If you’ve ever been in a financial crunch and needed more than what you had on-hand, you can probably relate to the sentiment of this post’s title. You don’t have enough.

And oof…not having enough sucks!

When you are deep in your feelings about it, the last thing you want someone to bring up is your mindset. It’s akin to asking someone to calm down when they are mad; the question usually pisses them off even more.

Sure, having one dollar when you really need one hundred sucks. But there’s actually something worse.

The Nuances of Scarcity

On a practical level, “not enough” simply means insufficiency; a shortage of supply; limited availability. In my example, this is represented by the gap between 1 and 100. If you don’t have what you need, you don’t have it. The facts are the facts, and no jedi mind tricks can change that.

Scarcity in the moment (facts) is not the same as a belief (mindset) that scarcity will last forever.

Even if you don’t travel in circles where talking about one’s money mindset is a frequent occurrence, I’m fairly certain today is not the first time you’ve heard of this concept. This means you’ve heard terms like “scarcity mindset” and “abundance mindset.”

Therefore, you probably have also heard that the goal is to avoid the former (scarcity) and embrace the latter (abundance).

Yet, when you are feeling the financial* pressure to close the gap between what you have and what you need, especially if it is having an immediate impact on your capacity to meet your basic obligations, most, if not all, of your thinking is focused on what you don’t have.

At this time, it does you no good to dismiss the facts of the situation. (For some, acknowledging the facts means adopting a scarcity mindset. I wholeheartedly disagree.)

Nor does it do you any good to succumb to the notion that this situation (and the associated feelings) will last forever and you’ll never have enough. An inability to separate the facts from your sentiments about the facts is what trips up many people. This is what makes a scarcity mindset nuanced, in my opinion.

Let’s Dispel a Myth

Whenever you’ve experienced a financial crunch, you know it brings up a lot of stuff. Much of it having nothing to do directly with money. And most of it not good.

The crunch may cause you to feel powerless – like you don’t possess the control or ability to change your circumstances. Likewise, the experience may feel overwhelming. Because all you can see is what you don’t have; you can’t see beyond to what is possible.

THIS sense of hopelessness is what actually makes the situation of not having enough – worse.

Not understanding this is why you might be tempted to believe scarcity is more about your balances (or the gap in my example) and less about how you think and behave. However, the exact opposite is true!!!

So, what do you when you need more than what you have right now?

Reflect back

When you reflect back on the last time you didn’t have enough and pushed through to the other side, what do you notice? What about the details are different; are different people involved and/or affected? In what ways have you adjusted your habits since then? What choices did you make previously? Would making the same this time around help or hurt you?

Side-note: *Regardless of where you fall on the income or wealth spectrum, everyone has had the experience of not having enough. The magnitude and its effect may vary, but everyone has been in this situation. Especially if you expand this beyond my money example to include time and love…

What caused you stress?

What caused you stress last time, and what’s causing it this time? What hacks can you borrow from the last time that will help you now?

What did you feel?

What feelings do you recall having last time, and what have bubbled up this time around? In what ways are they the same; how about different?

Assess your actions

A crunch can cause you to focus on short-term options and solutions that may provide immediate relief, but are not too helpful for the future. So, be sure to balance out the immediate actions you take with those that may prolong the crunch, but may actually be more supportive of your future.

Borrow my word of the year

My word for 2019 is resourceful. It was inspired by John Henry, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and host of HUSTLE premiering on Viceland next month. In a video promoting the launch of his new show, he says to one of the entrepreneurs, “You’re not lacking resources, your lacking resourcefulness.” BOOM!

I really needed to hear that on the day the video landed in my Twitter feed. And every day since, I have been asking myself some variation of the question: “How can I be more resourceful?”

It’s All About…

Although it is a truth not universally embraced, mindset matters. A lot!

Especially when you’re digging yourself out of a proverbial hole.

Since we aren’t born with either a scarcity or abundance mindset, it is important to remember that both are conditioned responses based on experiences.

Because of this, I believe questions are better than mantras when it comes to working with your mindset. For me, mantras have a way of dismissing facts. Questions, on the other hand, acknowledge them. This questions > mantras approach is extremely useful when you are seeking to minimize the presence of a scarcity mindset and amplify one focused on abundance.

The benefit: Questions invite you to shift your gaze and be open to possibilities beyond your current scope of vision. They also contain nuggets of wisdom for either how to plan, or refine the plan you’re already operating from. And in an odd way, questions can remind you of all that you have to be grateful for.

No one I know sits around wanting lack of any type to show up. However, the next time it rears its head, remember this…

What a scarcity mindset overlooks is your ability to recall what you’ve overcome previously. And, that you can do it again.

What a scarcity mindset overlooks is that regardless of how dire the situation is that has caused the lack you may be experiencing, you never have a scarcity of:

  • Choice
  • Self-respect
  • Self-empowerment
  • Love and grace

What a scarcity mindset causes you to overlook is that money and your financial well-being are just as much an inner-game as they are a numbers-game. And, both games should be played to win!

To me, this is what an abundance mindset is all about.

And it’s how you close the gap between what you have and what you need. Or, in my example: come up with $99.

(A little rant: Isn’t it interesting that there’s a stigma associated with lacking money, but not with lacking time?)

p.s. Join us for the next Comfort Circle™dinner – “Create Your One-Page Financial Plan.” It’s on Monday, January 28th at 6:30pm. Click here for details and to RSVP. And if you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner who wished pricing your services/products weren’t so hard, let’s talk about the one-day retreat I’m hosting (click here).

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