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Ep 15 – The Scarcity Mindset

Reading Time: 7 minutes

This week talking about the opposite of the abundant mindset in Episode 14. That is a scarcity mindset and the problems it can cause in your efforts of being successful. We all have problems with negative thinking. Those negative thoughts are normal and have a purpose but they don’t serve us as they did in the caveman days. We use to not have enough and we had to fight for all that we had. Today that is still somewhat true but now scarcity is an element that holds us back. It keeps us safe and when being safe we are never growing emotionally or in knowledge.

What is scarcity mindset?

The scarcity mindset is seeing the world and your resources as being a zero-sum game. You are only allotted a certain amount and then when you are out it is gone.  Stephen Covey talks about this in the “7 Habits of Highly effective people” and says this,

Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the Scarcity Mentality. They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. In addition, if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everyone else.

Stephen Covey – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

If you watch the news, which I advise against, you see a scarcity mindset running rampant in not only America but around the world. You see people fighting over the scraps when there is a whole garden sitting next to them. People talk about the haves and the have not’s. That is all based on what somebody else has and the others won’t ever have. As a whole scarcity, mindset is based on fear. It is fear that you won’t be able to get out of the current situation. The fear that you won’t have enough money or that you will never get that new television is exactly what scarcity mindset really is.

We have one presidential candidate who is basing his whole platform on scarcity mindset. That is how out of control easy this mindset can influence your thinking.

Envy is based on a scarcity mindset. What does the Jones family have that you don’t?  That fear and anxiety of not being able to have nice things in your house create the thought that you are not worth your value. Hoarding is also based on scarcity. What if you throw away the 3-year-old copy of People Magazine and you need it for an article that looks interesting, though you never fully read it.

Why does scarcity mindset hold us back?

The scarcity mindset is a bog. It sucks you down and keeps you from expanding and becoming more than your current situation. How can you when you see yourself and your resources as being limited. It is like being chained to a tree and the locks are not fastened. You can’t leave because of the chain. You hold on to the fact that you have a chain it doesn’t matter if you are locked up or not. The chain is not holding you back.

Business owners suffer from scarcity whenever they struggle with charging somebody for their services. They see how easy it was for them to work in their zone of genius and feel guilty for charging someone $200 for an hour of their time. When in reality the customer isn’t paying for the time they are paying for the expertise you have.

That goes with the story of the repairman. A company’s machine was making a horrible noise. It was an older machine and was difficult to find people who can work on it. They tried several people and each one failed. Finally, they found an old man who specialized in working on just that very machine. They called him up and the repairman said that he would be right over. The repairman showed up and walked over to the machine. He took out a stethoscope and listened to the clank a few times then reached into his bag pulled out a hammer and smartly tapped at a joint n the machine.

Instantly the machine stopped clanking and started running better than it ever had for a long time. The man handed over his bill and the price was $2000. The Business owner cried that’s outrageous! You were here for only 5 minutes why does it cost that much. The old man said let me break it down for you. The hammer tap was $10 knowing right where to hit is $1990.

Common effects of a scarcity mindset people.

You play it safe

You are not about to risk all that you have because you don’t have enough to spare for the risk. However, if you do spend that $18,000 on that course you can expand your influence which could actually make you $180,000. You see what you don’t have not what doors are standing wide-open waiting for you to walk through.

It limits your opportunities

Again because you want to play it safe you are not about to take a risk. Therefore, your opportunities are very limited. You immediately take off the table all the things that are possible with the words, “If Only”. Then when the opportunity slide by you see that you missed your chance and focus on that problem, instead of looking for the next opportunity that is already walking up to your door.

You don’t give

You don’t have anything, so how can you actually give? You may have all the time in the world but you don’t see value in that you see that you don’t have the money to spare. Again, you limit your opportunity to make an impact all because you don’t believe you have money to give. Maybe you do give some money but it is just enough to make yourself feel like you are contributing. Maybe you are at a Charity gala and while everyone else is handing over thousands of dollars, you pitch in $25.

You are envious of others

That whole keeping up with the Joneses, you see that they have a new bass boat or a new SUV and you say “it must be nice.” Instead of celebrating with their success, you scoff at them. You make up words about them like they are stuck up or Uppity. You don’t see that there is an opportunity for connecting with them. You only see that they have something you don’t.

