Which best describes the way you approach your life, and why does it matter?
By Judith E. Lipson, M.A., LPC
In author Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, he describes the mindsets of scarcity and abundance. Abundance is the recognition that there are enough resources and successes for everyone. He contrasted this with the scarcity mindset, which focuses on not having or being enough.
When scarcity is your mindset, you believe there is not enough to go around. Scarcity is founded on the idea that if someone else wins or is successful in a situation, another loses. There is little consideration for the possibility of all parties winning. Scarcity, therefore, often results in destructive and unnecessary competition.
Compare this mindset to those who see life as abundant. Individuals with an abundance mentality are able to celebrate the success of others rather than feel threatened by it. Abundance is the realization that there is always enough and that we need not worry about quantity and opportunity – for ourselves or for others.
You may believe that you live in a mindset of abundance, but it may surprise you to know that you sometimes fall into the scarcity mindset. To determine how well you stay in abundance, look at the small experiences in your life:
- Do you save items to be used later rather than enjoying them now?
- Do you worry that others are ahead of you in life?
- Can you fully applaud the achievements of others, without comparing your own? Or, do you wonder if there will be an opportunity for you to reach others’ achievements?
- Do you focus on what you have, or is your focus on what you lack?
- When you see what is lacking in your life, do you find yourself in Fear?
One belief that creates scarcity thinking is the assumption that we are all separate; but when you realize that we are all one and that there is no difference between us, you can gain a better appreciation for the happiness and accomplishments of others.
An aspect of abundant thinking is recognizing the difficulty that others may have achieving this mindset. Have compassion for those who you perceive as angry or narrow-minded. They are actually filled with fear. Fear and scarcity frequently go hand in hand. Fear fosters the belief that if you have something, you will keep me from having it and you therefore must be the enemy.
The best way to combat your own fear or the fear that others direct toward you is by using its opposite: love. When you demonstrate a loving countenance, people will respond positively to your words, your actions, and your energy. Your loving, unconditional acceptance of them is what helps lead them away from their own fears and scarcity beliefs.
Imagine if all of us focused on the adequacy of our own lives – there would be less competition between individuals or between groups. As I think about this possibility, I wonder, would people still be so divided over politics? Would countries and cultures be at war? Would people of faith accept that there are many other ways to worship? Would families and coworkers engage in petty arguments?
I hope that peaceful coexistence and the abundance mindset will be the norm in my lifetime. We each hold the possibility to create this reality. Developing an abundance mindset creates optimism and joyful thoughts for ourselves. As we subsequently interact with others, we radiate this positive energy of acceptance and unity. Oneness replaces separateness, promoting societal changes and ultimately greater peace on earth.
Thinking with abundance brings possibilities for peace and acceptance for us all. We change our planet one person at a time, and it begins with ourselves. As you strive to bring more abundance and peace into your life, consider author Doreen Virtue’s affirmation: I accept good graciously into my life; all of my needs are met abundantly for me now and always.
Judy Lipson is a Licensed Professional Counselor and educational strategist in West Bloomfield. She helps clients of all ages who have learning difficulties; work or school related anxiety; ADHD; Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorders; and those who wish to Remember and Become Who You Really Are. Contact Judy at 248.568.8665 and firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit www. SpiralWisdom.net for more information.