The vast majority of people in the world suffer from a scarcity mindset. It is so deeply ingrained into our culture that you may not even know that exists or that it is causing so many of your money issues.
A scarcity mindset is a belief that we simply don’t have enough, that more is always better and that’s just life and the way things are. This toxic mindset hands over the control of our lives to small pieces of paper and shiny coins, money. We allow it to steer our lives and determine pretty much every decision we encounter in our lives.
Money drives us whether we like to admit it or not. Everything we do is determined by having enough money, not having enough money, worries about money, concerns over our future financial position, or the ability to accumulate more and more. It’s a never ending cycle of fear and negativity.
Here is how to shift your scarcity mindset to that on an abundance mindset.
Give Your Money Direction
Money needs direction. Most people direct their money through a budget or financial plan but you will be amazed at just how many is us don’t have either. These people let money direct their lives rather than allow it to work for them. Money isn’t inherently evil or bad, we have the ability to make money really work in our favor but it needs control.
Setting yourself up with a budget or financial plan is the first step to taking control of your money and redirecting it onto a path that benefits you. If you can’t see how your money is used from month to month you most likely are living hand to mouth or are too rich to care. Both of these scenarios end badly for you.
Detach Emotions from Your Money
Money should never be treated as a resource to help you feel better but so many of us use it just like an anti-depressant. Spending can sometimes feel like the answer to your emotional challenges. It makes you feel good to spend so that you get that sense of power over your life.
Buying a new car, spending thousands of dollars in the shopping mall or repeatedly clicking the order button on Amazon isn’t a form of self-help. It will only worsen your financial issues and worsen your emotional well being.
Delaying gratification by saving consistently for the things that you really want in life offers much more hope. Watching your nest egg grow, only buying essentials, going minimalist, watching your debt disappear slowly, taking advantage of discount real estate brokers, paying your student loan off, investing in companies you believe in or making a donation to a charity you appreciate is far more fulfilling than your entire history of frivolous spending combined.
Make it Personal
One of the most common traits of someone who suffers from a scarcity mindset is jealousy of others who have money in abundance. “Why did they get rich and not me?” “Am I not worthy of more money?” “What was their secret, they must know something I don’t”.
These types of harmful thoughts are common among our general population. We are constantly comparing our own personal financial situation to others. It’s easy to see why when we live in a society that hopes we do just that and actively encourages it. If you keep comparing yourself to others maybe you will take out another loan, sign up for another credit card, gamble your money away in the hopes for quick riches or maybe you will just eat or drink your sorrows away. Either way, the system you live in wins every single time.
But what if we started to direct that energy not onto others but onto ourselves? Instead of comparing ourselves to others we start to invest in ourselves? We learn more, we spend less, we budget, we invest wisely, we find different avenues of income, we move our existing money to accounts that actually benefit us and we start embracing the idea that we can make more money if we choose to.
Something quite miraculous happens in this scenario. All of a sudden money becomes less of a worry and more of ongoing project of wealth creation. We stop seeing money as a challenge but as an opportunity. Not just to have more money in our account but to use that money to open up new opportunities, to help people, to connect with people, to uplift others, and to share our wealth.
Change the Record
Once we realize that money is not the enemy and that it is actually us creating a bad relationship with money we can start to change the way we think and talk about money. Those who once said things like “I just can’t afford it, life is unfair” will start to say things like “How can I afford that? If I just put away $40 for the next 6 months I could afford it”.
If we continue to tell ourselves that money is a problem in our lives then it will continue to be a problem, forever. Change the tune, start talking about how you can make things work, how money can work for you and how money is a tool for creating the life you want. Money is not at the steering wheel of your life, you are and you have the power to direct money in any which way you choose.