In this article, we will run through 13 strategies to shift from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset. The mindset you have is important because it sets the tone of your life. With an abundance mindset, you look at life through the eyes of possibility, instead of lack. You see opportunities, decision-making is easier, and you are more flexible.
Below are 13 simple ways to cultivate an abundance mindset. While these methods may be simple, they may not be so easy to implement. It may not come naturally at first. It will be a challenge as you consciously steer your thoughts away from negativity, towards positivity. But by making an effort, it will get easier! Anyone can transform themselves from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset and live a meaningful and rewarding life.
Why you'll want to choose an abundance mindset
According to Stephen Covey (author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), an abundance mindset is “a concept in which a person believes there are enough resources and successes to share with others.” A scarcity mindset, on the other hand, is the idea that, if someone else is successful or wins, you lose.
The benefits of cultivating an abundance mindset:
- You’re in the driver’s seat of your own life;
- You’re rooted, balanced, relaxed, present, alert, breathing deeply and evenly, with an expansive posture;
- You feel engaged, empowered, and positive;
- You feel like you’re working towards something bigger than you;
- You’re excited about the challenges and your growth ahead;
- You energize and inspire others;
- You’re flexible, adaptable and listen actively;
- You have clarity;
- Have a complete and happy life;
- You are able to see things from multiple angles;
- You always feel like you have options;
- You radiate joy and happiness no matter your circumstances;
- You give and receive love with ease;
- You give and receive items of value easily;
- You enjoy new opportunities that present themselves;
- You create meaningful and memorable experiences in your life;
- You are secure and confident in your life’s pursuits;
- You achieve positive outcomes in your various endeavors.
1. Understand the power of your thoughts
Mindfulness can help you determine whether your thoughts are generating a mindset of lack or abundance. You can begin to making a conscious effort to redirect your thoughts toward abundance. You do this by taking the time to notice what type of thoughts are flowing around in your head.
If you’re not achieving the results you expect in any aspect of your life, ask yourself, “Are my ideas about this based on fear and scarcity?” If this is the case, try to consciously shift your thoughts to abundance and prosperity.
Here are a two examples of the difference between an abundance mindset, and a scarcity mindset:
You want a romantic relationship but the potential love interest wants friendship only.
- Scarcity mindset – “I’ll never find love!”
- Abundance mindset – “I welcome a new friendship, and I trust that the right person for a romantic relationship will come along at the right time.”
Potential business deal
- Scarcity mindset – “if this meeting doesn’t go perfectly, I will never have an opportunity to advance myself.”
- Abundance mindset – “this meeting represents one of many opportunities I will encounter in my life to grow in my career.”
2. Detach from the outcome
Things are not always going to go the way you want—that’s life. So becoming emotionally attached to a certain outcome is a recipe for disappointment.
One way to detach from expectations is by practicing mindfulness exercises. (Mindfulness is a state of being aware of your current moment and accepting it in a non-judgmental manner).
As we become more mindful, we naturally decrease our attention to desired outcomes and increase our focus on the only guaranteed thing: the present.
Although it may take some time, changing from a mindset of scarcity to one of abundance will eventually become second nature. This mindset shift will not be immediate or flawless. However, every time we catch ourselves focusing on scarcity or limitation, we have a chance to learn and advance. Can you reframe that negative thought or identify a positive aspect?
3. Celebrate others’ successes
If the success of others makes you feel bad about yourself, that is scarcity thinking. Instead, be inspired and motivated to gain your own success because if others can, you can too! Them succeeding does not mean you can’t.
Also, resist the urge to make excuses for yourself. Maybe they don’t have the same adversities as you, but they have their own challenges.
Genuinely embracing the achievements of those around you offer a step toward a life of abundance and may even inspire you to continue striving toward your own goals.
Parents can teach this lesson by encouraging siblings to support one another, instead of rivaling against one another.
4. Develop an attitude of Gratitude
To practice gratitude, you can start a gratitude journal where you write down what you are truly grateful for each day. Make an effort to record at least ten items. If you feel stuck, remember the little things, like a stranger’s smile or a delicious cup of coffee. Also consider the basic things that are often ignored, like your bed, a hot shower, the clean air you breathe, or simply the opportunity to live another day.
