“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” -Max Planck, Nobel Prize Recipient (physics)
That’s what comes to mind for some people when you start talking about mindset.
Success mindset. Law of attraction. Positive energy. Gratitude. Manifestation. – all just woo-woo terms used to describe a far-fetched notion cooked up by some fruitloop.
I understand the skepticism.
I mean, it seems crazy that we could actually shape reality with our thoughts.
That you could actually create a life you love.
But, just consider – what if there’s something to it all?
Definitely worth a try, right?
I mean, you’ve got nothing to lose.
There’s certainly a lot of scientific research to back up the idea that your thoughts create your reality (*see quantum physics “observer effect”).
Related Article: 9 Little-Known Habits of Highly Successful People
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The Power of Thought, Backed by Science
Studies have shown that thoughts alone can improve test performance, fitness levels - even visual acuity.
Just the thought of getting sick can make you sick (psychosomatic illness) and just the belief that you are receiving treatment can cure an illness (placebo effect).
In fact, our thoughts physically change our brains, program our cells and affect the way our genes operate … meaning we have the power to shape ourselves, and thereby, our reality.
And the growing field of epigenetics posits that our life experiences, beliefs and perceptions actually leave marks on our DNA (so, our thoughts and the way in which we choose to perceive and react to our experiences can actually be passed on to our children).
Bottom line - your mind is powerful. Why not use it to your advantage?
Read on to learn the one mindset shift you must make to be wildly successful.
Success Mindset: Shift from Scarcity to Abundance
As the saying goes, nothing is guaranteed except death and taxes.
Among all the unpredictable variables you encounter while pursuing your big goals in life, there is one thing you can 100% control – your mindset.
And I’ve learned that if you want to be successful, there is a mindset shift you must make -from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset.
Resources that are scarce cost more.
That’s true for your mindset too. If you live in a constant state of scarcity, it will cost you happiness, peace of mind, success, and who knows what else.
Because your mindset affects your thoughts, choices and actions, those who focus on scarcity operate differently than those who focus on abundance.
Here’s a quick comparison of an abundance mindset vs. scarcity mindset:
Abundance vs. Scarcity Mindset
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” - Buddha
Here’s how an abundance mindset equals a greater chance of success:
Related Post: *Check out these 5 inspirational TED Talks on conquering anxiety*
1. Abundance mindset = Optimistic
vs. Scarcity mindset = Pessimistic
This is perhaps the most obvious difference between the two mindsets.
An abundance mindset is premised on the belief that there is more than enough for everyone. This is inherently an optimistic view - a success mindset.
Those who have an abundance mindset understand that happiness is not determined by what cards you are dealt or what happens to you, but rather your perception of those things.
And while they are looking for the silver lining in any given situation, those with a scarcity mindset are focusing on the negative and looking for patterns.
Being optimistic and expecting success is a habit of highly successful people.
Optimism & Expecting Success
People who are optimistic are generally more successful because they are better able to deal with the inevitable failures and setbacks that happen on the road to success. Basically, they don’t get discouraged - they stick it out.
An abundance mindset (and the optimism that comes with it) lends the comfort that comes from knowing that there will always be more opportunities and that failure is necessary, even valuable.
By recognizing that failures are not a reflection of your self-worth but rather an inevitable part of the journey, you’re open to learning from those failures and trying again more intelligently – sounds like a winning formula for success to me!
2. Abundance mindset = Take risks
vs. Scarcity mindset = Stay in comfort zone
People who have an abundance mindset think BIG.
Because, why not? The only limits in life are the ones you make.
Setting Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals (BHAGs) is essential to achieving your maximum potential (don’t sell yourself short).
When you have an abundance/success mindset, you’re excited to set those BHAGs and willing to step outside of your comfort zone in order to achieve them.
“A person’s success in life can usually be determined by the number of uncomfortable conversations he/she is willing to have.” – Tim Ferris
The willingness to be uncomfortable is a huge predictor of success. You don’t get what you don’t ask for – sometimes, you just have to put yourself out there.
On the other hand, those with a scarcity mindset hold the limiting belief that there’s just not enough to go around.
They may have some additional limiting beliefs like, “I’m not good enough”, “That’s just the way the things are”, or “I’ll never be wealthy”.
Because there’s so much at stake, they allow their fears to hold them back from going after what they truly want in life.
All the negativity and hesitation prevents opportunities from manifesting, thus creating a viscous “self-fulfilling prophecy” cycle.
Seth Godin said it best when he explained that there is a difference between your comfort zone and your safety zone. You won’t die from stepping outside of your comfort zone.
