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.