Abundance vs. Scarcity

Abundance and scarcity -- two very dichotomous mindsets we all have the power to subscribe to. Notice that I mentioned we have power over these, and that we're not merely susceptible to them; I can make this claim because I, for one, have experienced this ability first-hand.

I've spoken about it before, but I'll remind you all: I was once a very negative person. I was always nice and pleasant, but it took almost nothing to get me down or frustrated. I experienced scarcity in love at a younger age, and saw myself as a kind of victim -- as if the world was out to get me. I was bitter about not having relationships, believing that the 'nice guys finish last' notion was actually true. I was looking at everything through the lens of scarcity -- that there's 'never enough' of any specific thing (love, money, etc.), and I must be in constant competition with everyone else for it all.

The mindset of scarcity is borne from feelings of fear, anxiety, mistrust, and selfishness. It's easy to fall into the role of victim, and believe that the world is happening to us instead of for us. Comparison -- the very death of joy itself -- is commonplace when living in a scarcity mindset. Those believing in scarcity look and compare themselves to others, often calling down their accomplishments and successes, as they mean failures for ourselves. "The girl I like shows no interest in me, but rather, someone I see as a real loser -- definitely not as good as me." This unfortunate mindset is one I believed in for a long time. I would put down others in my mind in order to lift myself up. I would blame everyone but myself, taking no responsibility for a lack of personal growth or action on my own part. It was a really dark and really depressing point in my life. When I finally was all bitter-ed out, I decided to make a change -- to stop playing the victim and look at things in a more positive light (there wasn't a whole lot left to look at in the direction I was going, so what did I have to lose?)

As it requires a complete shift in one's thinking, the move to an abundance mindset is not easy -- change (especially when it's to your benefit) never is. Where scarcity relies on fear, and variations of it, abundance relies on gratitude. When one sees the world through abundance, there is a kind of calm and freedom you experience, as you no longer worry about having to grab every shred of anything possible, fearing there won't be any left for you. You already know that there is enough for everyone, and you need only be ready to take action and accept opportunities when they appear. I finally stopped trying so hard, being so horribly negative, and comparing myself to others, and opened myself to the actual possibility of love. With an open mind (the hallmark of an abundance mindset), I acted on an opportunity that changed my life. I found my person, and am happily writing this post just days after celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary.

I've used the example of love through this post, but abundance covers so much more. Here's a really wonderful graphical example of abundance vs. scarcity:

These two loops show the constant struggle we face when caught in the loop of scarcity, versus the very freeing experience of living in abundance. Any desire can be put through the lens (love, money, success, etc.), and one can see how different the results will be. When we choose to believe that there is abundant [insert desire here] for us all, the world becomes larger -- more rich and vibrant and full. Living in scarcity may feed our ego and make us feel (falsely) better about ourselves, because everyone else is to blame for our misfortune -- but how healthy is it to live that way? Abundance does not mean that everything magically appears for you; rather, it means that you've opted to see the world as a font of opportunity rather than an everyone-for-them-self melee. It's a much better world to live in, if you ask me.

** View the video for this post HERE **