As someone who has a tendency to save things for a special time rather than using things I love, I’ve been working to develop a mindset of abundance.
Adopting this way of thinking has challenged me as I grew up with a mother who lived through tough times of the 30s depression when she learned to do without necessities and then WWII when she learned to shop with wartime ration coupons. My mother’s fear that scarcity was just around the corner left me with a level of anxiety and doubts about whether I could trust that I could have abundance.
Life experiences have shown that a mindset of abundance brings more joy and happiness. For me, it’s about the confidence that there’s enough to go around and enough to meet my needs whether it’s love, food, money or recognition.
Mindset of Abundance
The term Mindset of Abundance was a concept I learned many years ago when Stephen Covey in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, wrote about a scarcity mentality and a mindset of abundance.
Scarcity mentality views life as offering a finite set of resources as opposed to a mindset of abundance where there is plenty for everyone. A scarcity mentality sees limitations and a mindset of abundance sees opportunities.
Politicians often frighten people into thinking about scarcity rather than abundance. Scarcity thinking preys on negative emotions. We are made to envy those who seemingly have more money, more happiness, and thus, better lives.
Most of us in the West live in countries where abundance is within our reach. Information technology, central banks managing the money supply, rich agricultural production of food, and, recently, vaccines to combat Covid 19 allow a comfortable lifestyle.
Fostering A Mindset of Abundance
I use several techniques to stay focused on abundance. Abundance is a way of seeing the world and believing that there is enough for all of us if we trust each other.
- I start with gratitude for the things I have. Gratitude for even the simplest things increases happiness and improves well-being. Whether it’s good coffee in my favourite mug, a warm smile from my husband, or a word of appreciation from a friend, I try to notice little things and feel grateful.
- I approach each day looking for opportunities for fulfillment by setting a few goals for each day. Sometimes a goal involves creative pursuits like writing a blog post; sometimes it’s calling a friend; sometimes it’s an online game of bridge; sometimes it’s getting through a few ugly household chores.
- I try to associate with positive people who have high expectations of themselves and those with whom they associate. They react to setbacks with an attitude of ‘can do’ rather than dismay or fear. If they criticize, it’s done kindly and with good intent.
- I foster self-confidence and a belief in my ability to succeed. Over the years I’ve developed the skills to problem solve and overcome most obstacles.
- I foster an attitude of adapting to change. Change happens with every passing day so I focus on adapting to unpredictable events. If nothing else, living through this pandemic has made everyone learn how to adapt to changed circumstances.
- When I’m faced with the fear of not having enough, I focus on generosity. I remember aspects of my life that are filled with abundance.
Fostering a mindset of abundance takes courage. Deep-rooted beliefs and habits such as those I experienced as a child can be replaced by consciously adopting new thinking styles.
6 Replies to “A Mindset of Abundance”
You’re right, we can recognize the abundance we live with if we just try. But when we are raised to focus on all that we don’t have, that can be a bit of a challenge.
The habits we learned as children keep haunting us! I try to limit scarcity thinking but sometimes I fall back into old patterns. Abundance is all around us but those old habits sometimes exert a fierce grip.
Enjoy your weekend!
We all, in Canada, have an over abundance of material belongings. When one is forced to do without, as is my daughter, who is living with me while her house is being built, one realizes how little is really needed to live quite happily.
We do have over-abundance when we compare ourselves with the rest of the world! Sometimes it’s easy to notice what we do without rather than what we have to enjoy! Material things seldom bring happiness!
Excellent post. Even though money can sometimes be tight, as long as we have a safe place to lay our head at night and food in our belly, we have enough. I guess I am saying, it’s all about the focus. I keep a gratitude journal and the practice of sitting down and writing that journal makes me notice all the good in my life. Growing up in a family with six children, it has been a process for me, too, to get from scarcity to an abundance mindset. Also, from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Thanks for your post, and enjoy your day!
It’s the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday this weekend, so abundance has been on my mind. A gratitude journal is an excellent means of tracking the abundance that is around us. Let’s be thankful for all we are given!
Have a good weekend!