Shifting Mindsets: Scarcity vs. Abundance

We hear the terms ‘scarcity mindset’ and ‘abundance mindset’ a lot, but what do they really mean?

Shifting from scarcity to abundance mindset is the difference between assuming a fixed outcome and trusting that there are endless outcomes. An abundance mindset allows space for opportunities and scenarios that outweigh the limitations placed by fear. Having an abundance mindset is believing in all of life’s possibilities.

As part of our practice to disrupt white institutional culture, we are becoming more aware of the voice in our heads. Is it telling us there is only one way to achieve something, that there isn’t enough, or that someone else’s success will mean our failure? If so, how can we shift to more abundant thinking?
During this time of turmoil it’s especially easy to fall into despair, frustration and angst. The collision of multiple social crises has dramatically redefined what “normal” means for many of us. We may find ourselves feeling powerless, overwhelmed, terrified, or full of rage.

Within every crisis, however, there are seeds of opportunity. Cultivating an abundance mindset is about nurturing those seeds to grow.

Moving from scarcity to abundance mindset is a process to become aware of and change our thoughts and behaviors. Here are some practices we’re testing to help us in this work:

-When we feel overwhelmed, come back to focusing on our breath.

-Slow down the pace of our thinking and actions by breathing, questioning instinctive thoughts, and creating space for reflective pauses.

-Name or write down scarcity thoughts when they arise. As one of our muses for this piece says, “name it to tame it.”

-Reflect on what our bodies are feeling, versus what capitalism has trained us to think.

-Be transparent with people in our lives about how we’re trying to move away from scarcity mindset, and what they can do to support us in that process.

For more information on our breath and body work practice, check out our Breath and Body Work as Anti-Racism Practice blog.

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