“The world is big enough for us.”
“When others achieve something great, I feel happy for them.”
“I won’t grow if I don’t try, but I also know when I should feel enough.”
If you say “amen” to these phrases and even apply them in real life, you may have an abundance mentality. As the name suggests, it is a mental state that perceives the world as big, rich, and full of possibilities, which means there is something for everyone.
In the world where many are busy comparing themselves with others, having this mentality will make you a mature and wise person. Here is everything you need to know about this positive mental state, and how you can achieve it.
Abundance VS Scarcity Mentality
Stephen Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, compared “abundance” with “scarcity” in mentality. According to him, people with a scarcity mentality always think that there are just enough things in this world, which means we must compete, trample, and be selfish to gain what we want. Abundance mentality is the complete opposite.
If you have an abundance mentality, you view the world as a big place, where everyone may get the same “slice of pie.” You think large and believe that there is a place for everyone. It stops you from feeling bitter and negative when someone else achieves success.
Abundance mentality also stops you from putting priorities at wrong places. Since you don’t view the world as a “scarce” place, you avoid the burden of competing or comparing yourself with others. You know what you want to achieve in life, and you don’t have a problem with others being successful in different things.
Differences between Abundance and Scarcity Mentality
Several key traits distinguish abundance from a scarcity mentality. Here are seven main differences between them:
- Welcoming vs avoiding change
Abundance mentality allows you to embrace change as an integral part of life. You understand that change is inevitable, and always get ready to face the challenges it brings. You always try to achieve the best outcome from changes.
Scarcity mentality makes you fear change. You feel that the world doesn’t offer anything worthwhile. Therefore, you spend time trying to avoid changes, perhaps whining or complaining all the time.
- Survivor vs victim mentality
When you think that the world is wide, abundant, and full of possibilities, you will never give up. Every failure or disaster is an opportunity to prove that you are resilient. Survivor mentality has helped many people to go through difficult situations.
If you have a scarcity mentality, you will always think of yourself as a victim. You view the world as an eternal negative place, without hopes and possibilities.
- “Student of life” vs “know-it-all.”
Abundance mentality urges people to always learn. You will never feel that you know everything. You always want the opportunity to learn, understand, and make yourself a better person. You also don’t want to act arrogant, because other people know something you don’t.
People with a scarcity mentality don’t like to think that others might know more. They always want to top everyone else, even boasting their knowledge. This trait stunts their ability to learn and grow, limiting their view.
- Active vs passive-reactive
People with an abundance mentality has a proactive approach in life. Because they perceive the world as full of possibilities, they are not afraid to take initiative and try new things. They also plan and strategize life plans, to get ready when facing sudden challenges.
Scarcity mentality makes people act more passively because they tend to have a more pessimistic view toward the future. They only react when something negative happens, which does not help much.
People with abundant mentality feel genuinely happy when others achieve something great. On the contrary, people with a scarcity mentality feel bitter when this happens, and even compare themselves to others.
How to Develop an Abundance Mentality
You can train your mind to develop an abundance mentality. Here are several tips:
- Appreciate your positive points
Make a list of positive qualities that you have. Writing them on a paper make them look more realistic. Repeat them in front of the mirror every morning to remind yourself.
- Express positivity for others’ fortunes/achievements
When someone you know experiences something good, don’t hold back your positive expressions. Congratulating or praising people may feel weird at first, but you will experience positive feelings.
- Surround yourself with positive people
Your mind can get influenced by people you interact with. Surround your life with people that bring positivity. Even if one or two have the tendency of a scarcity mentality, having a lot of positive friends can counterbalance the effect.
- See misfortunes as opportunities
When misfortunes or bad things happen, switch the way you perceive them. Think about the possible opportunities you can take to grow and get stronger from experience.
Finally, think the world as a bigger place than what you perceive. Everyone gets his or her opportunities in life, and so do you.
Having an abundance mentality will help you to be more optimistic and less bitter. Try developing the characteristics, and see how much better your world perception is!