Scarcity vs. Abundance: Mindset Matters

There’s a lot of chatter in the business zines about the dangers of a “scarcity mindset”. The idea is that we either see our resources as feast or as famine, and that perception determines our course of action.  An entrepreneur has to take risks to succeed, risking his time, energy, and money to make his enterprise a reality. He is probably going to fail several times before he succeeds. This is the uphill battle demanded of those who want to impact the world.

A scarcity mindset is characterized by overfocus on the potential losses, a feeling that resources must be conserved at all cost.  It is fatal to the creative impulse in business, in art and in living. It causes a person to give up on his dreams and to settle for a steady paycheck, an uninspiring job, or a restricted life.

The alternative, the abundance mindset, sees the world as filled with opportunity and wealth of all kinds. This perspective permits an entrepreneur to move forward courageously against the risks, knowing the world is full of good things for those who bring value to others.

Isn’t this a lot like the mindset required for successful aging? We have to stop focusing on what we don’t have and embrace what we have: in relationships, in our daily lives, and in forging plans for the future. There are elders who spend all their time thinking and talking about the negatives (creaks, aches, meds) and there are more self-actualized elders who focus on the beauty and love around them. It is not a matter of denying the downsides, but a matter of attention and focus.

Even the way you hold your body can reflect your mindset and can be changed. A scarcity mindset is revealed in muscular tension, especially in the shoulders and jaw, closed hands, and shallow breathing. The feeling of abundance shows in open shoulders and hands, deep breathing and a relaxed body.

Give some thought to your mindset today, and look for ways to open yourself up to the gifts in life.