How to adopt abundance mindset and lose the scarcity one

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I am not a materialistic person so this is not one of those articles on how to think yourself into a Ferrari. Neither am I an expert or life coach. The following is simply my experience going from scarcity to abundance mindset and how it worked for me.

Growing up, I had to take care of myself financially from an early age. My father put a roof over my head, but I had to work for everything else starting in high school. This was common in the neighborhood where I grew up.

At 18, I left home and worked my way through university. While many of my cohorts received free tuition, room, and board, courtesy of mom and dad, I worked long hours to cover tuition, rent and grocery bills.

As a result, I developed a scarcity mindset around money. Throughout most of my life, I stuck to a strict budget and felt panicky any time I treated myself to anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary.

But this mentality kept me poor. Even when I had money it felt as though it wouldn’t last. Rather than thinking about how to increase my income, my default setting was to save and scrimp on what I already had.

To me, money was a finite resource. It did not grow on trees (the famous saying of poor parents) and there was no more where that came from.

How I went from scarcity to abundance

Things changed, however, when I made the decision to invest in my personal growth through seminars and courses. Almost overnight, my scarcity mindset became replaced by an experience of abundance.

Now, instead of waiting until I have gobs of money before spending some on myself, I trust that more money is coming. As a result, splashing out on a dinner, vacation, outfit, or course no longer makes me want to crawl into a corner and clutch my stomach.

Here are 3 ways I learned to move from a scarcity to an abundance mindset.


1. Find the lesson

Rather than thinking of experiences as good or bad, they became learning experiences. That’s different from the toxic positivity of pretending things are great when they’re not.

It’s taking disappointments in life and making them opportunities for personal growth. It’s the knowledge that failure is simply a step on the road to success.

That makes it easier to get up when you’re down. It makes you more creative in your approaches to work and life, and helps you see more possibilities.

2. Value yourself to encounter abundance

If you refuse to spend money on yourself, you’re telling yourself you’re not worth it. Feeling like you’re not worth it will repel rather than attract abundance to you.

I used to believe I valued myself by saving money and maintaining financial security. While financial responsibility is important, it’s harmful when accompanied by feelings of deprivation and lack.

Learning to treat myself as a woman of value increased my confidence and made me believe I deserved more out of life. As a result, more came my way.

3. Stop thinking money has to be earned

Working for pay is only one way to receive money. In fact, I’ve heard jobs with regular paychecks described as living on a fixed income (like welfare). Those words freed me to think differently about income sources.

Expecting to receive a fixed amount will ensure you never receive more. But if you open your mind to the possibility that money comes from unexpected places, don’t be surprised if you open your mailbox to find a check.

How to get what you want out of life

get what you want
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Traditional advice on how to get what you want out of life says, “work hard”. That may be true for some, but for me less effort has produced more results.

Perhaps it’s the work smarter not harder model. Or maybe it’s because doing what you love feels less like work than slogging away at something that fails to fulfill.

Sometimes we’re devoting time and resources to a dream that’s misaligned with our values. We don’t know ourselves well enough and pursue something based on factors outside ourselves.

These 7 tips on how to get what you want out of life will help discern if you are following the right dream in the first place.

Struggling with self-sabotage? Download Chapter 1 of It’s Not Your Fault free.

1. Put yourself first to get what you want

Are you a self-abandoner who puts other people first? Maybe you got the impression as a child that your needs don’t matter.

You’ve internalized that lie and now devote your time to filling other peoples’ needs instead. But until you learn to put yourself and your needs first, you’ll never get what you want out of life.

2. Pay attention to your body

As the famous book says, The Body Keeps the Score. If you have unexplained ailments, they may indicate you’re on the wrong track in life.

As the famous book says, The Body Keeps the Score. If you have unexplained ailments, they may indicate you're on the wrong track in life. Click To Tweet

When I lived in a suburb I hated to be near my children’s school and their father, I had multiple skin issues like rashes and discoloration that were painful, irritating, and unsightly.

These plagued me for years. As soon as I moved to the neighborhood of my choice and began to prioritize my needs, my skin cleared in a miraculous way.

3. Let go of what people think

More often than not, living an authentic life means going against the grain of your culture. Consider whether what other people want is good for you.

They don’t have to be enemies to want what’s bad for you. They may be operating out of fear for you. But fear is a terrible place from which to build dreams.

4. Do more of what you love to get what you want

Many of us fill our days with obligations and things that bring us no joy. As we become responsible adults, we forget how to have fun. Some of us never learned how because of our terrible childhoods.

Now is the time to get to know your likes and dislikes, maybe for the first time. Take time to journal all the things that make you feel most like yourself. The things that make you lose track of time as you get lost inside them.

Do more of those things and you will get more of what you want out of life.

5. Consider what frustrates you

Beverly Cleary started writing because she couldn’t find any books that appealed to the kids she encountered as a librarian.

