What is an Abundance Mindset?
An abundance mindset is the idea or worldview that there are enough resources and successes for all to share. This worldview is contrasted with a scarcity mindset, or the idea that there isn’t enough to go around and that each person must guard their accomplishments or resources from others. These terms originated from Stephen Covey’s successful book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, which first hit store shelves in 1989.
The Meaning of an Abundance Mindset
People who view the world through the lens of an abundance mindset will often see others as potential collaborators, rather than competitors who want to take what they have. An abundance mindset is based on gratitude, a deep-seated belief that the world is full of possibility and opportunities, and that helping others achieve their goals will in turn help you achieve your own.
Approaching the world, and your entrepreneurial journey, with an abundance mindset can have a radical impact on not only the success of your business but also your level of satisfaction with your life and the choices you make.
From the basic concept that there is enough opportunity and success to go around and that all one has to do is seek it out, a powerful and dynamic system of personal and professional growth arises.
People who believe that the world is full of opportunities will be more receptive to new ideas and will engage with opportunities they are presented with. This is true of entrepreneurial opportunities or those that may arise in their personal life.
Not only are people with an abundance mentality more open to opportunities and new experiences, but they also tend to have a more developed and reliable support system. This support system can come in the form of a network of friends and family or in the form of a professional network of colleagues and collaborators. Living with an abundance mentality means that you recognize the need of others to succeed and that the success of collaborators translates to your individual success as well.
How to Develop an Abundance Mindset
An abundance mentality is a powerful personal and professional growth concept, but all too often people find themselves locked into a cycle of scarcity-based thinking. Like all of the thought patterns we can find ourselves caught up in, it can be difficult to change our thinking and our outlook.
Here are a few tips to get you started on the path away from a scarcity mentality:
Admit That Your Thoughts Have Power
If you aren’t seeing the results you’re looking for in your personal life or your business, take a moment to reflect on your thoughts and the words you’re using to talk to yourself. Are you approaching the problems in your life from a position of fear or scarcity? Do you believe that “all of the good opportunities” have already been taken advantage of by others? Do you feel that you can’t get ahead because others are “better” than you are?
These thoughts, and the negative self-talk that accompanies them, are symptoms of a scarcity mindset. Someone who embraced an abundance mindset would look at these issues in a different way. They would see that, yes, many good opportunities have already been acted on, but the world is always turning. There are lots of opportunities out there that haven’t been thought of yet and a little work can uncover one that is a good fit for them. Additionally, someone with an abundance mentality would recognize that, yes, other people have achieved things that they haven’t yet, but that’s an inspiration, not a barrier (and maybe even a blueprint for their own success!).
Practice Gratitude and Mindfulness
In his book Starting a Business QuickStart Guide, author and veteran entrepreneur Ken Colwell, PhD, MBA, asserts that mindfulness is the greatest asset an entrepreneur can have. It is a key component of problem-solving and creativity—an entrepreneur’s bread and butter—and an essential part of living a self-actualized life.
Together, the practices of mindfully living in the moment and regularly practicing gratitude help us change the words we say to ourselves that come from a place of fear and scarcity. Regularly focusing on our own accomplishments helps combat negative self-talk that tells us we’re not good enough or that other people are better than us. It can be a powerful way to put ourselves back in the driver’s seat of our own lives and help us find and identify the opportunities that will help us grow to the next stage of our journey.
Recognizing the Scarcity Mindset
Knowing when a thought comes from a scarcity mindset is sometimes easier said than done. The chart below outlines some examples of thoughts that represent a scarcity mindset compared to that same thought from an abundance mindset perspective.