As we start to transition out of the pandemic to eased restrictions, more freedoms, social opportunities, restaurants and theatres and fitness studios re-opening, and gatherings with friends and family again, it’s time to check in with where our mindset is. Because how we are thinking and feeling leads to our behaviours, which lead to our habits, which lead to our outcomes, and therefore, everything that we are, do, and have.
It would be totally natural for us to have some reservations about reintegrating again as pandemic restrictions subside and things open back up. We’ve just had an incredibly powerful shift towards fear and scarcity over the past year and a half. That’s not a judgment, it’s a fact. As a result, all of us will contend with more ‘scarcity’ thinking and mindset. Not enough money, jobs lost, minimal social opportunities, isolation — how can we not expect that the pandemic has thrown us deeper in to scarcity mindset than we ever were before? I believe that this pandemic may cause one of the most detrimental shifts to our thinking and mindset in our entire lives! So yes, this is serious stuff.
Are you concerned about being more pessimistic, frustrated, fearful, sad, unsure, scattered, blame-filled, jealous and unhappy? Or are you wanting to feel happier, more empowered, confident, grateful, connected and loved each and every day? Scarcity vs abundance. Which do you choose?
A scarcity mindset is when you are focused strongly on a lack of something — usually time or money or love/relationships — that you can’t seem to focus much on anything else. In opposition, abundance mindset allows you to believe there is plenty of everything in the world from resources, time, love/relationships, money/wealth and opportunities such that you don’t focus on limitation/lack much at all. Which of these two mindsets do you think allows you to feel free? Which one enslaves you?
If indeed a shift toward scarcity has happened, we’ve got some work to do here. Scarcity mindset doesn’t just go away on its own. It has to be snuffed out by abundance mindset. Darkness doesn’t exist when there is light. In this case though, the darkness (scarcity) is the path of least resistance, and the light (abundance) requires work.
If you regularly experience thoughts or phrases like, “I can’t…”, “I don’t have…”, “I’m not smart/skilled/wealthy/hardworking/pretty/funny/interesting/etc. enough…”, or you find yourself in more fear, uncertainty and doubt, it’s likely the pandemic has shifted you further into the darkness of scarcity mindset. It is insidious. It is real.
However, if you are wanting to experience more happiness, ease, relaxation, joy, inner peace and freedom — and you are open to a few key suggestions here — focus on these top four tips and ways to shift more into the abundance mindset:
1. Focus on what you already have. Focus on the positive aspects of your life, job, relationship, money, time, resources, etc. This quote from Oprah sums it up perfectly, “Be thankful for what you have, and you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” So simply and beautifully stated.
2. Practice daily gratitude. Take the items you identify as most important to you from the statement in No. 1 above, be mindful of moments in your life you are so appreciative for, and outwardly express that gratitude (and feel that feeling in your chest by putting yourself back in those moments in your mind!) when you take scheduled/intentional gratitude moments for yourself each and every day. Literally put it in your schedule (as, trust me, you won’t create the habit; and all you are/do/have is simply a collection of your daily habits — believe it!).
3. Surround yourself with abundant-minded people. Tony Robbins and many other success coaches (who got it from Jim Rohn) frequently state that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And it seems to work for income, mindset, relationship success, happiness, free time and more. So, take an average of the five people you spend the most time with and there you are! If that concerns you, start scheduling more time with more uplifting and empowering, abundant-minded people.
4. Reflect. And journal. Every evening after dinner, take out a notepad and pen and write down what things you liked and didn’t like about the day. What are you grateful for? What could you shift and adjust moving forward? Note down the times you thought with scarcity mindset, and re-frame it in terms of what the best possible outcome could have been. Become more mindful of what your inner voice/critic says, and shift that language. Stick with it! It could be the most important thing you ever do for yourself.
There is a whole lot to unpack here. Take your time digesting these top four strategies and get started today on the one(s) that stirred you the most either way. Proceed in a way you feel is sustainable for you to create new habits. Think abundantly from what is possible. Think, “What is the best possible thing that could happen?”
Allow yourself to be in a place of abundance in your mind and stop just before your habitual brain adds the “but” part. Practice that.
Your relationships, time, stress levels, bank account, job and happiness all depend on this. It’s that important. Grow outside of your comfort zone with this. Now is not the time to ‘come back to it later’. Practice and build the new habits. It can be that simple.
“Everything you need to be great is already inside you. Stop waiting for someone or something to light your fire. You have the match.” —Darren Hardy