Full of Abundance
This is about adopting an abundant mindset that opens up possibilities.
How often have you heard yourself or others say:
“I just don’t have enough time.”
“There isn’t enough money.”
“I’m not good enough/prepared enough/experienced enough for that promotion?”
In this section, you’ll consider how fear, along with a zero-sum mindset, may be holding you back. Access tools to acquire an abundant mindset that will better position you to achieve what it is you want and to be able to generously support others to do the same.
What you’ll look at is the relationship you have with different things in your life and how that shapes your mindset about it. Resources like time, money and your own self-worth.
To be clear, your assessment results are not based on the actual amount of time, money, or skills you have at present but rather the relationship you have with these things.
Because your mindset affects your behavior. A fearful mindset enables panicked, short-term decision-making from a place of desperation while an abundant mindset opens up opportunities and possibilities.
Consider this example
Think about how you breathe. When you breathe, you rarely take time or energy to consider if you have “enough” air. You approach breathing with an abundance mindset. Until you’re scuba diving and your tank malfunctions. All of a sudden, air becomes a scarce resource. You start to worry if you have enough of it. Not having enough of a resource you need will change the way you think and the way you act. You’ll start competing for the resource like your life depends on it.
The breathing example is a good one because it’s easy to recognize how silly it would be to apply a scarcity mindset to a normal on-land situation where there is an abundance of air. But as Steven Covey points out in his classic book, the Seven Habits of Effective People, many people live in a scarcity mode even in situations where there is abundance, and it causes a lot of unnecessary anxiety, tension and rivalry.
People get locked into seeing life as a finite pie, where if one person takes a big piece it leaves less for everyone else. This can also be referred to as a zero-sum bias or mindset, with a lot of evidence of the costs, personal and societal, in situations where in fact limitations are arbitrary and opportunities can be expanded to meet demand.
Actress Natalie Portman provided a great example of this in a speech at Variety Power of Women in 2018. She discussed how women’s professional empowerment is not a zero-sum game where if women gain the respect, access and value they deserve that men will lose theirs. When women rise, everyone rises. She invites us to look to female mammary glands (boobs!) for wisdom of abundance: “the more milk you give, the more milk you make.”
Please read on to get more insight into your results – both for this spectrum and also for your environment. Gain an understanding of what it can feel like in each of the zones of survival, coasting and thriving. Then select from the reflective exercises, key questions and actions provided that resonate with you and may help you to move forward. Be sure to read through to the end where you’ll find some tips - or things thriving people do - for inspiration and some additional resources for further reading. Please note that any external links to supplementary resources are for your learning purposes and are not affiliated links that benefit me personally.
If more individualized feedback would be helpful as you map out the most effective next steps, I invite you to book a deep dive coaching call.
What it feels like:
Consistently feeling fearful can be exhausting. You constantly feel like you’re behind and need to catch up. And the constant fight to get what you need and watch over your back is draining. It can leave you feeling frantic, panicked, and impatient.
“The context of scarcity makes you myopic (exhibiting bias toward here and now).”
Short-term or immediate benefits outweigh future ones (e.g., procrastinating important things, such as medical checkups, or exercising).
People in this zone may repeat (consciously or not) phrases such as “There isn’t enough for me,” “I’m not enough” or “I don’t have what it takes to achieve what I want.” Unfortunately, the more such statements get repeated, the more they become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Getting locked into fearfulness with a zero-sum bias leads to competition for recognition, credit and power over collaboration and innovation, which impacts your achievement in the long term. It will also amplify your worries and affect how willing you are to take calculated risks.
How to move forward:
1. Catch statements of scarcity when you hear them.
“I don’t have enough ____.” (time, money, etc)
“There isn’t enough _____.” (time, resources, etc)“
“I’m not _____ enough” (good, experienced, etc)
Observe which themes/areas come up the most. When do these statements get spoken? With whom?
This step is not about determining whether or not you actually have enough of whatever is coming up. This is about getting clear about your relationship to this thing and how it shapes your behavior.
2. Shift your energy.
When you notice statements of scarcity and can label that you feel stuck in fear, take a breath and get up. Move. Step outside. Take a walk in nature. Shifting your energy will help you make the next step and future steps, easier.
3. Delegate something!
Check out this video.
4. Try activities that cultivate an abundance mindset.
There are many activities available to anchor in abundance, such as:
While building strategies to optimize yourself personally is important, it’s also critical to reflect on whether you have the conditions you need through the people around you and the environment you operate in.
It's possible to absorb scarcity from many sources around you. The news, social media, the culture at work, and nights out with your friends. It can be contagious if you’re not consciously aware of it. Zero-sum bias can shape the assumptions you make and the quality of relationships you form.
