As you go through your daily life, think about how you’re reacting to situations. Are you responding from a place of anger, fear and want, or are you open, accepting and curious? There are two common mindsets associated with these feelings: scarcity and abundance. For many of us, our overall perception of life and whether we have available resources was instilled in our youth. We either grew up with a sense of lack, constantly yearning for something, or we felt we had the ample resources (time, food, joy, love, money, health, etc) to live a comfortable and happy life. As adults, we have the power to decide how we want to continue to perceive the world – starting NOW.
When we operate from a scarcity mindset, we have deep beliefs that the above resources in our lives are limited. The results are behaviors of being miserly, protective, defensive and guarding of what we do have available. This sense of lacking resources comes from a place of fear, a place of worry that there will never be enough to meet our needs. Scarcity and lack mindset usually stem from feelings of unmet needs, inadequacy, or actual life experience of insufficient food, money, clothing, emotional support.
In contrast, abundance mindset stems from beliefs that the resources we need are readily available. Some people are raised feeling they have sufficient resources and have not experienced ‘want’ in life. For many others, abundance mindset is curated over time and develops once we feel secure that we have what we need. Needs vary for each of us, though, and the practice of abundance mindset grows when we feel deep gratitude for what is already available, without judgment or self-satisfaction, and live in contentment.
In our fast-paced world, with constant barometers to measure ourselves against (social media), it is more common to feel unfulfilled than satisfied. By having awareness of how we perceive resource availability, we can actively choose to mindfully cultivate more joy and abundance in our lives.
How can you bring more abundance into your life?
Practice gratitude daily. Being thankful for the blessings we already have is essential to feeling fulfilled. Our health, our mobility, having a home to keep us dry from rain, having people to laugh with, having food to make dinner for our family, amongst other things which bring joy in our lives, are things which can often be taken for granted. Take a moment each day and recall 1-3 things for which you are grateful – express this or keep a gratitude journal.
Look at the glass as half-full. Examining life with a lens of optimism rather than pessimism, changes how our minds process information and shifts our brainwave energies. When we think of the outcome of a situation, we may actively choose to believe it will turn out in our favor, or we may believe that it won’t. From the theory of energy conservation, wherever you put your energy, you are giving that outcome momentum.
Recognize when fear shows up. Fear is incredibly powerful, and it is a driver for much of our human behavior. When we can pause for a moment and see ourselves responding from a place of fear, we give ourselves a moment to understand the root of our fear. Think about these common fear statements: ‘I have to drive faster on the road or I’ll be late,’ or ‘I better fill my plate first to make sure I get some,’ or ‘I don’t want to try something new because I don’t know what will happen.’ When these or similar thoughts arise, ask yourself: Am I in danger? Most of the time you are not. If there is no actual threat, then the fear is originating from a place of scarcity mindset. Acknowledging the absence of real threat, we may redirect our mindset, understand we have enough, and calm our fear.
Share. There is a piece of us as humans that feels wholly better when we share what we have with others; we are social creatures, happiest when in community. Actively sharing what we have helps us realize when we have more than enough and that by sharing, we can improve other’s lives. Charitable donations, sharing cookies at work, spending time with our families, volunteering in the neighborhood are small (or large) ways we can spread kindness and promote abundance in our daily lives.
When we can shift our mindset and actions to come from a place of abundance, we master our emotions and responses. We begin to look at challenging situations with optimism and curiosity, seeking to understand what we may learn. We stop viewing ourselves as victims in situations and begin taking ownership for how we manage ourselves and our responses. Our energy shifts from being closed-off and guarded to open and welcome to receive. And when we are open to receive, we realize how joyful life can be, just as it is, thankful for what we have and without need for anything more.
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