5. Open your mind to possibilities
A narrowed consciousness is the enemy of abundance. One amusing Harvard study discovered that when people concentrate intensively on one thing, other alternatives right in front of them go entirely overlooked. It is therefore important to loosen your mind’s focus and cultivate an expanded awareness that promotes an abundant mindset.
One way to broaden your consciousness is to keep a regular meditation practice or set aside some time each day to be quiet and serene. Make the intention to clear your mind and open yourself up to fresh and rich possibilities.
6. Cultivate your passion and share it
Developing confidence in the things you are both good at and enjoy doing is a fantastic method to create self-esteem. The next step would be to discover how you can use your talents to prosper and serve others.
7. Choose your words wisely
Your reality is shaped by the thoughts and the words you use. This applies to the words you use when you talk to yourself and others. Are you telling scarcity stories or abundance stories?
Pay attention to what you are saying when you are talking to friends, family, or colleagues. When you find yourself talking about something you can’t have, be, or do, (even if it’s what you really want,) stop yourself mid-sentence. Rephrase what you were about to say because your goal is to get out of the scarcity mentality rut and build an abundance mentality.
8. Build beyond a growth mindset
In her book: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck writes, “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point.” This perspective fosters a joy of learning as well as the resilience required for great success. A growth mindset is inextricably linked to an abundance mindset.
To implement a growth mindset in your own life, you can start by watching your self-talk. Are you saying “I can’t do it,” or “I can’t do it yet.”
9. Think Like a Beginner
An abundance mindset demands learning and progress. Even about things you have mastered, a beginner’s mindset is when you maintain an attitude of openness and enthusiasm, as well as the willingness to overrule previous prejudices (as a true beginner would) regardless of how learned or experienced you are.
Make a decision to learn something new that will put you in the uncomfortable position of “not knowing.” It might be anything that seems exciting and forces you to learn, such as a new hobby, language, or even starting a passion project.
10. Try to spot the silver lining
People have a tendency to perceive the negative more easily than the positive. This is not our fault–evolution has wired our brains this way. (Ancestors who recognized threats quickly were more likely to survive.) But we don’t live with the same threats as our ancestors. Today, optimists live better, longer lives by adopting an abundance mindset.
The next time you are in a difficult situation, consciously try to look at the problem from a broader, more holistic perspective. Instead of focusing on what is wrong and trying to solve the problem, consciously try to look for the silver lining.
11. Practice Daily Abundance Affirmations
According to research done by Carnegie Mellon University, using positive affirmations can increase problem-solving skills and reduce stress. Abundance quotes can help us to shift our mindset from scarcity to abundance.
12. Go on a negativity diet
Negativity is all around us. You find it on social media, the news, direct and indirect insults, advertisements, books, friends and family, and even seemingly innocent jokes. It constantly bombarded us. Even people who mean well can make you feel bad about yourself.
Instead of a constant diet of negativity, feed your subconscious and conscious mind with information that serves you. For example, someone struggling to lose weight will be best served not driving by fast-food restaurants, ignoring junk food isles in the grocery stores, avoiding cooking shows, etc. The same concept applies to a negativity diet—stay away from media that makes you feel bad about yourself and the world around you. This may include avoiding social media and censoring news articles. Instead, fill yourself up on a diet of inspiring books and articles, positive quotes, and affirmations.
If you live a life of abundance, you give away freely because you have so much, whether it be your money, your time, or your expertise. Have you ever given someone something, (even if it was just a compliment,) and then you feel great about it afterward? That’s it! People with an abundance mindset give freely because doing so improves the life of the receiver and the giver.
But it’s more than that! By giving freely, you indicate that resources are abundant. It’s the opposite energy of a scarcity mindset, where they are focused on lack.
Even if you have little, you can share what you have. You can give a smile, a compliment, a flower, a helping hand, a compassionate shoulder to cry on, etc. Do it as often as you can, and you may be amazed by the abundance that flows into your life.