When individuals get into financial difficulties, it is not because they are not earning enough money, but it is because they do not know or understand how to manage the money that they have. Someone who has a money mindset has a positive attitude towards money, demonstrating knowledge and skills how to manage it, use it, and grow it.
That money mindset is often associated with a secondary mindset focussed around abundance, or scarcity.
Someone with a mindset of abundance believes there is always plenty of everything in life – whether that is money, relationships, resources, opportunities. All you need do is go out and look for it! The only limiting aspect to you enjoying it all is your own self limiting beliefs and doubts.
These self limiting beliefs can lead an unsuspecting individual unwittingly into that zone of scarcity. Someone with a scarcity mindset always feels that they are about to lose all their time and money, and live in constant fear and anxiety.
There are sound psychological reasons why these mindsets are so important – and it comes down to narrowing your focus of vision and concentration, which means that the more ‘frightened’ you become about losing it all, the more tunnel visioned you are about gathering up and jealously protecting everything you have. You only need to see what happened to Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol to know that never ends well.
By the same token, you don’t want to throw open your bank account doors and throw your hard earned cash away will nilly. There needs to be a fine balance between respecting and protecting what you have built up to date andfeeling confident enough to start looking around for the next opportunities.
So do you have a mindset of scarcity or abundance?
Ask yourself this question – when it comes to the time for you to complete your self assessment for the tax man, do you approach it with utter fear and dread? Do you put it off until the last moment, and avoid looking at the bottom line which tells you how much you owe. You are demonstrating the traits of someone with a scarcity mindset.
Someone with an abundant mindset will approach self assessment with a more relaxed attitude. They understand that money is an energy that flows, rather than something that needs hoarding. An energy that flows is more attractive and open to the opportunities around. Although not quite an ‘easy come easy go’ attitude, there is nonetheless a sense that whatever happens that person will cope. There is no unnecessary fear and anxiety.
Some have described the scarcity mindset has being about walls and locks and secrets. You don’t want others to know what you have, you assume the worst. You are frightened of loss, other people, and your inability to cope with being without. It’s easier to lock yourself away than face those things you fear. It is destructive, pernicious, and erodes away at your emotional wellbeing.
Abundance is about hope and opportunity. It widens the vision to more and more that surrounds you, and you recognise the opportunities that could open up new lucrative pathways.
St Francis of Assisi famously quoted: “For it is in giving that we receive.”
The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu also understood the nature of abundance: “The wise man does not lay upon his treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.”
If you recognise these scarcity traits in yourself, and would like to change, start by challenging your current beliefs and attitudes around money. Awareness is the first step. Once you have developed that awareness, you can start to put steps in place to gently challenging yourself and beginning to change.