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The Abundance Vs. Scarcity Mindset

  • Post last modified:10. April 2020
  • Reading time:16 mins read

A mindset is a way of thinking. It is like a lens that determines what you see in this world. In contrast to values and beliefs, a mindset is something that you can easily change with awareness, practice and enough determination. It is the general perspective you have on life and how you react to various situations. Basically, you could say that values bring us together, beliefs can divide us, and mindsets determine if you live a fulfilling and abundant life. Often, our mindset influences whether we achieve our goals and desire in life or not. Promoting and supporting a healthy and positive abundance mindset instead of a negative scarcity mindset can be crucial to create the life you want and to attract money and wealth.

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The Difference Between a Scarcity Mindset and an Abundance Mind

There are two types of mindset that was coined by the author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen Covey. These are a scarcity mindset and an abundance mindset. The scarcity mindset focuses on what we don’t have and our limits. On the other hand, an abundance mindset is about creating opportunities and believing that there are enough resources for everyone to benefit. A person with a scarcity mindset constantly thinks about the lack in his life. In that situation, the mind becomes busy worrying and stops us from accessing what we want from life. As a result, a scarcity mindset manifests obstacles that limit our success and hinders abundance and wealth to access your life. For a scarcity mind, there is never enough. A person with a scarcity mindset wakes up in the morning with the thought “I didn’t sleep enough” or “I don’t have enough time to accomplish all the things I need to do today”. Take a second and think of your life. Which area do find yourself focusing on what you don’t have? What limits do you place on yourself? In which area of your life (love, relationships, finances, work, etc.) do you apply a scarcity mindset?

Then there is also the abundance mindset, that realizes that there is always enough for everyone. People with an abundance mindset aren’t jealous or envious. They aren’t victims, most often they are leaders. Additionally, an abundant mind recognizes the good things that are already present, with the result, that it manifests even more of the, for example, love, money and health. When you have an abundant mindset, you think about what is possible, as well as available in the present moment.

Why Should I Change From a Scarcity to an Abundance Mindset?

The are endless benefits of having an abundance mindset. Generally, you will start to experience more success and less stress in your daily life.

Here are a few other benefits:

Gratitude: Individuals who have an abundance mindset feel more gratitude for what they have, which positively impacts family, friends, etc. Imagine being with a friend who complains about lack all the time. Annoying, huh? This spreads negativity which also influences your life and your manifestations.

Accessing opportunities: With an abundant mindset, more opportunities are revealed because you actually pursue them and they can manifest in your life.

Decreased daily stress: Because people with an abundance mindset are less likely to have expectations that cannot be met, it allows them to live a life that has less stress and disappointment.

Reduced anxiety: When you strongly believe that there are enough resources for everyone, you automatically trust that you can access what you need when you need it. Instead of finding yourself worrying about what you don’t have, you are able to reduce your anxiety by knowing that you can manifest what you want when you need it.

Taking control of your life: When you live with a scarcity mindset, you are often living as a victim. Like life happens to you as opposed to you making life happen. An abundance mindset will place you in the driver’s seat and will give you more control over your life and a greater ability to create what you want to experience.

Happier and fulfilling relationships: We tend to attract people that think like us. If you are stuck in a scarcity mindset, you will have the tendency to attract people that limit themselves. Alternatively, if you cultivate an abundance mindset, you will start manifesting relationships that are uplifting, supportive and most of all that brings more abundance in your life.

Improving your health: People who demonstrate an abundance mindset are more grateful which is tied to better physical and psychological health. They are less likely to experience depression, anxiety, stress and other chronic diseases that are often connected to one’s lifestyle.

The Research on Living an Abundant Life

In this chapter, we will explore the research that was completed on mindsets that will likely make you want to shift your mindset. Results like a reduced intelligence quotient (IQ) or self-limiting behavior encourage us to move from a scarcity to a abundance mindset. As William James, American psychologist and philosopher, once said:

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.

Mindsets and Intelligence

A Harvard University study looked at the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of individuals when they had a scarcity mindset versus when they had an abundance mindset. The results revealed that the difference between having a scarcity mindset and an abundance mindset can be as much as 10 to 14 IQ points.

Fascinatingly, once you change your way of thinking, you can gain the IQ quickly. An abundance mindset will make you brighter and enables you to be better at decision making, as well as being more efficient in solution finding.

Mindsets and Opportunities

Another outstanding study result was conducted by cognitive psychologists, Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris. They demonstrated that when our mind is set on a specific thing, we tend not to see the other opportunities that surround us. In their study, they use a video and ask the participants to focus on a basketball and count how many times the ball is being passed. Meanwhile, a gorilla walks on the video scene. Most people won’t even see the gorilla since they are focused on counting the ball passes. When applied to scarcity and abundance, you can say that if you focus too much on what you don’t have, you could be missing the abundance and opportunities around you.

