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Step away from a Scarcity Mindset

Updated: May 17

Have you ever heard the phrase “abundance is a mindset”? Having an abundance mindset allows you to keep moving forward in your journey.

If you have been feeling stagnant or in a constant cycle of negativity, you probably are stuck in a scarcity mindset. By definition, a scarcity mindset is the opposite of an abundance mindset. It is when you are hyper-focused on a lack of something. Some examples can include money, food, time, etc. If you have never heard this term before, in this blog post we’ll be breaking down the impacts of this mindset and so you can live a happier and fulfilled lifestyle.

Effects of a scarcity mindset

1. Block a person from seeing the bigger picture

When you are in a scarcity mindset, you can only see what you are lacking. Even if there are areas of your life you aren’t satisfied with, that doesn’t make your life the worst. However, because a person is so focused on what they don’t have, they can’t see the good in their life. A person can have a roof over their heads, have a decent amount of belongings, have an amazing support system, etc., and still can only see what they don’t. This often leaves people with a scarcity mindset bitter and frustrated.

2. Holding onto things (emotions, relationships, etc.)

When you have a scarcity mindset, you believe things are limited. Whether something is physical or something more abstract, you hold on to it. It can be an object like a piece of clothing that you should’ve got rid of ages ago, but you haven’t because you “don’t have the money to get better things”. It can be a person, in the sense of “even though this person and I don't seem compatible in the long run, they like me and I don’t want to be alone”. It can be an emotion too - “No one can make me feel how they did, so I’m never dating again”. Since you believe that things are limited, it also limits how many positive experiences you have because of your belief. That fear that things are limited and that if you lose/ get rid of what you have, you won’t have anything better for you is holding you back.

3. It causes you to make decisions that may negatively impact in the long term

The scarcity mindset clouds your mind to make poor choices. Your brain is too busy thinking about something you don't have, which goes back to the first point about the inability to see a larger picture. The fact you are so focused on what is lacking may cause you to be impulsive. Overall, it narrows our focus and problem-solving abilities decrease, which is bad for the long term.

4. It increases fear and anxiety

When you believe that there isn’t enough of something it can cause you to live a life that’s unsatisfying for you.

“Because there are so many people growing on Instagram/ TikTok, there is no room for me to succeed”

“I always wanted to start my own business but the market has become saturated so there’s no room”

“There isn’t enough time for me to work on myself because I have to focus on making money”

Do any of these quotes feel familiar? With a scarcity mindset, there is this increase of uncertainty that makes you give up before you even give things a try.

5. Limited self-worth and limitless comparison

Adding on to the last point, you may have limited self-worth and limitless self-comparison because things are scarce in your mind you may view everything as a competition. You may compare your life to someone who blew up on social media who may have seemed to be living your dream. A scarcity mindset can make you feel a lack of confidence because you are comparing where you are to them and feel like you're running out of time to make it. Life is not a race though and even if someone has the same goals as you, it doesn’t mean it will be executed the same way and there is still time and space for you to live your dreams.

6. It can cause burnout

This one is more self-explanatory but a scarcity mindset adds to things that are toxic in our society (hustle culture, diet culture, etc.). Because you feel like you are lacking resources, you try to do everything to get it even at the risk of your health. It can leave you feeling exhausted and cause you to give up.

Creative blocks caused by a scarcity mindset

So this summer it’s clear I haven’t been spending a lot of time creating. Usually, this is the time I create the most but I didn’t have a lot of free time. I worked 3 jobs this summer and while I am grateful for all and enjoyed them for the most part, the issue was how much I was doing at once. I am not good at multitasking because then I get overwhelmed so I have to work task by task.

All of the jobs I’ve had were creative roles (blog writing, copywriter, and visual arts communications) and what people don’t talk about with creative jobs is that it does take a lot of your mental energy. People think jobs like that, especially jobs that aren’t as physical or that you can do from home, aren’t as deserving for what is pay... (cue all the jokes about being a business major).

I’ll go into depth more about the field when I complete my personal brand website.

Back to the story, having three jobs that all require a lot of thinking, planning, researching, etc. can take a lot out of a person. In addition to those things, it may have required designing and editing as well.

You may be thinking “why did I do all that if I knew it will probably be a lot”

Well, the reason I did it was that I felt like I’m running out of time and the experiences I had before weren’t enough so I would be secure enough to get an amazing opportunity to get an internship my senior year. In the program I’m starting in the fall, I am required to do an internship to graduate. So because I felt I wasn’t adequate enough, I went on the hunt for multiple internships. I applied to multiple. After all, I wasn’t sure if I would get the others, ended up getting all, and didn’t want to turn any down because I felt I was lacking and maybe doing multiple will amplify my resume.

I did like every role I did because the environments were friendly and understanding but I also struggle with social anxiety so part of me feels my personality had a hard time shining through. Besides that, I had creative burnout, and I was struggling to feel inspired, even when I finished my last job.

Because I haven’t been creating it was like a part of my identity was lost. It’s slowly coming back but it’s taking me a while because from my perspective nothing I was making was good enough to put out.

I'm in the process of trying to break the scarcity mindset myself so remember to be kind with yourself and no journey is a straight path.

When things are negative or feel like you’ve been stuck, let yourself breathe and ask “why” and get more and more specific. It will probably lead you back to that negativity coming from a scarcity mindset.

Thank you for reading and if you have anything you want to see more of, be sure to comment suggestions or email me. Remember to subscribe to my Youtube channel, and follow my Instagram and Twitter to connect and stay up to date. I am excited about my next blog post so make sure you come back. Until then, there’s a lot more content on my youtube channel. I hope you have a good day, evening or night.

Until next time,

xoxo Lay 💋


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1 Comment

This is interesting. I think I have a scarcity mindset as I always think about what I don’t have. Thanks for the advice.

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