Is there something that frustrates you by its absence? Or a traditionally accepted approach that seems limited or erroneous to you?

For example, this blog is inspired by my frustration over common self-help advice that ignores the role of childhood trauma in self-sabotaging behavior.

6. Receive support to get what you want

Are you surrounded by friends and family who are afraid of change and act out of fear? If the majority of your circle are naysayers or you feel uncomfortable sharing your vision with them, that’s a problem.

If the majority of your circle are naysayers or you feel uncomfortable sharing your vision with them, that's a problem. Click To Tweet

Spend more time with people who have similar goals and dreams. People who know change is essential to a fulfilling life. And who aren’t afraid to pursue their path, no matter how unconventional.

7. Face fear of change

Maybe it’s you who fears change! That’s a common human denominator and nothing to feel ashamed about. The key to get what you want out of life is to feel the fear and do it anyway.

How to open up and be more vulnerable in relationships

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Have you ever been in a relationship where you felt scared to open up and be vulnerable? When you expressed your feelings, the other person shut you down.

Or maybe you were the one who iced someone out when they shared their inner life. Your fear of intimacy made it impossible to accept their invitation to draw closer.

Why do we struggle to be vulnerable in relationships? And how do we overcome the fear of exposing ourselves this way? Here are 6 ways.

Struggling with self-sabotage? Download Chapter 1 of It’s Not Your Fault free.

1. Get curious about why you struggle to be vulnerable

Have you stopped to consider where you learned that it’s dangerous to let people in? Maybe your parents discouraged open and honest communication.

If so, you associate emotional honesty with danger and have closed off from being vulnerable in relationships. Since your parents rejected your emotional needs, you equate emotions with distance not closeness.

Since your parents rejected your emotional needs, you equate emotions with distance not closeness. Click To Tweet

You have adopted an insecure attachment style which makes it difficult to let others into your emotional world. But with some work, you can earn a more secure attachment style and get that emotional intimacy we all crave.

2. Take baby steps

Start by reciprocating when someone shares their emotional world with you. That doesn’t mean dumping all your feelings on someone else.

But after listening to them, take the risk to share something that feels vulnerable to you. Sharing intimacies is how people draw closer together. You’ll find they respect your courage to open up.

If people pull away from you in relationships, it could be they’re not experiencing a deep enough connection with you. Once you start sharing more of your feelings, relationships go to another level and people trust you more.

3. Know yourself.

Take time to understand your wants and needs so you can express them. Knowing who you are and what you want helps you set healthy boundaries and establish clear communication.

4. Understand your values.

Do you know what’s important to you in life? Not everybody values open and honest communication. If that matters to you, you’ll spend time with people who share those values.

5. Choose yourself when being vulnerable

The choice to be vulnerable should come from a need to be seen and heard for who you are. Choosing yourself means you will never abandon yourself even if someone else does.

Choosing yourself means you will never abandon yourself even if someone else does. Click To Tweet

You might fear rejection but if it comes, you’ll never reject yourself. You support and praise you for the courage it took to be open and vulnerable.

6. Let go of the outcome

Most times when you express vulnerability you will get positive feedback. The other person will draw closer to you and reveal their own soft spots.

But in some cases, the other person will not take well to you opening up. Their own fears of intimacy and attachment issues will make them react badly to your attempts to show up fully.

If the outcome of expressing yourself is not what you’d hoped, take heart. This is not about you but about them. And it’s important information and a huge opportunity for growth.

Do you want to be in a relationship with someone who rejects you when you’re most vulnerable? Are they willing and capable of change? If not, look back at #5 and choose yourself.

What’s decision fatigue and how to combat it’s tiring effect

decision fatigue
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Decision fatigue increases throughout the day with each new decision you have to make, It’s the act of growing tired of navigating life’s choices and the consequences are startling.

Decision fatigue makes you more likely to pick up a candy bar in the checkout line. And studies show that as the day goes on, we make riskier and more rash decisions.

On the flip side, if you’re more avoidant you may make no decision at all.

Both outcomes have negative affects on our lives. Worst of all, they make us doubt ourselves, feeling shame over our poor or non-existent decisions.

Struggling with self-sabotage? Download Chapter 1 of It’s Not Your Fault free.

Knowing how to avoid decision fatigue will improve your choices. Best of all, it will raise your self-respect and sense of competence.

Here are 9 ways to reduce decision fatigue.

1. Plan your meals.

Knowing in advance what you’ll make for dinner reduces decision fatigue at the time when it’s worst. Late in the day and while hungry are the least optimal times to make decisions.

2. Keep standing appointments.

Make the next doctor or dentist appointment when you’re leaving the office.

Have set days and times when you exercise instead of deciding each day whether or when to do it. Refusing to pencil it in could be the biggest reason we neglect our commitment to work out.

