Do You Have A Scarcity Mindset?

by Jillian Beirne Davi

From our earliest childhood memories,  most of us remember hearing specific messages about money from the adults that took care of us.  What did you hear when you were growing up?  Was money hard to come by? Was it tight?  Did you hear the adults around you arguing about money? Did it feel like there was never enough for everyone to feel good?

Well, if you heard these types of messages, you are not alone. We live in a culture that sensationalizes lack while conveniently ignoring the abundance.   Joyous stories of growth and abundance do not sell papers or attract millions of viewers on television.  Woeful tales of plummeting markets do, though.

Many of us heard from the adults in our lives how hard money is to come by and were shown through their actions how to behave in certain ways that proved that money was tight and scarce.

We may have adopted from our caregivers what’s called a ‘scarcity mentality’ which is the thinking and acting as if there is not enough for everyone to feel good.

This concept is then reinforced in our society through the media and through conventional wisdom.

As you begin to take action towards reaching your financial goals, you may find yourself thinking and acting from a place of lack.  You may secretly believe there is not enough.

Here are some symptoms of scarcity mentality.  Do any of these sound like you?

You believe life is permanent.  Not seeing things as temporary but fixed in some way, believing "that’s just the way it is."  Scarcity mentality sees life as fixed and unchangeable.  You can’t see new opportunities when you come from a scarcity mentality because you believe that things will never change.  Abundance mentality sees life as dynamic, malleable and in constant flux.

You habitually use the language of lack. Do you find yourself using the following phrases often?  I can't, I don't have enough, I'm broke, I'll just go without, not enough, etc.  Instead, experiment with the language of prosperity.  I always have more than enough, my income is always increasing, life is good to me.

You have trouble acknowledging success of others. Jealousy, secret or otherwise. Jealousy implies that someone has achieved something that you think is unattainable for you.  Their success must equalyour loss, in some way. This is scarcity mentality.

You hoard or hold on to things.  Keeping items well past their useful point, food, clothes, shoes. Get rid of things you don't need!    This invites life to bring you more!

You have difficulty receiving. Compliments, gifts, someone treating you, downplaying achievements, feeling like you have to even the score immediately.  If you cannot graciously receive then you must believe that when someone gives to you they must have “lost” something in return.   This is simply not true.

You overspend or overeat. When you truly believe there is not enough for everyone to feel good, some people who have a scarcity mentality eat and spend as if it’s their last bit of money to spend or their last meal before death.  When we hold a scarcity mentality we have trouble trusting that more is coming or on its way.  So we treat every morsel like it’s our last.

You make small gestures of lack.  Under tipping, pilfering, skimming off the top.  When you make small demonstrations of lack that may not be noticeable to others, you are keeping you from receiving more in life.    Life will mirror your beliefs.  If you believe in lack, not matter how small your actions may be, life will mirror those same beliefs back to you.

If you find that you have a scarcity mentality, it’s okay!  Many of us do.  The best way to turn a scarcity mentality into one of abundance is by beginning to speak prosperity and wealth into your experience and (this is even more important) taking abundant ACTION.

Some simple abundant actions you can do right now:

  • Give some money to a cause, charity or organization you love.

  • Say thank you (and then smile)! when you receive compliments. Resist the urge to deflect kind words.

  • Go through your closet and give away clothes and items you don’t need. Then work yourway to your pantry in the kitchen and your bathroom cabinets.