If you want to be happy and successful in life, you must have an abundance mindset; otherwise you may catch yourself in a vicious greed-based competition or in (symbolical) self-castration and procrastination – both making you unhappy. The abundance mindset consists of the three crucial elements:

(1) Seeing all the possibilities the world has to offer in order to create, connect, grow and enjoy, (2) knowing that you deserve love and prosperity, and (3) realizing that if you’d experience only plentitude in life, it would be boring as hell and you wouldn’t appreciate anything you have at all.

The opposite of the abundance mindset is a scarcity mentality. The scarcity mentality doesn’t only lead to an impoverishment of life, it also makes you take malicious actions towards yourself and others.

Knowing that limited resources are a part of life on this planet and experiencing not having every single thing you want can be a great teacher in adult life, and can make you appreciate things you do have. However, learning and personal growth can happen only if they’re supported with an abundance mindset.

If it sounds confusing, here’s an example from the financial area of life: Being broke is a temporary situation in life. Being poor is usually a state of mind. If you are broke and have an abundance mindset, you’re aware that you have options and that you can do something about it as well as learn about yourself and life while being broke.

But being poor and drowning in the victim mindset is based on a scarcity mindset and doesn’t bring anything good into your life. Even more: you become blind to learning and personal growth.

There is a big difference between suffering the scarcity mentality and experiencing a temporary shortage in life, while keeping the abundance mindset.

If you aren’t sure whether you are suffering from the scarcity mindset, here are the signs of a severe scarcity mentality:

  • Aggressive competition where other people and also you might get hurt (physically, emotionally)
  • Trouble sharing with others (things, power, credit, profit)
  • Greed and gluttony, there is simply never enough
  • Envy and jealousy
  • Desire to control people
  • Being obsessed with how much other people make and what they own
  • Hating it when other people succeed and being happy when misfortune happens to them
  • Self-castration and procrastination
  • Shyness, bitterness, depression and isolation
  • Avoiding any kind of responsibility and commitment (in relationships)
  • Having a victim mentalityIn this article you will learn:
    • How the scarcity mindset develops
    • Why is the abundance mindset so important
    • The difference between the scarcity mindset and a temporary shortage of something
    • What you can do in general to develop the abundance mindset
    • A few tricks to develop the abundance mindset in different areas of life
    • How not to confuse the abundance mindset with foolishness

A word of caution: this is not a short article. But you know, there is no easy way to switch from the scarcity mindset to the abundance mindset. It’s not like you only have to spend a little more time with people who have the abundance mindset and you will miraculously develop it; or do “10 other things” that most blog posts recommend.

Well, spending time with people who have the abundance mindset may definitely help you catch the right way of thinking, but first you will probably drown in envy.

The bottom line is that the abundance mentality can only help you focus on the right kind of things and actions and be happier in life in general. You have to strategically develop your mindset step by step and simultaneously support new thinking with actions.

If the abundance mentality is not supported by action, it’s not a real abundance mentality. It’s naivety and shutting your eyes to the facts of real life. Yes, it’s a very long and demanding process to switch to the abundance mentality; but also very rewarding.

But first things first. If you want to overcome any negative internal emotional and mental state in your life, you have to first understand it very well. So let’s analyze how the scarcity or the abundance mindsets really develops. It will help you tackle the problem at its core and deal with it once and for all.

How the scarcity or abundance mindsets develop

The essence of the scarcity or the abundance mindsets development as a part of your psyche is how your needs were being met when you were growing up. In the first few years, right after you were born, the emotional availability of your parents was the number one thing that imprinted into your subjective map of reality of how much the world has to offer to you and how much you deserve.

If there was plenty of love and attention in the early years, you developed trust in yourself, life and people, and later you can see all the abundance the world has to offer in terms of relationships. If you weren’t exposed to that kind of attention and pampering as an infant, emotional scarcity developed. You now assume people aren’t trustworthy and that there isn’t much love for you out there.

Only love isn’t enough, of course. The second important aspect of your upbringing is whether there was any consideration for what you really want (not what others thought was best for you) and if there was any encouragement present for your needs of discovering the world.

If you were only an extension of your parents, strictly under their controlling behavior and criticism, if there was no room for your autonomy and initiative, your own ideas, creativity, play and sports, you slowly become blind to all the opportunities the world has to offer.

