Have you read “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People” by Stephen Covey?
If you have, then you will have come across the phrases “abundance mindset” and “scarcity mindset” in the book.
Let me share an example to help you understand these terms.
Two entrepreneurs want to set up a business. Their target market is highly saturated.
- Not daunted by the challenge.
- She believes there’s enough demand for everyone to do business comfortably.
- She performs intensive market research and figures out a niche for herself.
- Felt that he wasn’t going to get any clients because they had already been taken by others.
- Complains about the lack of opportunities, tries to poach other people’s clients, and adopts shortcuts to push his services.
Which of the two is more likely to succeed?
Entrepreneur 1, who thinks there’s enough for everyone, has an abundance mindset, whereas Entrepreneur 2, who views things as lacking, has a scarcity mindset.
What does an abundance mindset mean?
An abundance mindset or an abundance mentality is a worldview or an idea that there are enough opportunities in the world for everyone.
Thus, someone with an abundance mindset will share opportunities, knowledge, and successes in the belief that like attracts like.
Their focus is outwards, on the possibilities that life has to offer and how they can help others and what they can offer other people.
“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”Zig Ziglar
The three major components of an abundance mindset are:
- The belief that there is enough for everyone to share and succeed
- The belief that there are opportunities and endless possibilities for everyone
- The belief that what you think and do is what you will attract more of
People with an abundance mindset operate from a sense of gratitude. They prefer collaboration over competition and look for ways to benefit others as well as themselves.
Why is an abundance mindset important?
In business or in life, cultivating an abundance mindset will help you find success, feel a deep sense of satisfaction, and enable you to make the right choices.
“Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.”Wayne Dyer
With an abundance mindset, it is a win-win situation instead of a win-lose situation.
The opposite of an abundance mindset is a scarcity mindset.
A person with a scarcity mindset tends to look inwards – on what is missing or lacking. They feel they are not enough or they don’t have the opportunities or resources to succeed.
Consequently, they feel jealous or resentful of successful people because they feel that their success and/or opportunities have been snatched away.
They also hesitate to do things that feel difficult or unrealistic.
Abundance mindset for entrepreneurs
An entrepreneur with an abundance mindset is not limited by their fears and doubts. They are open to new ideas and grab all available opportunities.
- Due to their openness, such entrepreneurs are able to build a reliable support system. It could be in the form of professional colleagues, friends, or family.
- They try to learn the skills that are needed to tackle new challenges and have a problem-solving approach.
An entrepreneur with a scarcity mindset is driven by fear. When they see that they’re lacking in something, it reduces their confidence and their will to work.
- Thus, a self-fulfilling prophecy develops wherein they meet the failure that they’re doing their best to avoid.
“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.”Tony Robbins
The mindset of an entrepreneur colors their team as well.
- Would you be happy working for a paranoid and fearful boss?
- Would you feel able to present new ideas in a controlling and distrustful environment?
On the other hand, a leader with an abundance mindset believes in offering opportunities for growth. These opportunities span career growth, mental growth, and physical growth.
Such a leader sees value in being invested in one’s team members and their well-being.
5 ways to create an abundance mindset
It is not your circumstances that determine what kind of mindset you will have. It is your intention to adopt the right mindset that matters.
“The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts.”Marianne Williamson
How does one develop an abundance mindset, you ask?
Focus on existing resources
Focus on making the best of what you have instead of worrying about what you don’t have. It will help you appreciate what’s available now and teach you to capitalize on opportunities when you find them.
Look to find the good in every situation. Your thoughts influence your actions, so a positive attitude will drive you to do better things.
A person with a positive and abundant mindset also spreads positivity and believes in collaboration over competition.
Instead of shying away from new or difficult things, train yourself to be curious. Ask yourself how you can achieve what you want. Brainstorm solutions to your problems.
Surround yourself with abundant mindsets
It’s true that you’re influenced by the people you spend the most time with. Being around other people with abundant mindsets will help you train yourself to believe in abundance, develop a positive attitude, and boost creativity.
When you face tough times, these people will push you to face your fears and encourage you to resolve your problems.
Switch your perspective
When you realize that your thoughts are not serving you, switch over to positive or better thoughts. Approach challenges from a different angle.
5 exercises to move to an abundance mindset
To stop your scarcity mindset from holding you back, train yourself to shift to an abundance mindset with these five exercises:
Identify your dominant mindset.
Think about the following situations:
- A time when things worked well for you vs a time when things didn’t work out so well
- A future where you’re accomplished and successful vs a future where you’ve failed to achieve your goals
Which of the situations do you find yourself dwelling on?
If you tend to spend more time thinking of positive things, you’re more likely to have an abundant mindset.
If you are more worried about failures and problems, you have a scarcity mindset.
Learn to focus on the good.
We tend to focus on what could go wrong instead of dwelling on what is going right.
How can you focus on the positive elements of a situation?
The next time you’re in a difficult situation, sit back and try to look at the bigger picture. Think about what is going right and pay attention to it.
The more you focus on what is going right, the more you invite opportunities and possibilities.
“If you look at what you have in life, you will always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you will never have enough.”
Develop a win-win approach to life.
Don’t compare yourself to others and focus on meeting your own goals.
If you win, someone else does not have to lose. Try to win in ways that will be helpful for others as well.
Don’t think of it as a competition, but as a collaboration where everybody is benefitted. And if you must compete, do it with yourself.
Such an attitude helps you improve and gives a boost to your self-confidence.
Being intentionally grateful every day helps you develop an appreciation of what you have and also of what you don’t have.
Think of a time when things went quite well for you vs. a time when things went wrong. Challenge yourself to find something to be grateful for in both situations.
Maintain a gratitude journal where you list the things you feel grateful for every day. Doing this helps you feel better.
Learn to share.
A fascinating thing about having an abundant mindset is that the more you share, the more you perceive to have for yourself.
Practice sharing your time, experience, knowledge, resources, or money with others.
Give more respect to others and you will receive respect in return.
Seek to understand others and you will find that more people attempt to understand you.
Books to read on abundance mindset
If you want to learn more about an abundance mindset, you can pick up these books (in addition to The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People):
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
- The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage by Ryan Holiday
- Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin
You don’t need to have a lot of resources to feel abundant and gain success. Building and maintaining the right mindset will help you develop a long-term drive to succeed.
Tell me, which is that one step that you need to take today to help you build an abundance mindset?