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Cultivate an Abundance Mindset

One of my favorite quotes is, “The mind is everything, what you think, you become.” It is so true. Mindset is a critical component of success in live.

The first time I heard about the term abundance mentality or mindset was when I read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, my favorite books of all time. Dr. Covey explains on the 7 habits of Highly Effective People that the 3 character traits essential to Win/Win are: Integrity, Maturity, and an Abundance Mentality.

Integrity is the first trait. Integrity helps us align our actions with our values. When we do this, we can identity what a true Win really is that’s consistent with our innermost values. Integrity also gives us a foundation for trust with others.

Maturity is the second trait. It’s our ability to balance our convictions with the convictions of others. It’s also our ability to take a long-term view and focus on increasing the standard of living and quality of life for all stakeholders.

The third trait is an abundance mindset. We can better understand what an abundance mindset it when we contrast it with a scarcity mindset.

Scarcity mentality refers to people seeing life as a finite pie, so that if one person takes a big piece, that leaves less for everyone else. A scarcity mentality is what keeps many of us from achieving our goals. Most people live with what scarcity mentality,” living life as if there’s only one limited piece of pie out there, and if someone gets more of that pie that means that everyone else gets less. People with Scarcity Mentality have a tough time sharing recognition, credit, power or profit with others. They also don’t feel happy for the success of others because for them it means getting less of their share. When you live in a world of scarce resources, you have to compete for them continually.

On the other hand, an abundance mindset refers to the paradigm that there is plenty out there for everybody. In contrast with the scarcity mindset, an abundance mindset is when a person believes that there are enough resources to share with others. It reflects a non-zero-sum game in game theory when it’s possible for all parties to win. It flows from inner confidence and security. When you feel that you don’t have to compete with others for resources, it’s easy to appreciate what they are doing or give away something valuable from which others will benefit.

The million dollar question is can you develop an abundance mindset? which the answer by the way is, yes. An abundance mindset is not something you are born with but something you can develop. So, the next questions is how can you develop an abundance mindset? How can you shift from a scarcity to an abundance mindset and continue to grow and embrace that abundance mindset? Here are ten strategies to help you shift your mindset, continue to grow and embrace your abundance mindset:

1. Focus on what you have

A scarcity mentality sees limitations instead of opportunities. Every time you enter a new situation or opportunity instead of focusing on the things you are missing, challenge yourself to list the things you do have.

2. Recognize the power of your thoughts

If you find you are getting less than amazing results in any area of life, ask yourself, “Are my thoughts about this based in fear and scarcity?” If so, then ask, “What do I need to do to shift my mindset to abundance?” Write them down or share them with a friend for accountability.

3. Surround yourself with people that have an abundance mindset

You know those people who always seem positive and see the glass as half-full instead of half-empty? Find them and start spending time with them. Attitudes rub off, and if scarcity-minded individuals surround you, you will need to counteract that to make a career change. As Tony Robbins says, "The quality of a person's life is most often a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group." Ask yourself if you look up to the people with whom you spend time. If not, you may need to search for other people living the life you aspire to.

4. Create win-win situations

A scarcity mindset believes that if one person wins, another loses. Try to create win-win conditions in your life to combat this manner of thinking. Look for ways for both parties to leave with a sense of accomplishment and a better feeling about the relationship. Consider practicing this in both your personal and professional life. This often means listening without judgment or censorship, fully understanding what a win-win means for both of you, and brainstorming solutions until you find one that satisfies both parties.

5. Incorporate gratitude into your daily life

Practicing gratitude is one of the most powerful and widely recognized tools for creating abundance and happiness. There are numerous studies on the power of gratitude on well-being. According to Oprah Winfrey, “If you look at what you have in life, you will always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you will never have enough.” In the same vein, Tony Robbins is quoted for saying, “When you are grateful, fear disappears, and abundance appears.”

Where / How to start? Incorporate gratitude into your morning or evening routine. Write down every day 3-5 things you are grateful for.

6. Be proactive

Scarcity mindset makes you react to things happening to others. Define what you want to achieve and start moving towards your goals. Take the responsibility and make things happen. I referenced the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Covey identifies the first habit as "Be Proactive". In the context of the 7 Habits, being productive means taking ownership for our own actions and decisions.

7. Train your mind to recognize the possibilities

An abundance mindset allows you to see more in your life: more options, more choices, and more resources. You can train your brain to recognize possibilities. We do that by focusing on the questions we ask ourselves, so next time to are faced with a challenge, an opportunity or any situation where you start thinking on what can go wrong or why it might not work, try change your narrative by asking yourself "What is possible?", "How can it work?" "What would it mean to me, my life and the life of those I love if this actually happens?" Ultimately, just remember what you believe is what you receive.

8. Pick your words wisely

The language you use, as well as what you tell yourself and others, shapes your reality. Are you telling stories of scarcity or stories of abundance? Making slight changes to our language can help change our perspective, our thoughts and ultimately our actions and results.

9. Think like a beginner

An abundance mentality craves learning and growth, requiring an underlying knowledge that you don’t know everything, even about topics you may have mastered. The beginner’s mindset is about having the ability to maintain an attitude of openness and enthusiasm, along with the willingness to override existing preconceptions (just as a true beginner would) no matter how learned or experienced you may be.

10. Stop comparing yourself.

Don’t compare yourself to other people, because that’s a form of competition and it makes you think that you should be something else than yourself. Compare yourself to your old self. Notice how you’ve changed over time and how many things you’ve learned. See how small steps you make every day make your life better. Remember how you dealt with problems in the past and remind yourself that there’s nothing you can’t handle.

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