How to Shift Your Mindset from Scarcity to Abundance (and why)

Executive Contributor | Daniel Mangena | Inspirational

I hate to be the one to tell you, but having a lot of money doesn’t make you an abundant person. You can be wealthy and still be living in scarcity. That’s just the reality. Making a million dollars is not the way to shift your mindset from scarcity to abundance. Sorry. 

Before we go any further, it’s important that you recognize what a “scarcity mindset” actually is. 

You could well be mired in a mindset of scarcity without realizing it. 

What I’m talking about here is an attitude, or approach to life that starts with the assumption that you don’t have enough. One that considers you to be under-resourced and thus is preoccupied with conservation, rather than expansion. 

You might have a very healthy bank balance, for example, and still worry about buying those shoes. Or that watch. But that’s a very crude example. A scarcity mindset can impact your life in lots of other ways. 

If your first thought, when offered a new opportunity for example, is: “but where will I find the time? I’m just too busy.” You’re still coming at it from a place of scarcity.

If you’re a millionaire, but you’ve had to give up all of your time, energy, health and relationships to become one…that’s not abundance!


Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here. I’m not telling you that frivolous, carefree spending is the mark of an abundant mindset! Or that choosing to take up amateur darts in favor of spending time with your kids, speaks to your levels of abundance. 

The point is that your intentions are aligned with either expansion, or contraction. 

Finding a way to save money on your groceries, just to have more money in the bank, is scarcity. Saving money on your groceries with the intention of giving the difference to charity, or using the money for an endeavor: that’s expansive. That’s abundance! 

Why? Because you’re polluting your conscious environment with evidence of your resourcefulness. 

A scarcity mindset does’t just impact your finances. 

Your relationships will suffer too, because you will always be in defensive mode. When your spouse or children propose something extraneous (a holiday, new clothes, house decor etc…) your first thought will be about cost. You’ll feel assaulted by ‘resource vampires’ rather than elated about an opportunity to expand your experiences.

Money is the number two cause of divorce.

Or rather…the perception of one partner’s fiscal imprudence is the number two cause of divorce. And there’s an important distinction. Actually being bad with money is one thing, but having a scarcity mindset will toxify your interactions and view of the world. 

It will color others’ perception of you as a spend thrift. They’ll leave you out of opportunities for growth both in business and socially. 

It’s easy, therefor, to see why a spouse of someone with a scarcity mindset would eventually come to the conclusion that they are trapped in a relationship that is holding them back.

So we’ve covered why you need to shift your mindset, but how?

Here are three ways to begin to shift your mindset from scarcity to abundance.

1. Practice Mindfulness 

The first step in solving any problem is being aware that there is one. 

By regularly checking in with yourself and just listening to your own mind, you’ll be able to intercept those thought patterns that keep you on ‘scarcity auto-pilot’. 

2. Practice Gratitude

Your brain has a mechanism within it for filtering out unnecessary or irrelevant information. It’s called the Ascending Reticular Activating System (ARAS) and it accounts for phenomena such as when you start desiring a new car say, and then all of a sudden you begin noticing them everywhere. 

This mechanism can be used to your advantage by practicing gratitude. The more you consciously identify things to be grateful for in your everyday reality, the more your ARAS will bring to your attention.

Once it begins doing this for you, you’ll no longer have to consciously choose a state of gratitude. You’ll be in a natural headspace of abundance by default.

3. Surround yourself with abundant people

“Your network is your net-worth”

We’re social animals. There’s no getting away from that. 

The fastest way to start changing your thinking, is by changing who you spend your time with. As lockdowns taught us: that could just mean starting to spend time with others, rather than being on your own so much.

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