Something happened during the lockdown. When everything became calm. Silence was everywhere and, instead of being inauspicious, it was glorious.
I realized that what I liked was not the mad dash for pasta or the endless Zoom quizzes or the lack of social interaction, but the lack of comparison: I might be away, work might be calm, but it’s the same for everyone. I’m not late or failing, and if I am, everyone else will be too!
This was a huge comfort, but it also underscored how connected my mood, happiness, and sense of accomplishment are to others. How many times can’t I fully enjoy something I have if someone has something better. I use this language to illustrate the inner child, the brat, the little soul, who has learned that there is not enough for everyone.
You’ll hear her talk about the “scarcity mentality,” a term coined by Stephen Covey in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Scarcity mentality refers to people who see life as a finished pie, so that if one person takes a big piece, it leaves less for the rest of us. It’s basically the fear or belief that there isn’t enough for everyone.
If someone else has something good, there’s nothing left for you. They get the job, you lost it. They have a baby, now the babies are exhausted. It’s hard to really be able to profit from another person’s success when you’re operating from the deep belief that they stole an opportunity from you.
On a rational level, you might know that’s not true, but deep down you can’t fully rejoice in their progress either, because you feel like it highlights your absence. . It’s a race and if you don’t win, you lose.
We are taught to jostle and compete, to be wary of those who have what we want. Operate from a place of survival rather than a place of creation.
The opposite of this mode is an “abundance” mindset, the belief that there is plenty for everyone. More than enough. And the more you can celebrate others and recognize the endless resources, beauty, and opportunities, the more they will begin to appear.
When you acknowledge and appreciate someone else’s success, even if that’s what you aspire to, especially if that’s what you aspire to, you increase your chances of integrating it into your life.
Marianne Williamson in A Return to Love says, “A successful person in any field only creates more opportunities for others to do the same. Hanging on to the thought of finite resources is a way of hanging on to hell.
I don’t necessarily believe that hell is a fiery shithole where we’re sent by God to be a**holes, but it’s not entirely pleasant and probably a place you don’t want to be, fire or not.
Besides the general blockage you feel when working from a scarcity mentality, it’s also a scary place. Perhaps without even realizing it, if you think abundance is only offered to a select few and coveted or felt by others, on a subconscious level, you may be playing small. Afraid to really step into your power and embody that feeling of abundance because that’s a pretty dangerous position to be in.
The assumption is that if you believe this, so does everyone else, which also means no one can profit from your successes either. Others must feel bad that you stole the pie and so it’s safer to downplay or disparage or sabotage.
If you come fully into yourself and live with an abundance mindset, if you believe that you are worthy of beautiful things and a satisfying career, if you correctly believe that there is enough for all world and embody that, then you will begin to awaken other people to that possibility as well. Without trying, you will open them and help them to believe. Win, win, win.
Don’t equate someone else’s success with your downfall, rather see it as an opportunity for what you can achieve. Next time, see the person, feel the twist, and thank them for showing you what’s possible. Pause, breathe and talk to yourself.
So how do we move from a scarcity mentality to an abundance mentality?
– Focus on what you have, not on what you lack
– Get a thankful journal, “joyride”, or sit in thanks for what you already have
– Recognize the path taken. “Do you remember when you were dreaming about what you have right now?” Try to allow yourself to enjoy the journey!
– Turn off your phone and stop looking around. What you want is not “out there”
– Enter your body
– Exercise to feel strong and capable
– Take a walk in nature or water your plants!
– Meet a friend with an “abundance mindset” – someone who will see possibilities everywhere
– Make a list of what you have to offer
– Remember that win-win is an option. The story that one to succeed the other must fail is based on a belief system that is not real.
– Train your mind to see possibilities rather than problems. When you catch yourself being negative or assuming the worst, make the choice to change the narrative.
This is an excerpt from Joyrider: How Gratitude Can Get You the Life You Really Want by Angela Scanlon, published by Vermillion