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There are two basic mindsets: an abundance mindset and a scarcity mindset. Which one you choose to adopt will help determine your chance of success — especially on your journey to financial independence.
While people with abundance mindsets envision limitless possibilities, those with a scarcity mindset think about the world in terms of limited options. It’s obvious which mindset can help you get ahead in life, business, and money.
In this article, you’ll learn how to adopt an abundance mindset and find out the skills you need to avoid falling into the trap of negative thinking.
But first, let’s break down some of the key differences between these two mindsets.
What is an abundance mindset?
An abundance mindset is a way of thinking about the world that keeps you open to possibilities. Someone with an abundance mindset believes that there’s enough to go around — enough time, enough money, enough energy. And they spend their lives looking for the next big thing.
That means abundance mindset people give big. They’re willing to give their time, energy, and money to projects and causes they care about. And they know that resources are infinite and that more will come to them.
What is a scarcity mindset?
In contrast, someone with a scarcity mindset believes there will never be enough of something. This mindset has a nasty habit of compounding. Instead of looking at the future and seeing the possibility of growth, someone with a scarcity mindset tends to hoard their resources and stress about the current problems in their life.
This mindset can severely affect your ability to reach for new opportunities.
Long ago, scarcity mindsets were evolutionarily beneficial because they helped us survive when resources were slim. However, they have served their purpose. It’s time to move on.
Abundance mindsets vs. scarcity mindsets
An abundance mindset allows you to open yourself to new opportunities and possibilities, while a scarcity mindset leaves you trapped in your current position.
For example, if someone with an abundance mindset sees that they’re up for a promotion at work, they’ll throw everything they have into setting themselves up for success. And they’ll be unafraid to march into their boss’s office and ask for what they want. Chances are, they’ll get it, too.
But someone with a scarcity mindset won’t see the benefit of even trying to get that better position. They’ll talk themselves out of it by asking, “What if I’m not good at that role and get fired?”
They’ll be so focused on maintaining what they already have that they won’t be willing to look ahead and see the possibilities.
Why is having a scarcity mindset bad?
All too many people fail at work, in building wealth, and at their relationships because they operate from a scarcity mindset. This kind of mindset focuses on what you lack and what you can’t achieve. It uses self-talk like “I could never do that” or “I don’t deserve it.”
This mindset is harmful in the long run, especially in the workplace. If you have a scarcity mindset, you won’t be able to celebrate someone else’s success. Instead, their success will be perceived as a threat to your job. You won’t see coworkers as a team because you’ll view them as competition.
Furthermore, you won’t be able to think ahead to find innovative solutions to problems. Instead, you’ll spend your time doing things by the book and grumbling when the status quo is disrupted. Your scarcity mindset will actually inhibit you from earning those promotions you so desperately want.
And from a financial perspective, when you have a scarcity mindset, you can become obsessed with the idea of your money running out. You won’t be able to enjoy your life and plan for the future. This inhibits your money-making potential.
Having a scarcity mindset can make you miserable. But many people don’t get out of this mindset because having a scarcity mindset is easy. Developing an abundance or growth mentality requires hard work and shifting your values. Not everyone wants to do that.
How to develop an abundance mindset
In order to adopt abundance thinking, you must work on cultivating a forward-thinking attitude that shoots for the best-case scenario.
With an abundance mindset, you choose to believe that there’s enough for everyone and that everyone can share a piece of the pie. Simple things like celebrating your coworkers’ success at work or passing around freelance leads as they come to you are ways you can work on adopting an abundance mentality.
Challenge your scarcity mindset
The first thing you need to do to develop a growth mindset is to interact with your scarcity mentality. Ask yourself which resources you consider scarce or in which aspects of your life you feel there’s competition.
Finding these trigger points allows you to start asking yourself why you think this way. You’ll be able to break down a negative thought and replace it with one that aligns with an abundant mindset. Through this, you can bring more happiness and gratitude into your life.
Say you’re jealous of Susan because she just got promoted at work. Susan is a good worker, and she deserved to be promoted. But you just can’t find it in your heart to be happy for her.
Ask yourself why. Maybe you’re jealous and thought you should have gotten the promotion. Maybe you think Susan’s promotion will affect your boss’ answer when you ask for a raise.
Whatever the reason, offer a counterpoint that is couched in an abundance mindset. Remind yourself that you’re good enough for a promotion and ask yourself what you can do to show this to your boss.
With this new, more positive attitude, you’ll have the confidence to go into the boss’s office and negotiate a better role and more pay. You’re worth it!
How to grow your business with an abundance mindset
If you work for yourself, having an abundance mindset is a great way to increase your income. You can use it as a tool for improving your business earnings or achieving a long-term financial goal.
Growing a side hustle or business is one of the best ways to harness this growth mindset. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on how you can grow your business. Sit down and write down goals for your business. Place your goals somewhere you can see them regularly, and remind yourself on difficult days that more is possible and that you’ll achieve your goals.
While abundance mentalities won’t replace the hard work of running a business, they can help drive away negative thoughts and keep you focused on what you’re trying to achieve.
Using an abundance mindset to achieve financial independence
Using an abundance mindset is especially helpful when you’re pursuing a goal such as achieving financial independence.
When you believe there’s enough money to go around, you’re able to hustle for more. Instead of focusing on what you have, like your W-2 income, with an abundance mindset you’ll see that you’re good enough for more money and that more money is available. This is in stark contrast to the scarcity mentality, which focuses on hoarding money but doesn’t allow you to enjoy the wealth-building process.
If you want to learn more about achieving financial independence, check out our new course, Financial Freedom in Uncertain Times. This video course gives you a deep dive into every aspect of achieving financial independence through detailed lessons, exercises, and interviews.
The Bottom Line
Having an abundance mindset is a great way to increase your earnings potential and achieve your financial and lifestyle goals. It takes energy to achieve an abundance mindset, but the benefits far outweigh the costs.
With an abundance mindset, you’ll be able to get what you want out of life with the belief that there’s more than enough to go around. You’ll be a more generous, thoughtful person. And you’ll be better set up to achieve — and make the most of — your financial independence.