17 Steps to Go From a Scarcity to an Abundance Mindset
If you want to succeed in life, no matter what “success” means to you, you need to develop an abundance mindset.
Have you ever wondered why, despite working non-stop, you don’t seem to achieve the life you desire?
Do you feel like nothing you ever do is good enough for you?
Have you ever fell into comparison traps that make you feel you’ll never have what others have?
If that’s your case, you probably need to work on your mindset.
Believe it or not, the way you think and your happiness level have a huge impact on your outcomes.
“Research shows that when people work with a positive mindset, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves.”
– Shawn Achor, Positive Intelligence, Harvard Business Review
If you find yourself working non-stop and still getting little to no results, you’re probably living in scarcity because of how you think about everything: you, your relationships, your work, your worth, your money, your body. Everything.
I’m aware there’s a bunch of information about this topic on the Internet.
Still, most of the articles come from people who actually live in abundant environments where it’s relatively easy to look around and realize there’s an ocean of opportunities out there but fail to see that for one reason or the other.
This is perfectly acceptable.
But today, I want to write this post for folks out there who live in developing countries, come from low-income families or live in difficult environments (like violent or abusive households)…
People who find it hard to believe their lives can be better because, well… it is hard, very hard, to believe it.
I want to tell you that no matter your circumstances, you can still develop an abundance mindset that plays in your favor so you can get out of the sh*tty situation you’re in right now.
Of course, you’ll need to put in the effort daily, but you’ll make it. Trust me!
Abundance vs. Scarcity Mindset
Basically, people with a scarcity mindset are always focusing on what they don’t have (that they wish they had) instead of focusing on the good things they have in their lives.
These people are usually very competitive because they think it’s either them or other people. For them, it’s virtually impossible to have win-win situations every time.
They believe that money is a limited resource, so if they have more of it, it means they’re taking money away from other people somehow.
And, of course, they think that they don’t have enough money because there are millionaires and billionaires out there.
People who have an abundance mentality, on the other hand, see the world as a huge space where everybody can fit.
They know money is unlimited, just like the Universe, so everybody can have a share of it. Because of this, they’re not in perpetual competition with others.
How to shift from a scarcity to a bulletproof abundance mindset
1. Be mindful of the people you surround yourself with
You’ve probably heard that you’re the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with the most.
So, with that in mind, look around and analyze how you feel when you’re hanging out with friends and others.
Do you feel more optimistic when you’re with them?
Or, on the contrary, do you feel anxious, worried, or even scared of everything after spending time with them?
This is a key step when it comes to developing an abundance mindset in difficult environments.
So the first thing you want to do is start reducing the time you spend with these people and the amount of importance you give to what they say or do.
I understand sometimes it’s hard to distance yourself from important family members or close friends.
If that’s your case, there are some things you can still do to prevent their bad vibes from ruining yours (and your whole life and future as well):
a. Whenever someone tries to complain or say negative things around you, look for ways to change the topic. Don’t interrupt them. Just let them speak and whenever it’s your turn to speak, say something like, “Yeah, what a bummer… Did you hear that X, Y, Z (whatever you want to talk about)?”
b. If that doesn’t work, create an imaginary shield that protects you from what they say or do.
I learned this from the book Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty… And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself, by Aziz Gazipura.
In this book, Gazipura talks about techniques that psychotherapists use to protect themselves from their patient’s problems, hard-to-hear stories, traumas, etc.
The one that stayed with me the most is this: Imagine you’re inside a huge bubble.
This is your safe space.
Whatever people say or do will crash against the soapy surface of your bubble, leaving you intact.
I highly recommend you check out Gazioura’s book if you’re a chronic people pleaser and if you let what others think, feel, or do affect you more than it should.
2. Stop complaining
For people who complain constantly, complaining seems like talk therapy.
They think that if they keep voicing their discomfort and vent, they’ll feel better.
However, it’s actually the opposite.
The more you talk about something, the more it grows; the more you complain about any situation or person, the more power you give to it.
The worst thing about this is that it seems to be very addicting.
Apparently, people who like to complain can’t live without doing it. And then it just becomes part of who they are. They can’t stop.
If you’re one of those people, then you need to start working on this right now.
Constantly complaining puts you in a bad mood, and, what’s worse, it develops a scarcity mentality.
Complaining repeatedly is like placing a dark film in front of your eyes that makes you see the negative in everything.
Now, by saying this, I don’t mean you can’t talk about negative things EVER.
You can, and of course, it’s healthy to let it out. Personally, I’m not too fond of people who try to push their positivity upon others. It sucks.
If you need to talk about a bad situation, do so with a person you trust and once you’ve talked about it, let it go and start working towards a solution.
This one has a lot to do with step #9. We’ll talk a little more about this later.
3. Let other people’s abundance vibes nurture your spirit (no matter if you know them or not)
Ideally, you’ll want to surround yourself with people who inspire you and challenge you to become your better self.
People who, after spending time with them, make you feel confident and ready to conquer whatever life throws at you.
However, I know that may sound extremely utopic for some of us.
If there’s nobody around you who you admire, then use technology to your advantage.
Find inspiring and educational YouTube channels created by people who embody your ideal friends or role models.
Learn from them and use their knowledge to make progress on your own personal growth.
Follow people on Instagram or Twitter that have something of value to offer.
Nowadays, we spend so much time on the Internet and our phones; there’s nothing wrong with using that time to our advantage.
4. Think big
As simple as that. Don’t be ashamed of your dreams. Dare to think and dream big.
Everything you see around you was made by someone who imagined it first.
Absolutely every object you see was born in the imagination of a person like you and me.
