This Memorial Day Sunday, as I sat on a bench overlooking the Hudson River in Tarrytown, NY, I pondered the concept of abundance. Where do I have an “abundance mentality” and where do I live with a scarcity mindset? “What about this river, I mused. Rivers are a symbol of abundance. Do rivers have an abundance mentality? What about droughts? If I were a river I would not feel very abundant in a drought.”
“Brenda,” I told myself, “Stop trying to give a river a brain. Rivers don’t know from abundance and scarcity. They just are. It’s people who feel scarcity during droughts.”
Well, that line of thinking didn’t get me too far. Even after attending a yoga class nearby, where the teacher threw out the idea that we should imitate nature and just be, I wasn’t sure what to make of my river question. But what I do know is that for humans, having an “abundance mentality” is one of the keys to happiness. When we remember that there is enough – more than enough – to sustain us, we can not just survive, but thrive.
Experiencing the Abundance Mentality
There are some areas where I’ve mastered the abundance mentality. In my travels, for instance, when plans fall through (as they often do, and did on this trip), I am open to what other plans will arise. All I have to do is pick up the phone and I can find a friend to hang out with or a new place to stay if I need it. I am never worried about being stranded or running out of possibilities.
In other areas, I have yet to vanquish the scarcity mentality. Last year, when a corporate client abruptly reduced the volume of business they were sending to The Essay Expert, I was scared and discouraged. Without that business, I did not have a solid client base.
Initially, I did not know what to do to turn things around. It took me a year to build my business back up to where it was before. And lo and behold, it turns out there was abundance after all – I just had to strive for it.
I’ve also faced my own scarcity mentality with my writing team. Now that business is booming, I have been known to worry that I won’t have enough high-quality writers to cover the projects coming in. At first, I was limited in my ideas about how to find writers. But I asked other writers and coaches for ideas, and they shook up my scarcity thinking. I took their advice and reached out aggressively to executive resume writers through multiple channels—including some I had never thought of before. Surprise! Some amazingly talented writers inevitably arose.
Whatever convictions I have about what’s impossible are simply not true.
An Abundance “Mentality” is Not Enough
Here’s the thing. Just believing that abundance exists is not enough. You need to take action. When my corporate client dropped off, I felt sorry for myself for a little while, but ultimately I upped my game and got my name out to the world on a bigger scale. When I needed new writers, at first I did the same things I had done in the past, but those actions did not produce results. So I did something different.
This principle applies to bigger issues too. This is Memorial Day, and some of us are thinking of people we have lost. While the pain of loss is real and will never go away, when we can appreciate the people who are in our lives now, and know there is enough love and connection for us in the world, we can continue with our lives and allow ourselves to feel joy amidst the pain.
With an abundance mentality, we see possibilities and can embrace challenge and change. In scarcity, we experience lack and hopelessness. I know this from experience.
Where do you fall on the abundance vs. scarcity mindset spectrum? What is your mentality around money? Love? Jobs? Clients? On this Memorial Day, can you remember that good things are out there for you—and go after them?
I encourage you to take one action today to create what you thought was not possible in your life. And let me know what happens.
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