Scarcity Mindset vs. Abundance Mindset

I am a collaborator, it is in my blood to discuss ideas in a group and make decisions together. I understand that this is not always the easiest path—or even the quickest path to success. However, I believe the best ideas are discussed, molded, built upon and then executed. I have rarely had success doing things alone in a vacuum. Perhaps it is my decade of experience collaborating on $300 million dollar films or producing content for Nike—but I just love a good team brainstorm and well executed teamwork.

I remember the first time I learned about the “scarcity mindset”—this idea that there isn’t enough. Not enough time, not enough money, not enough space. Space is the keyword here because it represents so many things. Space can be the space for you to start a business that is similar to another business that is already out there-think Nordstrom and Macy’s. Space is taking up space—meaning that there is room for you in the room or at the table or on the stage. Space can mean courage—the courage to ask for that raise (take up financial space) or request payment for your services (again, financial space). When we work and live from the scarcity mindset we often get nowhere very fast—or if we get somewhere it is painful and messy and frustrating.

You can often identify people that live in this scarcity mindset. They tend to not share information, they tend to try to divide the team and create power on one side. Often times it is because they are afraid that if they are not seen as “the one with the idea” or the “person making it happen” they will not be valued. Yikes. Can you imagine living your life that way? How terrifying to wake up each day and think you have to prove yourself over and over—and to go after that at the cost of your team and your colleagues.

But the scarcity mindset is very real, and it is often validated by previous experiences and beliefs. It is important when working with someone with scarcity mindset or working from scarcity mindset yourself, to take time to think about where this fear lives inside of you, and why it is dominating.

Let’s first start with the opposite of scarcity—which is abundance. The abundance mindset is that there is enough for everyone. When we live in the abundance mindset we believe there is enough time, space, power and money for everyone. We see opportunity and we move forward on ideas. Because if we aren’t afraid—we are courageous and courage always leads to action.

So what can you do if you are in scarcity mindset and you don’t know where to start? I often start working with the opposites. For example, if I am in the scarcity mindset that there are already enough coaches in the world and no one needs my services—I will ask myself , “What is the opposite of that belief?”. As you can imagine, the opposite is, “My services are unique and impactful and there are plenty of people that can benefit from my coaching.” Wow. A tiny shift—and yet it opens me up to so much possibility. The second mindset makes me want to promote my business, reach out to potential clients and change the world. That sounds pretty fun, right?

Let’s say I want to start a business, like a flower and tea shop. I can think in scarcity mindset and say to myself, “There are so many tea and flower shops that fail and there are already enough places for people to go and work and drink coffee and tea.” Or I can say, “How beautiful it would be to create a collaborative space where people could come and work, play and enjoy the luxuries of life. My flower and tea shop will be so special people will come from all over to visit and connect.” Woah—getting kind of crazy there, right? But do you see what happens when you shift? Literally anything is possible.

The scarcity mindset protects us—absolutely. It protects us from risk, from connection, from abandonment, from being let down, from being made a fool, from being seen. I get it, the scarcity mindset is a very safe place to live. However, it is lonely and isolating and it is holding you back from what you really want in life which is—creativity, connection, love and forward momentum.

Where in your life are you operating from a scarcity mindset? How can you shift the perspective and think from a place of abundance? I would love to hear about one shift you are choosing to make in the comments below.

I would also love to work with you on this—my speciality in coaching is getting you out of scarcity mindset and working from and taking ACTION from abundance mindset. Got an idea? Let’s bring it to life. To schedule a consult visit

Teresa SabatineComment