Episode 8: Scarcity v. Abundance MindsetMar 27, 2023
Hi everyone! Welcome back to the Elevate Motherhood Podcast!
So the topic of today’s episode is scarcity verses abundance mindsets. (If you want to listen to the podcast- click here!) And this sounds extreme maybe but when I heard the explanation of this that concept it really was transformative in my life. I love personality tests and enneagram and just learning about the different ways people think about things. And I don’t think these classifications box us in, in fact, I think the opposite. I think the more we learn about HOW we think about things, it opens our minds and frees us up. It gives us the information to be proactive instead of reactive with how we interpret life. It helps us interact with compassion with other people because we can understand a big more of where they are coming from. So this concept of abundance and scarcity mindsets is just another lens through which you can view your life and your circumstances. And I hope it’s helpful to you!
Part of this will be in reference to physical possessions. That’s one thing that I love thinking about and you guys have heard me reference on the podcast my desire to have a streamlined and efficient life and home, leaving room for what matters. And the truth is, a lot of times, physical items get in the way. Mentally and physically. So part of this discussion will be along the lines of loosening our grip on physical items, at least loosening the control or safety we feel about those items. But this discussion is so much more than that. It can be applied to all areas of our lives. I really think and pray that whether you have never heard about this before, or even if you have, something today will open your eyes and set you free in some way. That knowledge will be power to you!
So the basics. First let’s go into the difference between thinking with a scarcity mentality and an abundance mentality.
Basically, scarcity thinkers are focused on what’s lacking. Scarcity thinkers have a victim mentality, thinking there’s not enough for everyone. They have a hard time collaborating or sharing credit with others. They will think there’s not enough for me if someone else is doing well. They think everything is getting smaller, resources and opportunities are running out.. Scarcity thinkers feel powerless, like everything happens TO them, everything is someone’s fault. Scarcity thinkers are competitive. They are more likely to be takers than givers, their negative attitudes are draining to others around them. Synonym might sometimes be “poverty mindset” and “fixed mindsets.” It is being so busy thinking about what you don’t have, or what someone else has, that you miss out on what you already HAVE. On the plans GOD has for you. On the possibilities right in front of you. Ultimately, scarcity comes from fear.
And on the flip side of this, abundance thinkers. Abundance thinkers have overcomer mentalities. They are focused on what they have, what they are capable of, and the possibilities in front of them. They believe that everything is getting exponentially bigger, that there are resources and successes for all to share. Abundance thinkers have a win-win mindset. They take ownership instead of blaming, they spend mental energy on creativity and new possibilities, they are flexible and adaptable. Abundance thinkers aren’t afraid of taking risks, and consider all things within reach. When we are thinking in an abundance mindset, we aren’t hurried and rushed and grasping for straws, we can make decisions that align with the values and life we purposefully choose. We don’t have to compare and compete. Abundance thinkers feel empowered, are givers, contributors, and their positive attitudes energize others.
Contentment doesn’t really sit with scarcity. If you’re focused on what you lack, you’re thinking with a scarcity mindset, you’re not content. Contentment helps us not cling to our things with a tight grip. Contentment helps us hold our things with open arms. 1 Timothy 6:7 says – Godliness with contentment is great gain. We brought nothing into the world and we cannot take anything out of it. Life isn’t about the continual pursuit of things.
Hebrews 13:5 says keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have. Philippians 4:11 says I have learned to be content regardless of my circumstances.
The bible talks a lot about greed in a negative sense, and debt in a negative sense. We KNOW these things are bad. The Bible said God will meet all our needs. Not all our wants. All our needs. The Bible says the love of money is bad. Money isn’t bad. Money is one of the ways we change the world! Actually, I believe very strongly that the world needs wealthy Christians who can give and meet needs and help. This conversation isn’t about not wanting or accumulating money. It’s about our heart and our mindset surrounding it all. It’s a great goal to be in a position of having money, not loving money, and being able to give.
Luke 6:8 Give and it will be given to you. Your gift will be returned to you in full, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
That is one of my favorite verses. I just know people like this. My sister being one of them. People who are so willing to give any single thing they own to someone else, and they are blessed for it! I love to visualize that verse. What you give will be given back to you, imagine a cup that you gave something from, it was filled to the top, and you gave it all away. But now God says your gift will be given to you in full, so that same cup is full and returned back to you, but not only that, the amount in that cup is pressed down and shaken together, making room for more in that cup, and even then it is running over and spilling out. That’s how much you’re getting back when you give. Isn’t that cool?
If you’re wondering what mindset you have when it comes to your finances- I have a couple of questions for you.
Do you tip well?
Do you tithe?
The tithe, it is such an obvious proof of your mindset. At least financially. Do you trust that God will provide? Are you holding such a tight grip that you don’t give a tenth of it to the Lord? When he SAYS test me on this? Malachi 3:8-11 Tithe. Test me in this and see if I don’t open the heaven itself to you and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
Right before that in some translations it says you’re under a curse because you’re robbing God if you aren’t tithing. We are going up against that direct wording from the Lord in His Word because we have such a tight grip on that last 10%?
