There have been many times of scarcity throughout history. So, it's not surprising that many of us have a mindset that resources are limited. When we live with a scarcity mindset, life becomes a competition for things, based on a fear that there will not be enough to go around. 

The advertising industry promotes wanting and needing more of everything. Dramatic news headlines reinforce the belief that life is a competition for limited resources. Remember the "toilet paper shortage" of the early pandemic? Later, supply chain issues made it seem like everything was in short supply.  With a constant barrage of this type of thinking, it's natural that a scarcity mindset is our default. 

People with an abundance mentality are better co-workers

Author Stephen R. Covey coined the terms, scarcity and abundance mindset,  in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. "The Scarcity Mentality is the zero-sum paradigm of life. People with a Scarcity Mentality have a very difficult time sharing recognition and credit, power or profit."

People with a scarcity mindset can have difficulty working as part of a team. They tend to feel like any achievements by co-workers detract from their own  success. Whereas people with an abundance mindset are secure in their skin and believe that there is enough opportunity to go around. They tend to be more open to sharing recognition which makes them better team members.

This kind of mindset impacts both our personal and our professional life. At work it may create a less-collaborative environment. People are guarded or suspicious rather than open and supportive. Personally, it may make us insecure and anxious. We may feel we are not enough, that we should be doing more, or that we are inadequate. Fortunately, it is possible to reframe your mindset, to shift from scarcity to abundance.

For inspiration, look up. The sun provides unlimited solar power, it shines equally on everyone. If we can appreciate that metaphor, we can begin to understand that there is enough for everyone. We realize that someone else's success doesn't take away from our own.

Technology is helping democratizing resources

Technology is helping address the scarcity issue. Founder of the XPrize and Singularity University,  Peter Diamandis explains, "Exponential tech, like computation, Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing, robotics, virtual reality are rapidly dematerializing, demonetizing, and democratizing products and services. What used to only be available to the richest and most elite, is now available to almost anyone on the planet. A child in the middle of Zimbabwe can Google any information or video conference for free with someone on the other side of the world. Many things we paid millions of dollars for just two decades ago are now available for free on your smartphone."

5 steps to shift to a mindset of abundance

Practice gratitude.  Be grateful for everything you have. Being grateful creates a feeling of satisfaction, because you value what you have and see it as enough.

Donate or do volunteer work.  This is a practical way to see that what you give to others doesn't take away anything from you. In fact, it does the opposite. It promotes a sense of well-being and increases your happiness level.

Understand that it's not a zero-sum game. If I succeed, and you succeed, we all succeed.

Strive for collaboration over competition.

Stay curious and creative. Believe that the world is full of possibilities and opportunities. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that because there's one solution/product/company already out there, that you can't come up with a better one.

Stay nimble and never stop learning. This is one of the core values at my company. If you have an abundance mindset, you realize there will always be things to learn and that you have limitless potential.

Do you operate from a mindset of scarcity or abundance? How would life change if you shifted to an abundant mindset by being grateful for the things you have, sharing your skills with others through volunteering, striving to be more collaborative, and being optimistic about the future? If we can stop seeing life as a finite pie and move to a space of infinite abundance we will begin to understand there will always be enough slices for everyone. Think of resources like sunshine. It is available to everyone and there will always be enough to go around.