3. Eat at the same time to avoid decision fatigue.

Having set meal times simplifies life. You could even eat the same breakfast or lunch each day. Then use your meal planning schedule for dinner.

4. Have a sleep routine.

When you have a set bedtime, you avoid the late night streaming binges which are no good for you anyway. Keeping to a regular sleep and wake cycle is excellent for overall health and well-being.

decision fatigue

5. Set a timer to reduce decision fatigue.

I use the Pomodoro timer throughout the day to stay on task. And allot a set amount of time each day for social media. After that, I don’t spend time considering whether it’s a good time to check my DMs.

6. Minimalize.

Edit your closet so you have a few favorite pieces that you wear over and over. It’s reported that Einstein wore the same outfit every day to reduce decision fatigue.

Streamline your possessions. The fewer things you own, the less choice you have to make about what to use. Less clutter in the home, less clutter in the brain.

7. Keep a daily schedule.

A to-do list reduces decision fatigue by letting you know what you need to get done that day. Keep it to 3-5 items and enjoy a healthy sense of accomplishment each day.

8. Shop with a list to reduce decision fatigue.

Most of us know the value of grocery shopping with a list. Studies show we spend up to 30% more when we shop without a list.

But, how many of us go to the mall with a list? Well, research has proven that retail shopping creates massive decision fatigue.

Consider going with a goal in mind of what you want to buy. And resist going to the mall for retail therapy.

9. Know your values.

Knowing what’s important to you will help reduce decision fatigue. When we have a clear view of our likes and dislikes, deciding what to say yes or no to becomes a no-brainer.

How monumental experiences change us in ways nothing else can

monumental experiences
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Have you ever known or heard of people whose lives were transformed by monumental experiences? A brush with death, for instance, sends them running after their dreams full-tilt, unwilling to settle for anything less.

I’ve known people who have emerged from near-fatal car accidents and completely changed their lives. One abandoned her career trajectory to start a new business. And, best of all, she charged what she was worth.

You don’t need to escape death to change your life for the better, though. Here are 5 other monumental experiences that render our old lives unrecognizable.

Struggling with self-sabotage? Download Chapter 1 of It’s Not Your Fault free.

1. Divorce

They say divorce is the hardest thing a person can go through, short of losing someone through death. Some say it feels like a death, the loss is so extreme.

When we go through something as hard as divorce, it gives us new courage. We decide to pursue things we never did because we feared what people would think.

A divorce exposes you to all kinds of public scrutiny. You suddenly realize you can survive the disapproval of others. Heck, you can even thrive in the face of it.

A divorce exposes you to all kinds of public scrutiny. You realize you can survive the disapproval of others. Click To Tweet

You likely experience abandonment from at least a few of your friends. You seek out new friends more aligned with your values.

Surviving this painful process gives you courage to pursue passions that laid dormant during your unhappy marriage.

2. Losing a loved one

So much beauty has come out of the ashes of untimely deaths. For example, the mother of a boy whom a drunk driver killed, started Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

The organization has saved thousands of lives with its roadside sobriety spot checks. These have become part of our holiday routine and bring us together in a shared desire to keep others safe.

Countless other foundations have sprung up in the name of lost loved ones. The mothers of these lost souls abandon careers to take up new roles they never imagined themselves in.

3. Moving

monumental experiences

Moving to a new region or country is one of those monumental experiences that can spur you to change everything. That’s because, suddenly, your life is a clean slate.

Nobody knows you or your history and that brings tremendous freedom. Now, you can be more intentional about friendships and let go of those that only survived due to proximity.

Moving can spur you to change everything. Nobody knows you or your history and that brings tremendous freedom. Click To Tweet

You find freedom in the distance from family members. No more obligatory visits or unwanted intrusions on your life.

Whether they’re toxic or not, a little distance from family can help you re-discover yourself. Who are you without the influence of those who’ve known you forever?

4. Job loss

Losing a job can prompt you to start that business you’ve always dreamed about. It can make you more authentic and care less what people think.

You no longer have to wear a mask to fit into the culture at work. Nor do you have to tolerate the workplace bully.

You might realize for the first time that money doesn’t equal happiness. You want to make up for all that lost time you traded for a regular paycheck. That makes you more intentional about how you spend your time now.

5. Um, a pandemic

We won’t step around the elephant in the room, the worldwide pandemic. Among monumental experiences, this one ranks high.

The pandemic has brought unspeakable losses, both in life and finances. We’ve been forced to look at life differently, and accept things we never thought we’d have to tolerate.

We’ve seen how much humans can stand and how resilient we are. Without our distractions and routines, we’ve been forced to get quiet and look within.

That’s forced some of us to take stock of who we are and what matters to us. Have we been living life authentically? In some cases, that introspection has led to the very monumental experiences discussed above.