This whole premise isn’t about money. God doesn’t need our money. It’s about the posture of our hearts. He asks each person to give whether you are a child getting an allowance or you are a millionaire. It’s proportional so we each have the opportunity to experience the freedom and release of control when we give it to him. So we can experience God’s provision and his blessings.
And I know this may seem like I'm on a tangent but this does apply through the abundance and scarcity mindset. Are your thoughts and mindset focused on what you lack? Driven by fear? Or are your thoughts and actions aligned with the abundance mindset of – there’s more where that came from. That you can act purposefully according to the life you have chosen because you assume responsibility and believe in possibilities. You have a loose grip on what you own because its all God’s anyway!
Sometimes my cousin sends me sermons from a church called Bridgetown and their pastor Tyler Staton is just full of wisdom. Every single sentence he says is super eloquent and packed with power. But recently he said- anyone who has counted the cost of following Jesus and counted it high has accurately counted it. But anyone who has counted it and decided it is too high has not accurately counted the reward.
I’m not teaching you this to give you restrictions, but because I want you to experience freedom!
As I mentioned earlier, this concept doesn’t just apply to physical things but a lot of times it does. And sometimes that is an even easier way to see what mindset you’re using. I think I have always had super organized tendencies but more so bought into some of the minimalistic principles over the last decade or so. And I think there is so much freedom to be found when we literally own less physical possessions. Simplifying to make room for what matters most.
So along those lines- thinking scarcity and abundance when it comes to physical items.
If you’re viewing your belongings with a scarcity mindset- you might be spending so much time constantly re-organizing all your belongings. You might not be able to park in your garage because it’s full of things you don’t even use. You might spend your precious time always looking for things because you have a hard time finding what you need quickly. You might spend extra money storing your items away from your house. You might be afraid to get rid of things because- what if you need it someday? Maybe you don’t trust that your future self would be able to find another good deal or repurchase the item later on if truly needed. Maybe you’re holding onto things your past self liked, or things that the future self you hope to be will need or want. You keep a sense of control by ensuring you own everything you could ever need. You’re subconsciously competing with other people, wanting to impress them, being burdened or indebted because of prioritizing what others might think.
If you’re viewing your belongings with an abundance mindset- you have a loose grip on your physical items. You are always ready to give. You believe in quality over quantity. You have what you need and aren’t constantly striving and searching and spending for more more more. You are able to give- your items and your time and your money, because you aren’t held down. You have space for the things you own, you can easily find things that you need. You are more concerned with your PRESENT life, and want things you can use now. You are comfortable with space. You have space in your mind to relax and be present. You don’t have to spend your time moving things, sorting things, packaging things, feeling guilty about not using all your things, feeling guilty over the money spent on all your things. You know that if you happen to need something you don’t own anymore, you are able to get by without it, borrow it, or repurchase it. You have contentment.
I listen to anyone I can that talks about decluttering and organizing and efficiency and it is a well-accepted belief among that part of the world that- your things take up your time. Whether you want to admit it or not. You’re moving it, cleaning it, walking around it, paying for the space it takes up. Your things take up your time.
And I can and probably will make at least an entire episode on tips for decluttering and deciding what to keep but one more category is the guilt we carry about keeping other people’s things. People in our family who have passed away, or gifts we receive from others. I can almost guarantee you that the other person would want you to be living your biggest, most full, most present, life. They don’t want you burdened by things! If those items are a blessing to you and you love them or use them, that’s amazing! If not, I’m sure that person would rather you let someone else get some joy from those items. Free yourself up physically and mentally!
And a side note- I don’t want any of this to be guilt-inducing. If you have recently moved, or have family members recently passed away and you haven’t dealt with those items yet. It doesn’t mean you are stuck in a scarcity mindset. I know there are circumstances that exist! I hope this information just helps you as you move forward!
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Your heart follows what you decide is treasure to you. What is your treasure? Your things in your house? Your money in your bank account? Are you operating with a spirit of generosity and overflow? Or are you storing it for yourself and seeking comfort from it?
Sometimes resources might actually be scarce in a particular area but that still doesn’t have to be our mindset. We can shift our minds away from staying in that scarcity mentality and then make purposeful decisions to move ourselves away and at the same time mentally praying and believing to not stay there.
This mindset is not just a product of your circumstances. In fact, I believe it’s more likely that the reverse is true. Could it be that your mindset is shaping your circumstances? Could we tip the scales now that we are aware?
You don’t have to hear this and think- oh great! I’m a scarcity mindset person! I’m doomed! It’s not a personality trait.
Just think of it as a lens through which you’re viewing something. Or viewing several different areas. I do think it’s likely that the same people apply either of these particular mindsets to most areas of their lives, but you may realize in a certain area you are particularly influenced by the scarcity mindset. And now you have this information and the power to change your mindset. You can literally imagine yourself taking off that lens and choosing how you are going to view your life. That’s the purpose of this conversation, to train ourselves to think in the way that we want to. To train ourselves to think the way God teaches us to think. To form new tracks in our mind, intentionally.
