There are two basic mindsets. One is Scarcity; the other is Abundance.
Those with a scarcity mindset believe there is a finite amount of everything in our Universe and that the only way to have enough is to conserve. This can lead to stinginess and fear that there won’t be enough to go around.
Those with an abundance mindset believe there is always enough–and a surplus–of everything. So, if there is a finite amount, it is such a large amount that it is unlikely to be exhausted. This leads to generosity, freedom, and security in knowing there will always be enough for everyone.
You may not be aware of which mindset you have. Unless you’ve heard about this before, you probably aren’t, but it affects you anyway. It influences how you perceive the world and make decisions.
To gain insight into your mindset, ask youself the following questions, and take note of the possible statements you heard growing up–or that you use with your family.
1. What I get paid, what do I think of first? a) Paying bills; b) Putting money into savings; c) Giving to Charity or your Church; d) Why are the taxes so high?
2. What did my parents say to me? (choose all that apply) a) Money doesn’t grow on trees. b) How could you earn the money to buy (whatever you just asked for)? c) A child in Africa/China would be grateful for what you have on your plate. Eat it. d) We can’t afford that! e) Do you think I”m made of money? f) Could you save your allowance/gift money for that? g) Maybe you should just wait and see what you get for Christmas/birthday/etc. h) Don’t worry about money.
3. Which of these statements or questions have you thought of or said to your children?
4. Do you ever give money to a beggar or buy them a meal? YES NO
5. Are you worried about the current economy? YES NO
6. Do you have a savings account that you regularly put money into? YES NO
7. Do you have any investment accounts? YES NO
8. Do you have a retirement account, like and IRA or 401(k), to which you personally make
regular contributions? YES NO
9. do you regularly give to charities or to your church? YES NO
10. When do you make charitable gifts? a) It’s the first check I write after I get paid, and it’s a set amount or percentage. b) After the bills are paid, I give what I can. c) Whenever I think about it or get an appeal letter or request, I give what I can afford. d) I always put change into those donation boxes you see.
Let’s look at what you found out. (If you haven’t answered the questions yet, don’t read any further until you do.)
Generally speaking, those with an Abundance Mindset will have the following answers: 1. b,c; 2. b,f,g,h; 3. b,f,g; 4. Yes; 5. No; 6. Yes; 7. Yes; 8. Yes; 9. Yes; 10. a, d
How To Begin to Develop a Mindset of Abundance
If you find your mindset leans more toward one of scarcity, you can begin to change this mindset with one simple exercise. Begin a Gratitude Journal. Each evening, before going to bed, write in journal. List 5 things you are grateful for at that moment. They may be basic and general (like, a great dinner or your health) or whatever comes to mind. Start your day by reviewing your entry from the night before. When you begin from an attitude of gratitude, your day will look different. Do this for a week, and then write about how you feel. Let me know, too. I’d love to walk a bit of your journey with you.