Scarcity mindset first showed up for me a few years into being a creator and business owner.
I am an accidental, self-taught entrepreneur — which means I didn’t go into business considering the many obstacles I might experience. Nor did I struggle to start up. My business began fast — and at scale, serving hundreds of women within a couple months.
But over the years, as the market shifted, the certainty bottomed out and there were times of ease and flow — and times of struggle and famine.
- When in flow, life and business was so easy. Effortless.
- When in famine, life was so hard, and my mental health was affected — more so by scarcity mentality than scarcity itself.
Since my Brave Yes Coaching framework is about saying YES to yourself — and feeling safe to do so — I work with my clients on healing their scarcity mindset and working on correcting any “scarcity holes” in their business and life.
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What is scarcity — and why is it so prevalent?
Scarcity is a belief that we are all here to compete for limited or scarce resources and that there is not enough to go around for everyone.
Scarcity mindset or mentality is when you become overly obsessed on something feel you do not have enough of in your life. When in this state you struggle to enjoy life because you are so obsessed with what is lacking.
This creates a survival mode and desperate approach to being in this world. Just look at the more is more culture that the corporate world operates under to see the grips of scarcity and how it works.
All you have to do is see the lines outside a business offering limited availability of a product to see how scarcity creates hysteria.
True Scarcity is when there isn’t enough to go around and we have to fight for what we need or want. It’s a feeling or state that means we do not have all that we need — or want. This is rooted in the present. If you aren’t sure how you will pay your rent, money truly is scarce.
Scarcity mindset is a perception that you won’t have enough and it’s often rooted in fear of losing it all or comparisons with others who appear to have more. It’s more based in the future.
Are we ever really doing enough?
Do we ever get to the end of our workload?
And since our livelihoods — especially if you have a business or do work in a company — depend on the outcomes of our output it’s really easy to get bogged down in what we haven’t yet acquired and our lack.
There are a few types of scarcity that I have noticed with my clients over the years:
- Scarcity of money
- Scarcity of resources
- Scarcity of time
- Scarcity of power
- Scarcity of belonging/support
- Scarcity of motivation
It’s normal to feel these areas of lack or not enough sometimes.
There are a lot of people awakening to these daily drivers — but who are teaching methods to gloss over them rather than to heal them and work through them so they don’t take over.
The Spiritual bypassing of True Scarcity
With more and more people feeling determined to become millionaires and to work freely anywhere in the world, there has been a ton of spiritual bypassing happening around true scarcity and feelings of scarcity mentality.
Some spiritual and business mindset gurus tell you that if you want to get YOUR piece of all those scarce resources all you need to do is adopt an abundance mindset and manifest.
In fact, they will tell you that if you want more, more, more you just need to give yourself some mantras or affirmations and will your desires into fruition. along with not enoughness is so prevalent in our society.
Make a vision board!
I call BS.
I do believe in the Law of Attraction but I also believe that marginalized populations of our society can’t manifest their way through racism, sexism, oppression and being trapped in the broken systems of navigating poverty.
Scarcity is a very real thing for many perfectly wonderful people and it must be dealt with effectively — not glossed over.
There are many people in our communities who truly are unable to get their needs met because they are a person of color, LGBTQIA+, indigenous or a woman or because they are not educated enough, because they have mental health obstacles, and many other factors etc..
So if you are a privileged person does that mean you can’t experience scarcity?
Sometimes scarcity is real. Sometimes, though, it’s an illusion.
Regardless, the solutions are always, in my work, taking intentional, aligned actions.
My former longtime business was called Abundant Mama and my work was very much rooted in abundance work because I believe abundance work could change this world for the better. The work is not mindset work — it’s intentional and algined actions toward healing scarcity and feelings of scarcity.
Imagine if everyone felt safe, taken care of and as if we all have our needs met — always.
Since realizing from doing my own work on racial justice that “abundance mindset” is based in white privilege I do not promote it — but rather coach and mentor women through building their own abundance toolbox — actions YOU take that lead you toward feeling more safe, more trusting, more secure and more confident.
The Way Through is Through
Sometimes scarcity is real — even for the dominant culture.
To heal scarcity in my work with ALL women, we first get super present with the facts of your personal situation. My coaching offers safe space for you to share personal and confidential information that you might otherwise feel scared to share.
Sometimes scarcity is healed through real conversations where you get to be heard and seen — and valued. It’s amazing how much we bottle up inside.
You can suffer from scarcity if you are seriously are worried you are not able to pay yourself or your bills — or if you are legitimately worried about where the money will come from.
However, the work is always — whether rooted in fact or fiction — about taking aligned and intentional actions for mindful progress. I would never suggest a client “mindset” her way out of money problems and money fears.
There’s action and inaction. AND, since I work in soul alignment as well, there is some level of trust work that needs to always happen when we’re thinking about money and resources that we need.
So for me abundance begets abundance and so I practice taking actions that lead to more abundance.
When scarcity does show up for me — I dig deeper for the truth. In my case, there’s always been a legitimate fear at the root not just my mind playing tricks.
And then I take action to address the root issue.
In my GRIT coaching model, the aligned actions we work with around scarcity is based on the following themes:
- Growth Mindset
- Realigning with the Present
- Implementing Trust
- Thriving Toward Positivity
Gratitude falls under thriving toward positivity since it’s a cornerstone positive emotion — but there are many more ways to actively cultivate positive energy.
Gratitude is often the first place we begin because it’s such an accessible practice that most know about.
Gratitude is a cornerstone positive emotion and antidote to scarcity mindset
It’s hard to feel lack when you are focused on all that you have and all that is going well.
It’s hard to feel angry when you are feeling grateful.
Cultivating true feelings of gratitude requires intentional actions — not just rote reciting of random things like we hear around the Thanksgiving dinner table.
When I tossed all faith to the universe and quit my 9 to 5, we had managed to have about 6 months of income saved up. We gave it that long to make the dream happen. If it didn’t work, I would go back to get a real job. Thankfully that never was needed as Abundant Mama did well instantly. But it wasn’t always easy.
That’s where my daily gratitude practice — going strong for 11 years and soon to be 12 — truly became a foundation for myself, my mental health and my work.
Why is Gratitude so powerful — what does the science say?
Putting a deep focus on what you value, what is good and what is working improves your wellbeing — giving you the capacity and clarity to focus on getting what else you need or want.
This is one of the many powers of gratitude.
When I started my gratitude journaling 11 years ago, I never dreamed I would stick with it this long.
But the truth is that I have found nothing but positive energy from. the practice. A big part of my success is in being consistently motivated and moving forward in my life and work. Gratitude is a key part of my self-care.
When we have positive feelings inside of us, have the energy and the capacity to do challenging things or to navigate through tough situations.
The practice for me is to write in my journal — sometimes 3 things. Sometimes two pages.
And while many have told me they find gratitude journaling rote — and they get tired of writing the same things over and over, I have a natural ability to find the gold in my day to write about so that it’s hardly the same.
I’ve been coaching women through this practice for a decade and offered a lot prompts over the years. However, today I am focused on the standpoint of scarcity.
Scarcity Mindset? 3 Gratitude Prompts to Heal Feelings of Not Enough and Cultivate Abundance
Gratitude journaling can get boring if you don’t know how to elicit the root of the gratitude itself — which is why I try and give my clients new prompts all the time.
These are designed just to help you work through feelings of scarcity.
- What can I be grateful for right now that always keeps me safe and protected?
- Who can I show gratitude to for always being there for me?
- What strengths of mine am I grateful for right now that have gotten me this far?