You love to the gossip magazines

What is the first thing you say when you see that one movie star who uses to be this thin sex bomb is now 50 pounds overweight? Wow! She got fat! You often revel in the downfall of big stars. You take secret joy in seeing those better off than you in pain or suffering.

You believe you are stuck in your current situation

Why bother? What good is it going to do to contribute to the project? I know that Arnold is going to claim my idea s his own and they give him the promotion. So you decide to not even give the idea that could change the course of the company you are with. Yeah, it may end up even adding a zero to everybody’s bonus this year but you are not about to let Arnold take the prize. You have either seen or even felt that thought go through your head before right? Instead of helping the company out knowing that, your idea was the catalyst. You don’t believe that you have other great ideas like that you are concerned about how well it will put you in a better tax bracket you can’t stand Arnold.

Limited thinking

Because you are limited in your situation, you are also limited in your thoughts. You won’t allow yourself the think big because, what’s the use, right? Why try, it will just fail and it will be added to the pile of other half done projects and dreams that never took off.

You over indulge

You ever get your tax return and completely blow it in a week? Most people with a scarcity mindset indulge every whim. They leave Walmart with the 80-inch television baskets full of perishable groceries. Apply the check to a brand new car. Maybe you were like me and when you were home, you would eat until you were full and then keep stuffing food in your mouth. I did that often. I would eat three or four helpings at the house and then when I would climb into the truck I would have food but also snacks and I would eat one bag after the other. Yeah, those were meant to stretch over the duration of the trip but often within 2-3 days, the “snacks” would be gone. All because I had, the food to be consumed and I couldn’t let it go to waste.

It affects your sex life

You remember how much whoopee you had when you first were married 2 kids and 10 years ago. Now you are lucky to have a roll in the hay, once a month. You focus on what you don’t have you aren’t seeing that maybe your wife is wanting to be intimate yet she doesn’t throw on a teddy and fix herself up. You start to have thoughts that men have had for centuries. Maybe it’s true she just wants you for just the paycheck. I mean what does she do all day? Walk around like you’re wounded and angry because she slapped your hand when tried to cop a feel. You react to the situation instead of finding a solution. Maybe it is her time of the month and her breasts are tender. Then again, your beautiful wife is struggling with her own insecurities because her body isn’t as tight and toned as it used to be. Not to mention what wife would find an emotionally immature boy sexually attractive so your actions could very well be the root cause.

How to change to a more abundant mindset

Gratitude journal

My favorite tool for shifting your focus from what you don’t have to what you do.

Each day write 3-5 things you are grateful for. Maybe it is your wife’s cooking. Maybe you have an old car with 200,000 miles on it. It still runs and gets you to work every day. Maybe, it is that the Jones you are so envious of allowed to borrow their chainsaw to take care of a limb that was roughing up the roof. There is always plenty to go around and if you focus your attention on what you do have, as instead of what you don’t have.

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Look for win/win situations

There is always a solution to a problem. Unbelievably there is always a win/win situation it may take work and time but a solution is available. Many times commerce is a win/win situation. You pay money for a product or service that helps you out in some part of your life. If you are always looking for someone who is out to take advantage of you. You will find them even if the trade was actually a good one. So always, work for the win/win.

Mind your thoughts

Pay attention to the story you are telling yourself. Scarcity is a battle we will always fight. You will think that you don’t have a talent for something and ignoring the talents you do have. This is best stated with the Cut off your nose to spite your face. So when you see that you are telling yourself a story the is centered on scarcity and fear actively change what you are saying.

Reframe the thoughts and even words that you say to yourself they have a huge impact on what you are thinking and what your mind believes is appropriate thoughts to have

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About Bryan Goodwin

I like being able to help people find their "why" and achieve the personal freedom they desire. Besides writing for Relaxed Male I also am a life coach. By helping men find the leader that is found in each and every one of us. I do this by encouraging men to get outdoors and find the balance they are missing. Realize that they need to be in contact with the outside as often as they can. It is not only good for them but for their families and relationships.

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