder to share others’ work! I need to get better at that. I love sharing blog posts from friends that have been super helpful to me, but I don’t always remember to. I’ve been trying to teach my kids to be generous and not have that scarcity mindset, because their gut reactions are to scream MIIIIINE in each others’ faces when one of them has a toy. (100x a day I say, “mine is not a generous word! Hasn’t God been generous with us so can’t we be generous and kind with each other?!” haha and someday maybe they’ll get it or they’ll realize I’m a huge dork. Haha!)May 10, 2019 at 5:28 am
Haha sharing does NOT coming naturally! I love when bloggers do share their favourite books, blogs etc because that’s how I find so many awesome things!May 15, 2019 at 10:34 am
I love this message and your relation of scarcity to abundance. This was so thought provoking and just what I needed this week. Thank you, Megan!May 15, 2019 at 3:36 pm
Thanks Caitlin, I’m glad it’s what you needed this week. I hope you are having a great week!May 16, 2019 at 4:47 pm
Lovely post! Exactly what the world needs more of!October 21, 2019 at 9:44 am
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