Yep. Scarcity Mindset is a real condition. Not necessarily a medical condition, but more of a psychological one. A scarcity mindset is a simple pattern your brain follows where it and its thoughts tell itself that there is never enough. Never enough food, never enough money, never enough space in your house and it can even come in social terms of never having enough friends or feeling lonely. Overall, the condition of feeling scarce and having never enough is purely thoughts based. Many inspirational gurus and Eastern medicine doctors consider an energetical shift that has to be made in order to overcome this feeling. Simply thinking and telling yourself that you have enough is not enough, otherwise, people would do it all the time. It’s one thing to say the words, but it’s another to actually believe you have enough in life.
Many consider having a scarcity mindset to come with many negative impacts on life, however, there are also some upsides to being in this state of mind. For example, feeling scarce helps us prioritize certain choices, and helps us be more effective with the choices that we do make. Scarcity instantly creates a powerful goal of dealing with pressure and ignore other factors in life. Let’s have a look at the condition of procrastination. You could look at the procrastination process of being in a scarcity mindset when it comes to feeling like there is never enough time to finish a project or to get to someplace. When we’re in this place, we feel like distractions don’t really matter and can’t get to us, and we really try to make the most out of every little time we have in order to complete whatever it is we are working on, have to do or have to get to.
Let’s have another look at some other examples: We’re in general more frugal when our toothpaste tub has almost run out of toothpaste. We want to make sure we can get the most out of that little bit. The same goes for when you’re driving your car. Whenever we have a full tank of gas, we feel like we can drive forever, however the moment our gas light jumps on, we know we have to be super scarce and change our driving behavior in order to get the most out of our tank of remaining gas. The same goes for money. Whenever we have money (Whether it’s in general or at the beginning of the month), we feel like we can spend a bit more when we have more, however when we actually do not have a lot of money or have spend everything paying the bills, that’s when we often start to become frugal and try to get the most out of our pennies.
In the words of Professor Todd May: “When there is always time for everything, there is no urgency for anything”. A life without limits would lose the beauty of its moments, and it would become boring. Scarcity can be an interesting and meaningful passage in our life. For example: When a person goes through a midlife crisis, it means they have reached the mid of their life, thus feeling like they are running out of time and feeling like they have not done the things they have wanted to do with their life. The meaningful aspect here being that once we accept the position that we’re in, our inner feeling of scarcity and not having enough time passes, thus passing on the scarcity mindset. The meaning here being working on acceptance and morality.
A scarcity mindset also contributes to trade-off thinking in the sense that if we were to have let’s say $5 to spend. If we were to spend it on a particular item, it would mean that we don’t have the $5 anymore, thus sacrificing and trading off someonething we want for something else we want. This plays a part in regular bill paying such as rent, car payment, student loan debt etc.
Most importantly, there is something we all have to be aware of. Having a scarcity mindset makes us myopic (nearsighted and lacking intellectual insight) in the sense that we believe that our current situation is scarce and that it will not change in the future. If we were to believe that our current state could and will change, we would not necessarily be in a scarcity mindset, considering we wouldn’t believe we never have enough food or money to live peacefully.
Scarcity is a tricky thing. We can look at it as a demon of some sorts that we can get sucked into and will have a hard time breaking that momentum of thinking. It starts slowly, but if you tell yourself long enough that something is the case – such as there is never enough money – you start to believe it.
Something that has helped me overcome this scarcity mindset is by reading Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”. It explores the power of thoughts, desire and and other mental capacities, showing that mindset and thoughts themselves can create your reality, which in the case of having a scarcity mindset is true. People who have a scarcity mindset think there is never enough, while Napoleon Hill’s book teaches us to calibrate our mind to approach and secure riches in any shap or form.
Lastly, one of the key issues when it comes to having a scarcity mindset is “the ability to economize cognitive resources”, as worded by Psychology Today. Cognitive resources are all about properly managing our limited information processing abilities. For example: Let’s say you have a big work project that has to be completed. When you look at the project as a whole, one could feel overwhelmed and scarce on time. One could feel that there’s no way that project can be completed within the deadline, let along there not being enough resources to properly deliver.
Do you feel like you have a scarcity mindset? If not, what do you feel like you do or think in order to thrive mentally?
Let us know!