When it comes to success, mindset matters. Having a scarcity mindset can have a negative impact on your business success, but the good news is there are ways you can shift into a more abundant state.
Some entrepreneurs struggle with keeping positive due to past programming and experiences, particularly when it comes to money. How you view the world can affect the opportunities you see, your expectations, the results you get and ultimately your overall happiness/fulfilment. It might not feel like it, but we can choose to see the world as being wonderfully abundant, or distinctly lacking.
Identifying a Scarcity Mindset
So what does it actually look like to have a scarcity mindset? Here are some common beliefs when it comes to scarcity:
- There’s not enough for everyone: A scarcity mindset believes there is a limited supply of everything, including money, and that someone else must lose in order for you to win. You may relate to hoarding behaviours when it comes to money or food.
- People who have more than enough are bad or greedy: You may have an inherent belief that people who are rich have acted in unethical, selfish or unkind ways to get there.
- There’s no point in trying: You see financial and business success as being hard work and you expect the worst in all situations. You might convince yourself that it’s pointless or impossible to even try.
- Some people get all the luck: If you believe opportunities are scarce, you’ll struggle to find them, even if they’re right in front of your face. On the rare occasion opportunities present themselves to you, you find excuses not to explore them further. You may find yourself feeling envious and bitter about others’ successes.
- If you get it, you’ll lose it: You’re more likely to play it safe if you view the world from a position of scarcity. You’re more afraid of losing what you have, since you believe it will be difficult to get it back. This can lead to financial hoarding, over-spending or even being overly generous to the point that it’s detrimental to your own financial and mental well-being.
- Life is hard: You believe that life is difficult and that no one else has had things as hard as you have. You experience persistent fear or pessimism and believe you have to fight the world to get what you want and need.
- Take what you can when you can: It’s a dog eat dog world out there! With this belief, you may find yourself taking on nightmare clients/customers who really don’t value or appreciate what you do, for fear of losing out to a competitor.
- “I’m not enough”: When you have a world view of lack and scarcity, this can mirror in the way you feel about yourself. You may struggle with impostor syndrome as you constantly compare yourself to others. Low self-worth and poor self-image are also common with this belief and many people put others’ needs before their own, with little or no time for personal self-care activities.
Why Do Some People Have a Scarcity Mindset?
It’s not easy to hold your hand up and whisper “errr, that’s me” when you identify with some of the above beliefs, thoughts and behaviours. They are incredibly common, so let go of any guilt, shame or embarrassment. Our early programming often takes the bulk of the responsibility when it comes to beliefs; again, no blaming or shaming though! Your parents or caregivers unknowingly passed down their own cultural and generational blocks and beliefs when it comes to lack and scarcity.
In addition to the early programming, you may have also had negative life experiences which have impacted your world view.
You may relate to the following:
- Growing up in a low income family/poverty
- Insecure housing/regular moving
- Drug/alcohol addicted parents
- Seeing parents/caregivers stressed, angry or upset about money
- Negative messaging around success and money
In addition to the adulthood stuff:
- Getting into debt/bankruptcy
- Domestic abuse
- Losing your own home/home insecurity
- Living through crisis – pandemic, food insecurity
- Loneliness and isolation
Can you see how these things can have a massive impact on the ability to ‘think positively’? These events tarnish our world view and keep us small. Whilst it’s not your fault, as a business owner it’s vital that you take responsibility and work on changing things. The good news is, it’s completely possible to shift from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset. It might take a little time and persistence, and possibly some healing work or therapy for the deeper stuff, but it can be done.
Benefits of Cultivating an Abundance Mindset
An abundance mindset is hopeful, positive, and expects the best. It is also more altruistic, since you believe that you’ll always receive what you need and no one else has to go without or suffer if you are abundant.
When you feel abundant, you’re more likely to feel happy, fulfilled and supported in all that you do.
Here are more of the key qualities of an abundant mindset:
- There is enough for everyone to grow and prosper
- There is plenty of money, opportunities and resources in the world
- The world is limitless to you
- That you can learn anything you set your mind to
- Success is something that everyone can achieve
- Anything is possible
- In being proactive rather than being reactive
- You can improve your mindset by consistent thoughts, habits and actions
- That if you expect positive results, things are more likely to go your way
- Daily gratitude is essential
11 Ways to Instantly Shift Out of Lack & Scarcity
OK, let’s do this! Whilst you might not be able to heal or change some of the more challenging stuff overnight, there are some easy ways you can shift out of scarcity and start embracing a more abundant mindset today…
- Be open-minded when it comes to self-healing tools such as breath work, EFT tapping, yoga or reiki – with an abundance of amazing self-help tools out there, including instructional/tap along videos and free courses, there’s no reason not to try holistic wellbeing and energy healing to shift your mindset, and they can work surprisingly quickly.
- Pay a stranger a compliment – so simple and yet makes them (and you) feel so good! Compliment someone on the top they’re wearing, their funky shoes or stand out style. No need to make it awkward, just say “Hi, I couldn’t help but notice your top – it’s really cool/where did you get it/I love animals too” and see where the conversation takes you. Most people will be surprised and will probably mutter a thank you, but I promise you, they’ll feel amazing all day, as will you.
