What is a lack mindset?
Any time you tell yourself “I can’t afford it” – that is an example of lack mindset. I know, you may be saying, “But Sarah, I really can’t afford it!” My response? “You may not have the money right now but that is because you chose to use the money you had for other things.”
It’s an important distinction. One gives up all the power to something outside of yourself. One places the power to change the circumstance squarely within your grasp.
That’s the difference between a lack mindset and an abundance mindset. A lack mindset says that there isn’t enough to go around. That someone else having money/success/pleasure means there is less for you. Abundance mindset believes that there is plenty for all.
It’s very similar to a growth mindset and fixed mindset. Growth mindset states that you can expand your skills and what you know – you can learn. Fixed mindset states that you are born with certain inborn traits and that there is nothing you can do about it. Lack mindset is one of those pesky limiting beliefs that we’ve talked about before (if you missed the discussion around limiting beliefs you can read the whole post here).
We all know that we are capable of growing and learning new things – so why is the lack mindset still hanging around and messing us up?
Why lack mindset is holding you back?
First, you are not doing this on purpose so don’t beat yourself up.
Lack mindset is a common phenomenon that has deep roots and was recently reinforced by the Great Depression in the 1930’s. Our grandparents (or great-grandparents for you young-uns) survived through that time by hoarding what they had and getting scrappy with savings. This lead many of them to believe that the way to be financially successful is to hold tight to every penny. TADA! Lack mindset.
Just because this is the perspective we may have learned growing up doesn’t mean it’s the only one or even the best one. Anytime you’re working with an ingrained thought pattern like lack mindset it can be hard to break free from it so don’t feel badly. You should give yourself a lot of credit for even reading this post and looking for ways to change your perspective at all! Many folks don’t ever think to question their most basic beliefs and the fact that you are doing that is putting you a long ways towards success. So let’s get to the strategy of how to do this!
How to overcome lack mindset
There are four basic steps in overcoming a lack mindset. Take as long as you like to complete these and really be thoughtful here. Remember, it has taken a life-time of conditioning for you to have the lack mindset you have now so it will take a period of time to unwork it. Be gracious with yourself.
- Understand your current mindset – take some time to really think about how you think and feel about money right now. These ideas and beliefs come from all kinds of places: our childhood families, our experiences with money in our past, our success, our mistakes, our schooling. These questions are just a starting point to get you thinking about your belief structure and where the lack mindset may have originated from.
- What do you believe about it?
- Do you think there will always be enough?
- Is money easy to come by?
- Is there one right way to approach money?
- Expand your understanding of what is possible – next start talking with others about their answers to these same questions. In order to help your mind start to open itself to the possibility of new ideas you need to hear new perspectives. Talk with friends, family and even those outside your normal circle to hear their thoughts. You don’t have to agree with everything they say but just listen and observe.
- Find positive examples – next find positive examples of people who are approaching money really differently than you and totally killing it! Find people who have really made mistakes and overcame them. Finding positive examples reprograms your mind to the idea that there are other options out there – again you don’t have to do or act on these other options just yet – but you need your mind to consider them.
- Thoughtfully consider and test alternative ideas around money – lastly, take all the research you’ve conducted in the first three steps and then decide what you want to do with it! You’re the boss! You can decide how to move forward. Did you hear some things you liked? Test the new thought processes and behaviors out in your own life. Nothing has to be permanent yet, just give them a shot. See how it feels and then reevaluate. If you like it and it has a positive impact, keep it. If not, jettison it.
Following these steps is how you change your own mind in a thoughtful, considered way (and honestly you can do this with anything not just lack mindset).
Want to learn more about how to increase the abundance in your life? Click the button below to schedule a complimentary financial strategy session with me where we can discuss your unique circumstances and how you can start experiencing more abundance in your life today.