So now we will talk about some ways to change yourself from scarcity thinking to abundance thinking.
First, we can pray that God can set us free from being so concerned with what we lack. We can pray that God can help us focus our minds on what is right in front of us, give us a posture of gratitude and contentment.
Graham Cochrane’s tip for turning from a scarcity to abundance mindset is to turn things into a question. Instead of thinking, I’ll never be first because that other girl always wins. Think, how can I get better? Instead of thinking, I can’t afford that. Think, how could I afford that? Instead of thinking, I hate my job. Think, How can I find purpose in my job or find a different job?
Another way to transform your mindset is to “zoom out” if you can. Allow yourself to dream. Think of the big picture of WHO you want to be, WHAT you want your life to look like, and start making choices that align with those dreams. Choosing what you want most over what you want now. You can decide to become a learner. Instead of always trying to prove yourself, learn more. Grow. Open your mind. Prepare and plan ahead so you don’t have to be continually fixing and repairing and operating out of desperation.
And I know this is a podcast for moms and a lot of you listening care about parenting. So my kids are still so young I’m still learning ways to TEACH them this concept. And probably the most obvious way is to just live it out. BE the example. They will learn from us whether we want them to or not.
But I do think my own parents did a good job of teaching my siblings and I abundance mindsets. Even though I’m pretty sure they never specifically learned that language or tried to teach us that from some type of guide. But they just lived it and taught us that.
I think of a verse that I have already mentioned in a previous episode that was one of the cornerstones in my family’s parenting. Romans 12:15 - Rejoice with those who rejoice. More for them does not mean less for you. We surround ourselves with people who inspire us. We don’t always have to be the big fish in the little pond. You may have heard the phrase- a rising tide raises all ships. You become like the people you spend your time with.
One good example I have from my own childhood of a scarcity or abundance mindset in regards to teaching our kids that there is room at the top for everyone is something my dad did while we were growing up. Me and my siblings were all really into competitive sports. My sister and I danced and my brother played soccer. And we weren’t like world class athletes, but our parents expected us to be good at our sports and we were all relatively pretty good at our sports.
One of my memories growing up was my dad didn’t really tell us we were the best at our sports unless we were. He would never say things like – those judges just are biased! I can’t believe they didn’t pick you guys! This competition is rigged! My dad would instead say things like- why do you think that particular girl won first place? What do you think that she did that you didn’t do? And this wasn’t in like a rude way to make me feel bad. I could feel the lesson in it even when I was young, the message he was communicating was more like- there’s something available for you where that’s coming from. What the first place girl did is probably something you can do. Did she go to more practices? Did she watch videos of herself to learn what she was doing? It taught us a growth mindset. He would of course tell us good job and that he was proud of us, he just didn’t act closed minded like his children would be the winners or it must be that the judges or teachers were wrong.
Along the same lines, my mom explained to us that our sports cost our parents time and money. And they LOVED our sports and loved us and loved that we played sports, but they didn’t just like let us waste their time and money by being lazy. And they didn’t consider it an option that we would be giving bare minimum effort. At our dance studio growing up it was a fixed price for certain technique classes and we were required to go to 2 a week, but there were like 5 a week offered. My mom explained to us that if we are spending all this time and money, we need to get all we can get out of it. So she expected my sister and I to attend the optional extra classes that were times we would already be at the studio or right before or after our classes. If we ever had problems with our coaches, our mom really did try to stay out of it. She would talk me through what I needed to say and how to approach the situation, but then she really did let me do it myself.
All of these things are more for parenting older kids but I think the concept applies across the board. We want our kids to have abundance mindsets. We want them to believe there is room at the top for everyone, we want them to be overcomers, thinking things are within their reach. We don’t want them to feel powerless, like everything happens TO them, or be focused on what everyone else has.
And like I said, the best way to teach our kids, is to become more like this ourselves.
I’d love to hear any additional ideas you guys have for ways to switch our brains from the scarcity mindset to the abundance mindset.
Thanks for being here, friends. Until next time! Let’s elevate motherhood!
1 Timothy 6:7 – Godliness with contentment is great gain.
Hebrews 13:5 keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.
Philippians 4:11 I have learned to be content regardless of my circumstances.
Luke 6:8 says, give and it will be given to you. Your gift will be returned to you in full, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
Malachi 3:8-11 Tithe. Test me in this and see if I don’t open the heaven itself to you and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
Romans 12:15 - Rejoice with those who rejoice.
Elevate Motherhood Home Organization Master Class
Our online course takes you step-by-step and room-by-room to declutter and organize your house, once and for all! It's for regular moms, just like you. As we declutter and organize, we're making more space for what (and who) really matters. Stop wasting your time and invest it! Let's get your house working for YOU!
Get All Things Elevate Motherhood!
Organization tips, positive encouragement, podcast recaps, and Elevate Motherhood exclusives.
Delivered straight to your inbox:
You may unsubscribe at any time.