- Clear out your cupboards and give your old stuff away – One word: FLOW! I love the concept of flow and harmony. Hoarding and clutter = scarcity mindset. If your house is full of clutter and your wardrobe is bursting at the seams with clothes you haven’t worn in years, what message is this giving? To me, it’s saying: stuck, hoard, stagnate and fester. Keep things moving; keep that flow going and you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction and immense pride as you give your things to someone else who will use and appreciate them. If it’s not bringing you joy, let it bring someone else joy. You can give things away on local freecycle sites, give them to charity, or sell them if you want to raise some extra funds.
- Set up a regular donation to a charity you support – it doesn’t have to be a lot of money; many charities accept monthly donations as low as £2 a month. If you’d prefer not to commit to a regular donation, make a point of always having loose change in your purse or pocket and give money to charity jars when you’re out shopping. Knowing that you’re sharing wealth with others, no matter how little, can really make a difference to the way you feel. Keep a charity log and add it all up at the end of the year.
- Invite a friend out for coffee or dinner and pay the bill – surprise someone you care about and tell them the bill is on you. In our busy lives we can go weeks without seeing friends who mean a lot to us. Imagine how grateful and special they’ll feel just by this simple gesture.
- Journal every day and write down things you are grateful for – writing down how you feel can be incredibly helpful when it comes to mindset and even for overall wellbeing. It can help you to notice patterns of behaviour, create an energetic distance between yourself and any problems you’re experiencing, and encourage you to think creatively. Gratitude hones your focus on the good things in your life as you think about what you do have, rather than what’s lacking.
- Volunteer for an hour or two a week – investigate ways you could gift your time to a worthy cause. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in person, as many charities would be grateful for support with things like social media or blogging. Giving back to your community can make your heart swell with appreciation, pride and abundance.
- Send a friend some flowers or a gift, just because – there are so many companies offering not only bouquet deliveries but also things like self-care boxes and stationery gifts. If budget is an issue, look at simple hand-made gifts to make and send, or send a note card with a heart-felt poem or words.
- Make a small, low-risk investment – this might feel a bit scary for newbie investors, but there are so many great apps which offer small, low-risk investments. Do your research and never invest more than you can afford; it’s always better to start small and see how things go. Get advice from social media communities and online forums.
- Use positive abundance affirmations – speaking affirmations out loud can feel a bit weird to start off with but they can really help you to shift your mindset quickly, even if you don’t quite believe what you’re saying to start off with. Involve your physiology! Stand up tall, push your chest forward, lower your shoulders, and speak with authority and confidence as you repeat positive affirmations, starting with “I am”, “I can” or “I choose to”. Here a three simple ones to start you off: 1. “I am always training myself to think positive thoughts” 2. “I can change the way I feel by being curious about my thoughts and creating new thoughts and beliefs which serve me in a positive way” 3. “I choose to focus on gratitude every day. The Universe supports my efforts in surprising and unexpected ways”
- Allow abundance – sometimes it’s as simple as giving yourself permission to allow more into your life. When you’re in a scarcity mindset you close yourself off in so many ways. Your mind, body and soul should be fully open to receive as you put yourself into an allowing state. Ask yourself every morning “Do I want to be open or closed to abundance today?”. Check in with your mind and body to see what emotions and feelings come up for you.
Expect your every need to be met. Expect the answer to every problem, expect abundance on every level – Eileen Caddy
Plus a little bonus tip which is absolutely fundamental is to love yourself unconditionally and care for yourself as if you were your #1 most important asset (because you 100% are!). Many people make the mistake of chasing abundance, when actually it is within you right at this moment; your trillions of cells, your beating heart, your skin and your bones. Without a happy, healthy, loved and cared for you, there’s no abundance mindset, no business, no happiness, no fulfilment…nothing! Make time to love yourself as if your life and business depended on it, because it kinda does.
What to Do if Your Scarcity Mindset Is Taking Over Your Life
I know and fully appreciate how hard it can be to shift from a scarcity mindset to an abundant one. You may have had years of programming around this and have old, familiar patterns which you feel safe with at some level, even when they aren’t serving your higher purpose.
If your efforts to cultivate an abundance mindset are fruitless, you may want to consider getting further support, depending on the level it’s impacting your life. For consistent low mood, intrusive negative thoughts or depression, see your G.P. in the first instance. If you’re generally positive and feel able to manage without medical support, you could consider counselling or coaching, along with alternative methods such as Emotional Freedom Technique, Hypnotherapy, Reiki and Sound Healing. Always find a certified practitioner and read their reviews. Many people offering these services offer free discovery calls, so you can find out if they’re a good fit for you.
Personally, I’ve found Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Tapping to be the best tool and I’ve created a free mini-course called ‘Worthy & Wealthy – The Magic of Self-Healing’ which you are welcome to enrol on.
To summarise, having a scarcity mindset can be a complex issue, but nonetheless you can feel empowered in this situation. Know that things can and will change. Read about and follow entrepreneurs who’ve overcome financial and personal difficulties, as this will inspire and motivate you. Be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion as you keep learning.