What’s your mindset? Abundance vs. Scarcity Thinking

July 11, 2018   |   Financial Life Planning

Life is a collection of millions of choices that we make daily. While these choices vary in magnitude, they can often be traced back to a source.

One source that plays a significant role in the choices that we make is our mindset.

A mindset has many different facets, but one of the main components is whether you have an abundance or a scarcity mentality.

The Abundance Mindset

An abundance mindset envisions endless possibilities and sets lofty goals. It’s one that believes the best is yet to come, and that ideas, resources, and love are unlimited. It’s a mindset that honors God, and creates a contagious zeal and passion for life! We see this mindset being taught by God throughout scripture:

We can’t help but develop an abundance mindset as we steadily increase in our personal understanding that our God is limitless, He is for us, and He cannot be contained.

An abundance mindset envisions endless possibilities and sets lofty goals.

The Scarcity Mindset

In contrast, a scarcity mindset sees limitation and shortage at every turn.

It’s a mindset that is easy to gravitate towards and one that needs to be guarded against. A scarcity mindset contributes to an unfulfilled life—one constantly concerned about having enough and others having too much. We’re warned about this in the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus teaches how we are not to be anxious (Matthew 6:25-34, ESV).

Scarcity thinkers tend to seek after materialistic achievements, such as money, recognition, or power, instead of focusing on life-giving practices like collaboration, generosity, and openness to change.

Fostering an Abundance Mindset

One way that can be helpful in thinking through which mindset you have is by reflecting on how you view different parts of your life.

Do you share opportunities, ideas, your time, and resources? Or are you more apt to keep those things to yourself? Do you find it easy to celebrate when a neighbor, friend, or family member receives a promotion? Or do you tend to feel a bit of resentment, that you are more deserving of a promotion?

Regardless of which mindset you feel you are currently more aligned with, developing a stronger abundance mindset is a wise use of time.

In his article, 6 Tips to Develop and Model an Abundance Mindset, author John C. Maxwell lays out six ways to develop and model an abundance mindset:

  1. Offer words of appreciation
  2. Choose to see opportunity
  3. Remind yourself that there is more than enough
  4. Carefully select the company you keep
  5. Spend time in reflection
  6. Give more of what you want

Viewing the Stock Market with an Abundance Mindset

Having an abundance mindset dovetails directly with our investment principles.

It plays a role in making you a better investor when the market is up and when it is down. The fundamental belief that there is enough to go around helps us combat fear and greed—two enemies of long-term success. An abundance mentality helps avoid irrational decisions, such as taking unnecessary risk by betting on a friend’s “hot stock tip” or abandoning our investment strategy by moving to cash during a down market.

An abundance mindset helps us keep a healthy perspective to endure—and perhaps even enjoy—the market’s ride.

We’ll leave you with a great comparison graphic from Aaron Endré of Endré Communications between scarcity thinking and abundance thinking.

So, which are you? Do you lean more towards scarcity or abundant thinking? What can you adopt today to reinforce an abundance mindset in yourself and those around you?


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