I would say I have had a very fortunate life. Loving, dedicated, supportive parents that worked hard to provide and were involved in my life as I grew up. I have a terrific husband, healthy child, and a job I love that allows me to help people every day. I have the pleasure of writing for the Ballou Review, sharing ideas, thoughts and medical information that improve the lives of even more beyond my clinical dermatology practice. My life has not been all roses, but I realize, compared to many, it really has been, and I greatly appreciate that. I have had, and continue to have, an abundance of support, love and favorable circumstances in my life.
But despite knowing and appreciating these facts, I still struggle with a scarcity mindset. Our brains automatically tend toward scarcity based on our evolutionary need to survive. This served us well as early humans who lacked essential resources like food and shelter. A scarcity mindset kept us hunting, foraging, and alive. However, now that we have those needs met, this mindset works against us. It leads to endless comparison to others and the feeling that we never have enough of anything. This may sound like a good motivator, but because there is no end, it ultimately causes anxiety and lack of satisfaction.
In contrast, an abundance mindset allows focus to be on appreciating what you have and not envious of what you do not. It is difficult to feel unsatisfied and grateful at the same time. An abundance mindset shifts the brain from endless comparing to being able to see potential and opportunity and feeling confident.
If I let it, my brain will go into a total jumbled mess of scarcity based thoughts, from jealousy of others further along in certain business endeavors, to feeling guilty that I do not have enough time to get absolutely all the things done, to comparing my skin to others (I am a dermatologist after all), to anxiety that I will miss something with a patient… OK, you get the idea. When I hear my brain saying these things, I think “thank you brain, I am grateful for the work you do to protect me, but I am where I am supposed to be in my journey. I am balancing all I need to, I take care of my body, and I am well trained.” As soon as I put a positive spin on whatever the scarcity thought is, I instantly feel better, more in control and confident.
Keep an eye out for scarcity based feelings like jealousy, anxiety, and wanting. Be curious about why you have these feelings. Experiment with shifting your thoughts around these feelings from negative to positive by finding alternative thoughts based on an abundant mindset. Focus on your strengths rather than weaknesses, and your mind will thank you for it.