Busting the Scarcity Mindset: Behind the Scenes of Chapter 1

I am thrilled to announce a new book we are working on this year about busting the scarcity mindset! Each month I’ll be sharing a sneak peek behind the scenes for our readers as we write it. I’ll start with an excerpt from Chapter 1 on gratitude to kick us off:

“Stephen Covey is famous for saying, “Begin with the end in mind.” In order to bust a mindset of scarcity and become a Prosperity Thinker, we must begin our journey with gratitude. If we do not already feel grateful for what we have, we cannot make room for more. What we focus our attention on expands. If we want more wealth, time, freedom, etc., we must first express gratitude for the wealth, time, and freedom we currently have.”

busting the scarcity mindset, behind the scenes of chapter one

Begin with Gratitude

Transforming your mindset from one of scarcity to one of abundance requires that we start from a strong foundation of gratitude. The beginning of this new book focuses on simple strategies for beginning with gratitude, noticing abundance, and giving freely. Energy flows where our attention goes. When we are focused on how much we do NOT have, we may manifest more lack. Yet, when we focus on all we DO have and how grateful we are to be alive, as well as all the people, experiences, and things we cherish, we manifest more of what we love—in abundance. 

If you feel overwhelmed by your to-do list, stressed out by your circumstances, or too tired to know where to start, we’ve created a simple list you can start with to practice gratitude—right where you are. 

A few ideas from the first chapter for proactively practicing gratitude are:

  • Verbally say thank you to others
  • List five to ten things you are grateful for in a journal at the end of the day, before bed
  • Pause, take a deep breath, and mentally say, “thank you” for this gift of life

It is the little things that often make the biggest difference. Your breath, your heartbeat, your ability to move, your income, your family, your home, your mindset—all of these are wonderful examples of things we can be grateful for.

And why is it important to begin with gratitude when building wealth? Because your foundation is what your entire future wealth is built upon. It must be structurally sound. When we build a foundation using the solid rock of gratitude (much like the parable in the Bible), we have the support we need for increased financial abundance. 

I’ll share another excerpt from the book here:

“I love the concept that what you appreciate, appreciates! We naturally attract more of what we focus on. There is a popular saying that goes, “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” The irony of this saying is that as soon as we feel it is enough, we are rewarded with more. As long as we are living with a mindset of lack, we will continue to receive and experience lack. The beautiful (and challenging) thing about this realization is that it is all up to you – only you can change your mind.”

Notice Abundance 

When it comes to changing your mind, a great way to start is to be curious about your surroundings and see the world through new eyes. If you want to shift to a more abundant, prosperous mindset, begin to notice all the abundance and prosperity in your life. You may see abundance in opportunities, introductions, a check in the mail, wisdom you read, food on the table, and kindness from a stranger. The ways abundance reveals itself to us are infinite. 

Take a moment to look around you and observe abundance in the following forms:

  • Physical
  • Intellectual
  • Emotional
  • Communal
  • Spiritual

What did you notice? How do you feel after noticing all the forms of abundance surrounding you? How do you think this new perspective could increase your wealth?

Gifts are one of the most obvious forms of abundance. Yet, some “gifts” may be perceived at first as challenges. Sometimes we learn best when we see the opposite side of the lesson or point that needs learning. That new perspective, too, can be a gift. 

Flipping the script and being curious about where you notice abundance will magnify it and expand your creative outlook. It will also begin to train your mind to see the good in almost any scenario. However, it is not always easy. 

How can we learn to transform a scarcity mindset into an abundance mindset? It starts with gratitude for what we have, then moves to noticing abundance in all its many forms, and then transforms into giving. Money must flow freely to grow. Adopting an abundant mindset instead of a scarcity one allows space for all to benefit and wealth to multiply and flourish freely. 

Give Freely

In the last part of Chapter 1, we discuss the importance of giving freely. There is significant value—both to others and to yourself—in giving freely and first. Giving is gratitude in action. It is saying, “I have more than enough. I’d like to share with you.” 

Why is it important to give freely? Another excerpt from the book says:

“When we give freely, we don’t expect anything in return. Our motives are generous and open, with no attachment to outcome. This, in turn, frees us from any expectations we may have about what is done with the gift or whether it is appreciated. It also frees the receiver from any strings attached, which is a great kindness. That free-flowing energy can be felt, and creates a stronger connection between the giver and receiver.”

Yet, in order to give first, we must have an abundance mindset. Otherwise, it may be done begrudgingly. Or we may not feel like we have enough to give to begin with. When we truly value giving over holding on tight to our money, we create a win-win situation. 

Take a moment and think of a time when you prioritized giving a gift over spending on yourself, worrying about money, or saving it. How did it feel? What happened after you gave the gift?

The act of giving shifts our mindset through action. It affirms we are all connected and here to help and support each other. 

A story I tell in the book shares how giving, even though it felt hard, helped me and other families:

“I recall a time when cash flow was tight. (Remember cash flow issues don’t go away, they just get bigger zeros on them!) It was tight enough that I was not buying anything extra, and I felt really restricted. I am fine not buying personal things, like clothes and fun food, yet I get quite frustrated when I can’t spend money on my business. I knew that I needed to get money moving again.  

Money doesn’t serve us when it is stuck. This is true whether it is locked up in a retirement plan or sitting behind some mental wall. I knew this intellectually, yet I was having trouble putting it into practice. 

Then I saw an ad for Heifer International. My family had a long relationship with donating to them. It started when an elderly friend gave my children $3 chicks as Christmas gifts every year. Yes, three dollars, and yes, a chicken! The actual chick was given to a family to grow, lay eggs, and get them out of poverty. I had always loved Heifer’s method of, “teach them to fish.” So I jumped on their website and donated $25. It was money I thought I didn’t have at the time, yet I recall that being a turning point in that particular “cash flow crunch.” 

Since then, I’ve adopted the mantra, “give first.” This kind of thinking causes breaks in log jams of apparent discord. It opens up your mindset to new possibilities and helps you think more creatively and expansively.”

I go on in the first chapter to discuss scientific research that shows how giving activates our brain in positive ways. It is motivating and can do wonders for our own wealth and well-being as well as that of society as a whole.

I think it’s important to note that giving does not have to involve material gifts or money. While those can be fun to give and receive, giving your time, energy, or even a compliment are all wonderful gifts as well. Giving any amount will yield positive results and increase abundance.

I’ll end with several questions for you to reflect on that might spark a new mindset of gratitude and abundance for you today:

  • What are you grateful for today? 
  • Do you have a daily gratitude practice?
  • Where do you see abundance in your life? 
  • What could you give today?
  • What person or organization would you like to give to?
  • How could you make giving a regular habit?
  • How have you seen giving improve your wealth and well-being?

I invite you to comment below and let us know what you found most helpful in this post and what you’d like to learn more about in this upcoming book. Stay tuned for another post next month with sneak peeks into Chapter 2 with more helpful tips on how you can bust the scarcity mindset and live fully in abundance and prosperity!

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