You become blind, because instead of seeing yourself as an individual with your own needs and wishes and all the right to meet them in a respectful and healthy manner (one of the purposes of life is constantly fulfilling your needs), you feel guilt and shame following something you really want. Because deep down you aren’t sure if your parents would approve of it. Probably not, if it’s not medical school.

It’s much easier to become blind to the opportunities than to become aware of your toxic feelings that block your assertiveness and cause symbolical self-castration.

But there is more, of course. After emotional needs, we have intellectual needs. As you start to talk and become more and more aware of the world, curiosity develops.

But there is more, of course. After emotional needs, we have intellectual needs. As you start to talk and become more and more aware of the world, curiosity develops.

You develop a need to understand the world, to develop your intellect and competence. If you didn’t have an environment that helped you develop your intellectual potential, creative and analytical one, inferiority and identity confusion may develop. Especially now in the creative age.

You don’t see all the opportunities because you think you aren’t capable of competing with others when it comes to using your mind. Again, it’s easier to become blind and live in denial rather than to face the fact that you are maybe more capable than you think you are.

The good news is that if your emotional and intellectual needs were properly met, your spiritual needs are usually also well-developed. The spiritual aspect of life gives you a sense of hope, purpose and contribution. The spiritual aspect is based on a deep trust in yourself, your competences, your values, life in general and your mission. You can only imagine how a lack of those hinders you in life.

Body, emotions, mind and soul. If they were exposed to an abundance of attention, love, information, encouragement and a positive and stable environment, they all greatly contribute to the abundance mindset. It’s a lot to take in. But we aren’t done yet. There are two more important categories of life.

First, we have the social aspect. We are social beings and as soon as you’re exposed to other people outside of your home, you have a need to belong to different social groups. How well you fit into social groups especially depends on your values. If there are people around you with the same values, you feel like a part of a group. In such a case, you can have many friends and even more, you have a tribe to protect you.

If your values are so different from the majority that you don’t find a group to belong to, you tend to isolate yourself. Isolation is usually a strong sign of the scarcity mindset. As a kid, there isn’t much you can do. If you don’t feel like you get along well with your schoolmates and other people in your life, you simply must suffer.

Consequently, you develop the scarcity mindset. In your subjective reality map, there is no group you could belong to, because you never experienced real social belonging.

Last but not least, we have money and material abundance. Well, emotional and intellectual poverty aren’t discussed as often as the financial one, because the financial one is so much more obvious.

There have been many studies done, clearly showing how much damage poverty makes. The fact is that unfortunately, poverty in most cases leads to the scarcity mindset. Because of poverty, you develop the mindset that there isn’t enough out there and especially not for you.

The scarcity and poverty mindset don’t develop only because you’re exposed to a deprivation of material things, it’s usually also transferred together with different toxic beliefs about money. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Rich people are corrupt people. If you are rich, you will never go to heaven. Just to name a few.

This is how the scarcity mentality develops – being exposed to emotional, intellectual, social, encouragement, attention and financial poverty. Consequently, you think there is not enough out there and even more, that there isn’t enough for you.

Before you get mad, I know, no parents are perfect. Actually, there must be errors made in upbringing, because errors bring friction and internal frictions drive personal growth. But there is a big difference between making a few errors or raising a kid in a toxic environment. There is a big difference between the two.

You may further argue, for example: how can I expose my kid to material abundance if I’m drowning in debt? You see, it actually isn’t how much you really buy for your kid. It’s how you make your kid feel when you buy him something.

If buying something for your kid is associated with how much you had to suffer and sacrifice, logically material guilt will develop and with it the scarcity mindset. When I get something I want, people I love have to suffer. Isn’t the internal conflict obvious?

If we go from financial scarcity to the emotional and intellectual one, I know it often doesn’t happen on purpose, but because parents have to deal with their own shit and they probably lived in the same kind of poverty, so they don’t know how to do better, they lack knowledge and so on.

Here are just a few examples of what you may have experienced in your home environment and how your scarcity mindset developed. Ironically, sometimes this happened even when parents thought they were doing what was best for you and your future.

  • Parents making all the choices instead of you, without considering your wishes and needs
  • Overprotective and over-controlling parents
  • Depressed parents occupied with their own shit
  • Switching all the emotional attention to a younger sibling when they were born
  • Overly critical parents
  • Parents stifling your curiosity and creativity