3. Abundance mindset = Appreciation
vs. Scarcity mindset = Comparison
Gratitude is so powerful. When you focus on all the blessings you have, they tend to multiply.
But, in today’s society, it can be easy to fall into the comparison trap.
This way of thinking is so destructive because there will always be someone more successful, better looking, richer, smarter, or whatever than you.
And oftentimes, we make these comparisons based on things we see on social media. But it’s not fair to compare your “behind the scenes” to someone else’s “highlight reel”.
Those with a scarcity mindset are focused on what they don’t have, rather than what they do.
There’s a ubiquitous undercurrent of panic.
Because they believe there’s not enough money, happiness, love, success, etc. for everyone, they become envious of others who have things they desire.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” -Theodore Roosevelt
Gratitude, Not Comparison
Those with an abundance mindset are not playing a zero-sum game.
They’re not concerned with “keeping up with the Joneses” because they’re focused on their own personal development.
They don’t begrudge others’ successes because they know there is more than enough to go around.
4. Abundance mindset = Deep work
vs. Scarcity mindset = More work
Self-made millionaire Steve Siebold spent 26 years studying the habits of the world’s wealthiest people.
He found that rich people view the world differently from everyone else in several ways.
For one, they believe the key to getting rich is mindset whereas average people believe money is earned through time and labor.
Those with a scarcity mindset think that more work is the key to success. They may sacrifice their time, health and relationships to work in a job they hate and that severely under-utilizes their talents and unique strengths.
“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” -Sylvia Plath
Follow Your Dreams
But those with an abundance mindset know that hard work does not necessarily translate to success. They place value in performing deep, creative work that utilizes their unique strengths and brings them joy.
A scarcity mindset breeds limiting beliefs like, “You have to choose between your passion (which means you’ll be poor) or money (which means you’ll be unfulfilled).
A lot of aspiring entrepreneurs worry about competing in an over-saturated market … if everyone else is already doing it, what’s the point, right?
The truth is that literally everything has been thought of/done before. A saturated market just means there is demand. And that's good news!
When you have an abundance/success mindset, you know that there’s no such thing as over-saturation – there’s always room for innovation and excellence.
The question is, are you willing to bet on yourself?
Related post: How to Motivate Yourself to Chase Your Dreams
5. Abundance mindset = Self-value
vs. Scarcity mindset = Self-sacrifice
Those with a scarcity mindset believe that self-care is selfish.
After all, there’s only so much time in the day and that time should be devoted to other, more important things.
Because they believe that the more time they invest in their business/job/entrepreneurial venture, the more successful they will be, they just cut themselves right out of the equation.
Avoid Burnout and Overwhelm
Burnout is real. We’re human beings – we require upkeep.
When you don’t take time for yourself, you will eventually get overwhelmed.
I think this particular struggle is something that a lot of us can relate to, especially caregivers and non-profit workers.
Having an abundance mindset helps to remember that we can, and should, take time for ourselves without feeling guilty.
Life is short. You deserve to spend your time being happy and healthy.
With the right tools and mindset, you can get more done in less time so you don't have to sacrifice productivity.
Plus, prioritizing self-care helps not only you but also those around you.
Those with an abundance mindset understand that when you take care of yourself, you are taking care of everyone else.
You can’t pour from an empty cup.
If you feel like your mind is overwhelmed, you may want to try a brain dump.
How can you shift from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset?
Focus on what you have and give more of what you want to attract.
The key to shifting from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset is trust.
Trust is the foundation of an abundance mindset - trusting that there is enough and trusting that what’s supposed to be will come to you.
So, focus on the positive. Express gratitude for what you already have. Give what you want to receive.
What you focus on grows – that’s one of the reasons it’s so important to really get specific about your goals and write them down.
It makes your brain focus on what you are trying to achieve.
The Art of Surrender
But, once you have established your goals and you are diligently working towards them, it’s important to surrender.
The point is to not become too attached to a specific outcome.
Because sometimes, what you want is not what you truly need.
When you become too attached to a specific outcome, sometimes you can hold onto it too tightly. I think the following quote applies not only to love but also to anything else we try to manifest in our lives-
“The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.” – Former Coca-Cola Executive Bryan Dyson
Just do your best and release the rest.
As long as you’ve got the right mindset, you will be successful – just maybe not in the way you envisioned.
Allow yourself to be successful, whatever that means to you. It is truly all in your mind.
Over to you … do you believe in the power of mindset or do you think it’s just a bunch of woo-woo? Let me know in the comments!
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