Mindsets and Decision Making

A recent study published in the Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, came to the result that our brain is negatively affected by a scarcity mindset when it comes to make purchase decisions. There is a smaller likelihood to price items correctly and therefore we purchase an item that could have a higher price than normal.

In another publication, the results showed that people who have a scarcity mindset make more instant gratifying purchases instead of first “thinking about it” for a certain time prior buying the item.

Mindsets and Learning

A really import aspect of our life is learning. It allows us to grow and become better, smarter and wiser people. Research, led by a professor at the University of Maryland, indicated that a scarcity mindset can lower the psychological openness of an individual and therefore limit them in their ability to learn and change.

Mindsets and Health

A scarcity mindset has impact even on our eating behavior which can even lead to obesity, chronic disease and illness. A study featured in the European Health Psychologist came to the result that participants with a scarcity mindset made poor decisions in regard to the consumption of food, like unhealthy eating and over indulging.

Do You have a Scarcity Mindset?

In the following, you will find a list of typical behaviors individuals with a scarcity mindset tend to have. Being aware of such destructive behaviors can help you in identifying the changes you should make in order to shift your mindset to abundance.

You Focus on Lack

Do you find yourself listing things that are missing in your life? Or do you sometimes wonder why you don’t have certain things? Do you always want more and more and more, there is never enough? Instead of putting all your energy in what is missing in your life, you should focus on what it is you want to manifest. This way you create a crystal clear picture of what it is that you desire, which makes it easier to find.

You don’t Ask for Help

It often surprises people that showing independence can block the flow of abundance. This is something I personally used to struggle with a lot. I used to hate and avoid asking people for help, until I realized that in order to bring more abundance in my life, I need to be open to receive. And that includes receiving help from others. If you find it difficult to say “yes” to someone who offers you help, you are stating to the universe that you don’t deserve to receive. If you can’t accept help from others, you also can’t accept help from the universe. Try to get comfortable asking people for help in your daily life. Most people love helping, and you could help them in return. Where do you need help with in your daily life? Maybe at work? With your kids?

You are Uncomfortable with Compliments

This goes hand in hand with receiving. When you aren’t comfortable with receiving compliments, you are implying that receiving is difficult for you. -Reflect on how you behave when someone compliment you on your skills. Make it a habit saying “thank you, I appreciate it” when someone recognizes your value in order to attract more wealth.

You Dwell on the Past

Wasting your energy on thinking about the past, about things you can’t change anyways, leaves you with little energy to manifest the presence you want. Bring your focus back to the “now” and start appreciating what you have and can do to feel happier. What makes you smile everyday? People with an abundance mindset find joy in the present and don’t delay living a happy and fulfilling life. Is there anything that happened in the past and occupies your mind? Think about how you can let it go so you start to use your energy on the “now”.

You Have a Limiting Vocabulary

“Can’t,” “won’t,” or “don’t” are limiting words that are used by persons with a scarcity mindset. These words have the tendency to nourish a deep belief that we don’t have enough, that we aren’t enough and that we will never be able to get what we want. You should pay close attention to the words you use and reframe them into words that empower you (“I can”, “I am”, “I want”).


“I don’t like my job”


“This job allows me to earn money until I find my dream job”

You Envy Others

If you have a scarcity instead of an abundance mindset, you probably tend to experience feelings of jealousy and envy. Maybe you catch yourself looking at others and wondering why you don’t have what they have. The problem is that envy is a feeling that attracts scarcity because you focus on what you don’t have (it isn’t necessary to mention that it can ruin your relationships with family and friends). Start appreciating the good in your life and stop comparing yourself to others. Many people also find it helpful to detox from Instagram and social media in general. What you see on social media is most often not real. Everyone only shows off the good and nice things that happen in their lives. Instead of being envious, you could use affirmations to manifest what it is that the others person has, like “I am sure that my perfect partner is coming soon”.

You Have a Sense of Urgency

People with a scarcity mindset are more likely to focus on getting whatever it is they want immediately. For example, they get an unexpected sum of money and have the urge to spend it right away on unnecessary things they just want for the present moment.

You Blame Others

Taking responsibility for your own situation is something really import in order to get an abundant mindset. You don’t want to give up on your power and let external factors determine your life. Even if you have experienced unfortunate situations that weren’t your fault, you need to get out of the victim role and take destiny in your own hands. Find situations in your life that you think are unfair and try to change them.

Stay tuned for the next article in which I specify how exactly you can change your scarcity mindset into an abundance mindset, how to implement practical changes in a successful way and how to start manifesting abundance right away with gratitude, self-love and seeing opportunities in difficulties!

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My name is Elsa and I have been the face behind Spirithandbook for 3 years now. I hold a master's degree in psychology and combine the essence of the human mind with deeply rooted spirituality on my blog. Being Greek and German, whenever I'm not drinking coffee, I'm cuddling with my 3 cats Atlas, Cronos, and Gaia.

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