Identify potential sources of scarcity and pay attention to their impact.
In the immediate short term, take action to reduce such inputs where it’s relatively straightforward to do so. For example, reduce how much news you consume (and via which channels and when). Consider how much is enough to stay informed without allowing for scarcity in your thinking. For social media, beyond limiting your time to particular platforms, it can be difficult and slow-moving to change due to algorithms based on your previous behavior. So if limiting time on platforms isn’t realistic for you, unfollow toxic people/posts.
Opt out of the lunchroom chatter at work if it’s anchored in scarcity.
For mid and long-term considerations for the different environments and communities you are part of, ask yourself some courageous questions:
Can I really thrive with an abundance mindset here?
Are there possibilities for change and growth, both individually and in the culture/community here?
Do I have psychological safety, ie, will I get penalized in some way for taking on an abudance mindset in this environment?
What it feels like:
In a coasting zone, you’re likely aware of the limitations of a scarcity mindset and may have taken some action to catch yourself in it. But you may still find yourself feeling like there isn’t enough and/or that you aren’t enough at times or in key situations.
Unconscious zero-sum thinking may affect how you team up effectively with others. All of this affects how you show up and narrows how well positioned you are to receive what it is you want. And even if at this moment you don’t feel as much fear or lacking as you have at other stages of your life, there is still an opportunity to lean into abundance and the benefits it has to offer.
Reflective Exercises / Questions to Consider:
1. Dig deeper into what triggers your fear of scarcity.
With heightened awareness, you’ll be better positioned to notice, label and let go of an old, outdated mindset that is no longer serving you. Reflect on a recent scenario where you slipped into a scarcity mindset.
What was feeling scarce?
Dig into it by getting curious about the history of your relationship with that thing.
How has it been / is it modelled to you by key people in your life?
2. Think critically about what needs to change in your surroundings.
Recognize that there are many things out of your control. Look honestly at the impact of the culture of the places where you spend the most time.
Where is an abundance mindset used against you?
How is it serving you, and others, to stay active in these communities?
How to move forward:
1. Establish a set of practices to anchor in abundance.
Experiment with activities such as guided meditations, yoga, gratitude journals, affirmation statements, etc and set up regular, consistent practices in your daily life.
2. Spend more time with people who have an abundance mindset.
Listen to their words. Watch their actions. Notice how they respond to different situations. It’s said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So be aware of whom you choose to surround yourself with. If you don’t feel like you have a lot of people in your network with an abundance mindset, make it a goal to find more.
3. Do acts of generosity in areas that trigger you.
If you feel you have no time, volunteer your time.
You may have heard various versions of the Buddhist quote:
“Meditate for an hour every day unless you are too busy. In that case, meditate for two hours.”
Become a mentor to someone with less experience than you if you feel lacking in your current skill set.
While it may sound counter-intuitive to be generous in ways you feel you lack - taking action (as a behavior) consciously will help you to shift your mindset towards abundance.
What will you do?
Photo by Pixabay:
What it feels like:
When you are thriving with an abundant mindset, things feel possible. You focus on and appreciate what you have and acknowledge the complexity of what’s contributed to it and how it’s all interconnected. You believe that when others win, you win too. You show it by appreciating others' contributions and practicing gratitude.
Things thriving people do:
1. They add the word YET to the end of any scarce sentence.
I don’t have enough ___ yet.
There isn’t enough ____ yet.
I’m not ___ enough yet.”
This small shift helps you step into a growth mindset, which makes change possible.
2. They don’t keep tabs.
They give and receive.
They have integrity and follow through on their commitments (ie, if you borrow money, pay it back), but they do not keep close tabs on what others have done for them and focus on quickly and equally returning the favour.
While such behavior often comes from a good place, what people in an abundant mindset know is that it’s not about transactional exchanges. It’s about a flow in an interconnected system. Receive with open arms and be grateful. And give generously without seeking anything in return.
3. They invest energy where it flows.
People who thrive in abundance are not naïve. They don't let others take advantage of them. Instead, they are conscious of the flow of energy and won't invest energy into things that are outside of their control - ie, other people or external circumstances and situations.
4. They value sharing as a gift.
Thriving people share their lived experiences and wisdom with others. They share who they aspire to become, their aspirations and ideas. They treat the sharing of others as a gift, and hold space for it.
5. They have a habitualized and individualized set of practices that anchor them in abundance.
Such practices not only help them to stay aligned to what’s important to them, it also helps to ensure they maintain an outlook that will allow them to thrive even in situations where the collective consciousness is focused on scarcity.
6. Their practice positively rubs off on others.
Being around someone with a thriving abundance mindset makes you feel the same way. They celebrate other people's successes and evoke a feeling that there is more than enough in others that are open to the idea.