If you can’t find people who are willing to listen to your big plans and support you, don’t worry.
Write them down! It works.
The most important thing here is finding a way to be in touch with those dreams and plans constantly.
To do so, I highly recommend you describe your dream life or perfect day in a note on your phone, for example, and read it every night before going to sleep.
The more you think about something, the more power you give to it, remember?
5. Share what you have
Sharing your money, time, love, knowledge, or anything else puts you in the right mindset, and this is why: you can only give others what you already have.
Do you feel like you don’t have enough time?
Stop and organize your day, find time to teach that class or make that call or whatever you’ve been putting off, and you’ll realize you have more time in your hands than you think.
Do you feel like you don’t know anything about anything? Again, think twice.
We all know at least a little more than other people about something. Find that knowledge and share it with others. Teach them something!
By sharing, you’ll realize you have a lot to give to the world.
You are an endless resource of positive things, and so is everything else.
6. Practice gratitude
Gratitude is such a key aspect of this process.
When you feel grateful daily and cultivate a gratitude habit, you realize how fortunate you really are.
This doesn’t mean problems simply disappear. You’ll still need to face them. But you’ll do so with a different perspective.
7. Watch what you say
Whatever you say out loud, your mind believes it.
If you “jokingly” say you’re “too poor” to do something, your subconscious mind will believe it.
Be mindful of the way you speak to and about yourself.
This one’s a little easier than watching your thoughts, but it still can be tough to master.
Take it day by day and, if you have someone you trust who can act as an accountability partner on this one, tell them to please help you improve.
Whenever you say you’re too fat, too poor, too dumb, or too whatever to do anything, just breathe and say something like, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. What I wanted to say was…” and rephrase your sentence.
Little by little, you’ll get better at this.
8. Be aware of your negative thoughts
Controlling our train of thought is HARD.
We’re all guilty of letting our minds wander relentlessly all day long.
And that train of thought usually includes negative ones such as reasons to be worried, reasons to think something’s going to go wrong, things we’ve done in the past that make us feel guilty, etc.
However, there’s one simple way to do so: through meditation.
Meditate 5-10 minutes daily, and you’ll start seeing results in a week.
For more information about the wonderful benefits of meditation, I highly recommend you check out headspace.com.
9. Give up your victim mentality
Once you’re a grown-up, you’re basically the result of your own choices.
Was it hard to make a different choice than the one you made that ultimately brought you where you are today?
But at the end of the day, it was your choice anyways.
You’re not a victim of others or your circumstances, or the place you grew up in.
10. Focus on opportunities
Focus on the abundance in your life.
What you focus on, you’ll get!
Whenever you need to face a challenge, no matter how big or small, look at it for what it is: an opportunity to grow and learn.
Sure, that doesn’t mean you won’t get angry, sad, or stressed about it, but changing your perspective will help ease those emotions and make the best out of any circumstance.
11. Act like a beginner
Beginners are open to possibilities.
Beginners know there’s so much to learn.
12. Get rid of your emotional baggage
Holding grudges never helped anybody.
I know it’s easier said than done, but if you want to live a life of abundance in every aspect, then you’ll need to let go of some things so you can make space for new ones.
13. Be in charge
Sure, you can’t control everything that happens to you.
And sometimes, you won’t be able to control how you feel about it.
But one thing’s for sure: you can control how you respond to it.
Keep that in mind and know that you’re the master of your own life.
You can decide how you’re going to face challenges.
Live life as if you had chosen every aspect of it.
That’s the only way to find true freedom and, ultimately, develop an abundance mindset.
14. Work on your self-confidence
People who let their scarcity ideas run their lives are generally afraid and insecure.
They feel powerless, as if they’re just the consequences of everything that happens around them. And not the other way around.
On the other hand, the abundance mindset originates in the mind of those who are self-confident, people who trust themselves and their ability to keep growing.
A strong, confident person’s mind is the perfect breeding ground for the abundance mindset to thrive.
When you’re self-confident, you know there’s plenty of resources out there for everybody.
15. Identify your limiting beliefs
Limiting beliefs are all of the ideas you were taught when you were a child or before you could have your own opinions based on your own experiences and philosophies.
When people talk about limiting beliefs regarding money, for example, one of the most common is something parents usually tell their kids: “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”
Now, this is a resource parents use to teach their kids they can’t spend their hard-earned money on things that aren’t necessary. We get that.
However, if you grow thinking money is hard to get, you’ll keep thinking you have to suffer somehow to get your hands on it.
16. Develop a daily routine of abundance
Thinking this way needs to be your way of thinking by default, and if you’ve been a negative person before, you’ll need to eradicate a lot of bad habits.
And that’s no easy task.
However, it’s not impossible either.
To cultivate an abundance mindset that lasts a lifetime, you’ll need to make it a habit.
That way, you’ll be able to replace your old, harmful habits with new, positive ones.
“Training your brain to be positive is not so different from training your muscles at the gym. Recent research on neuroplasticity—the ability of the brain to change even in adulthood—reveals that as you develop new habits, you rewire the brain.”
– Shawn Achor, Positive Intelligence, Harvard Business Review
17. Join aimlief’s abundance challenge
The Bottom Line
Developing an abundance mindset when your surroundings convince you every day of your life that you’ll never have enough is extremely difficult.
However, it’s not impossible.
Your brain is more malleable than you think; by creating new habits, you can rewire it and change the way you think.
Of course, as I mentioned several times here, this is not easy at all.
But, if you’re consistent enough and find joy in these exercises, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and others and cultivate the right mindset to reach your goals and get out of any bad situation.
You got this!