Mentality of Lack
If you’re like me, and many of the other goal setters, you created a nice set of resolutions as the new year approached. I took, seemingly, all precautions in crafting some well thought out, attainable, and measurable goals. However, within the first few days quite a few stumbling blocks immediately popped up. All of these problems centered around one main mindset, a certain outlook that seems to always be the first that comes up whenever you are aiming for something bigger, or better. That is why I thought it’d be beneficial to talk about the mentality of lack.
After the buzz of coming up with a brand new creative idea fades, your logical mind begins working. How can I achieve this? What budget will I need, what equipment, connections or resources? Immediately you start looking at what you need. The problem is, the world will definitely offer you faux solutions. If you’re a musician, you’ll always need better gear, if you’re a painter there are always better paints, if you’re a writer there’s always another notebook. The world preys on your creative beginnings, selling you the idea that you just need to buy one more thing before you can reach “it”. But being stuck in a mentality of lack can lead to many more negative ways of thinking further on. Lack can lead to unhealthy competition, the idea that there is not enough for everyone. If you’re coming from the mentality of lack you probably are quick to judge others for what they do have. You’ll start thinking narrowly and rigidly. There is only one way it can be done, and it has to be your way. This thinking is always based in fear, in what could happen, what could go wrong, what your losses will be. Continuing on with this viewpoint will ultimately lead to feeling completely depleted and defeated. You’ll end up feeling like you’re stuck and that you’ve done everything you possibly could, before you’ve even really started.
The direct results of this mentality of lack, or scarcity mentality, is anxiety and fear. When you feel you have nothing you certainly won’t take any risks, because you cant stand to lose what little you have. This way of thinking becomes your story, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You, in turn, will end up causing your own demise.
Instead of going into every situation saying, “I need…”, start saying “I have…”, and you’ll begin to see completely different outcomes.
Mentality of Abundance
Now, thankfully there is definitely a way to combat and reverse this way of thinking. The absolute opposite mentality is one of abundance, meaning you have more than enough. Wow. Just take a second to think about that. You have more than enough. If you’re reading this you have sight, an electronic device, an internet connection, you have time. There are probably so many ways in which you already have enough. One of the strongest remedies for any negative thought processes, is gratitude. Find ways to be thankful about every little detail. The coffee you’re drinking. The air conditioning you’re sitting in. The sunlight that feels good to stand in. I guarantee this little exercise will bring about a complete change in attitude and lead to more progress toward your goals. Gratitude leads to resourcefulness, the ability to identify what you have around you, and how to utilize it. So you may not have an angel investor, maybe you have a mailing list to at least get your ideas out there. And you may not have all the right connections, but you may know someone who does.
Another tool that reveals the fallacies of the mentality of lack is giving. Is there a way you can give what it is you feel you lack? If you feel you lack the knowledge, teach someone. If you feel like you lack talent, allow your talents to be used by someone else. After all, you can’t give away something you don’t have. Generosity resets your internal caliber of abilities. Spending time with those who have much less than you, in any area, will always remind you of your responsibility to do well with that which you are gifted.
Possibly the hardest part of getting rid of this mentality of lack is actually identifying it. Usually you see the frustrations, the symptoms of it, before you are able to realize it. When making difficult decisions try to pinpoint where your motives are coming from. If it is from a place of fear, you’re probably operating from this mentality of lack. That is when you need to reflect on times of abundance in your life. Remember those times where you had more than enough. The times where you had a ton of choices, where people needed your expertise. Also, cut out the ‘complainers’ in your life who support your negative mindsets. After all, you are enough. Everything you need you have. You don’t need another product, another mentor, another lesson. What you do need will be there for you, you just have to find it. Allow life to be your teacher. Experience trumps textbooks.