Have you ever felt a bit of jealousy when your colleague gets promoted? Or are you feeling insecure about your financial status? It’s time to be aware of such feelings because most of the time, they may indicate a thinking state, namely scarcity mindset, which is not good for your mental state.
What is Scarcity Mindset?
Scarcity mindset, also known as scarcity mentality, refers to the belief that something will never be enough. Matters in question can be anything: money, time, foods, opportunity, feelings, emotion, relationships, health, power, etc. Some people with this mindset think that they are always poor or never have enough money to fulfill their needs. Meanwhile, some others feel anxious because they believe that there’s no opportunity left for them.
The mindset is further perpetuated by the feeling of jealousy, insecurity, and giving up. When hearing the news of others’ success story in any aspect, those who have a scarcity mindset will feel worried and insecure. They also hold a belief that because of others’ success, the chance for them to reach the same achievement will decrease, or worse, disappear.
Signs of Scarcity Mindset
As mentioned earlier, the notion of scarcity mindset mainly revolves around self-insecurity. Moreover, below are some other major signs that can indicate when someone has this mindset.
1. Feeling envious or jealous of others
One of the most common signs which show a scarcity mindset is envy or jealousy. You feel unhappy with what others have and at the same time, wishing that you also have their success or achievement. These feelings will also stir you to be less grateful for what you already have.
2. Always comparing everything to others
In addition to being jealous or envious, scarcity mindset will lead you to compare what you have with what others have. This happens continuously until you feel some kind of incomplete feeling when you haven’t compared your worth to others around you. Your self-esteem and self-worth will also depend on those comparisons.
3. Having difficult times to share
People with a scarcity mindset are far from being generous. In fact, if you linger in this mindset, you will find it difficult to share anything with others, whether it is money, time, or other things.
4. Feeling subconsciously happy when others fail
If you have a scarcity mentality, you may like it when seeing others fail, even without you realize it. When others succeed, you feel insecure because of the belief that they may steal what should be yours. Conversely, when others fail, you assume that the chance to be more successful than them has increased.
5. Expressing words or thoughts of scarcity
Besides other signs mentioned above, the most obvious indication of a scarcity mentality is actually expressed through words or thoughts that are said out loud. Some expressions such as “I can’t do this,” “I don’t have enough money,” or “I am not smart/good/qualified enough,” perfectly indicate the mindset of scarcity. These negative thoughts are considered the manifestation of insecure feelings that build up inside.
Its Negative Effects
Looking at the signs and indications, a scarcity mindset is not good for your mental and personal state. It can shape your way of thinking as well as affect your attitudes and behaviors when interacting with others.
With scarcity in mind, you will always feel that plentiful resources in the world are limited. This can lead to a negative competition which is actually not necessary. You will experience a hard time to share, work, or make relationships with other people. As a result, you show poor performance when working in teams because you think that success should be achieved by individuals, not by groups.
In the worst case scenario, the scarcity mindset prevents you from being successful. Because you are always driven by fear and insecurity, you will feel that there is not enough time or resources that can support you. The negativity of this mindset will also limit your opportunity to accomplish any achievement.
How to Deal with a Scarcity Mindset
Any mindset or ways of thinking are always open to change, so is a scarcity mindset. In the late 1980s, Stephen Covey introduced the term ‘abundance mentality’ in his best-selling book entitled The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This mindset serves as the positive opposite of the scarcity mentality.
Abundance mentality is believed to be an effective way that can help you deal with the scarcity tendency. In general, this concept can shape a new positive mindset by applying the following principles:
- Always be happy and grateful for whatever you have.
- Be curious, yet still appreciative, with others’ experience to reach their goals.
- Focus on unlimited resources and possibilities that haven’t been explored yet.
- Cultivate your passion to do what motivates you.
- Take small actions to achieve your big goals.
- Use positive affirmations when you need to solve problems.
- Take time to consider your thoughts, so that you can shift them as soon as you feel the signs of scarcity.
That concludes the basic information you need to know about the scarcity mindset. Hopefully, understanding the notion of this way of thinking can help you avoid its harmful effects and motivate you to reshape any negative mindset.