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How to Stop Living in Scarcity

Preye Raymond is a leading content writer who enjoys a blend of pragmatism in his self-help topics.


Living in scarcity is being troubled with the lack of something valuable, for instance: the lack of money, time, companionship, happiness, etc.

Such lack can be problematic to our minds, to such an extent that, we can't seem to concentrate on anything else, other than what we don't have. Living in scarcity is majorly a mindset issue, not a physical quandary.

People living in scarcity perceive life in finitude. They constantly believe that a person or a group of persons have certain abilities and entitlements to have more, while they are the category of persons who are entitled to have less or nothing at all. We typically see such attitude in people who think they are impoverished, or who act insecure.

Why do People Develop a Scarcity Mindset?

The existence of the scarcity mindset can be deduced from two main structures that conditions human decisions and their manner of thinking on a regular basis, they are ; social conditioning and family conditioning.

  • Social conditioning; firstly, people who work for corporate societies have been conditioned to have a scarcity mindset towards finance and success. They've been conditioned to think that the salaries they are being paid are what they are worth at a particular level. To earn more you have to be promoted to a certain level, or achieve a certain status in the organization. In addition, the corporate world also condition workers to think that achieving success outside the confines of their job is futile and unrealistic, which implies that if they lose their job they lose all hopes of being successful. That is why most people fall terribly ill or become sucidial when they lose their jobs. Secondly, people who live in developing countries or societies also encounter something similar. Because of the rate of poverty and lack of adequate economic resources, the citizens are being conditioned and influenced to think that they would always remain poor. And the opportunity for them having a better life is limited.

  • Family conditioning; is the most vulnerable stage of developing a mindset of scarcity. Parents (who are already socially conditioned) also condition the mindset of their wards to think that -money, good clothes, healthy food, love, happiness, are things meant for a certain class of people, living in a particular society. For example, as a child, my parents made me believe that traveling to places like America, Canada, or the UK is the only way to achieve success in life, because of the urbanization and endless opportunities. That is why Nigerians who travel abroad are seen as demigods or believed to be highly successful. Even though most of them travel out there to still struggle and work hard like any other person residing in Nigeria. Because of the vulnerability of our minds as youngsters, we were hardwired with all manner of information (some useful, some useless). If a parent has been socially conditioned to live in scarcity, what mindset do you think such parent would impact on his or her child?

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These are primarily the reasons why most of us get stuck living in scarcity. We focus on what we don't have and let it rule over our lives, rather than being open-minded to explore the possibilities and potentials that are buried deep within us.

To stop living in scarcity you have to continue wrecking the clusters of painful experiences, and conditioning of all sorts, that has concealed these potentials from your mind. And there are three practical ways to do this;

1) View the World as a ToolBox.

Everything designed in reality is made to help us find solutions to our problems. The world is virtually a toolbox. Every day we are presented with a myriad of choices, options, and directions on what to do with our lives.

Life also comes with an instruction manual called ‘knowledge’ to further guide you and teach you how to use each tool to your advantage. It is left for you to train yourself to be open-minded and learn how to use them.

You can't be living in scarcity when they are thousands of books and millions of educational articles that you can read to learn how to grow your finance, how to live healthily, how to find the right partner, how to connect with the right people, and so on...

The issue with people who live in scarcity is that they generally have a sense of entitlement, and a feeling that they are being cheated out of every good thing.

They feel that people get access to certain luxuries, or opportunities because they are entitled or ‘lucky’ to have them, while they are being left behind. They always feel victimized or unworthy. Not because they are humble, but because they are insecure and nervous to take bold actions and decisions that could turn their life around.

They are not willing to learn or use the tools life has given them to propel their purpose and accomplish their objectives. They just wait and hope that life will one day knock on their door and give them what they deserve. If it comes, good, if it does not, then they conclude that life has not been fair to them. According to the beautician and entrepreneur -Tara Fela-Durotoye;

Life never gives you what you deserve but what you decided”.

2) Be Comfortable with Your Insecurities.

The pop singer Stefani Germanotta, popularly known as Lady Gaga, has often talked about her insecurities with her beauty, which started at a young age. According to her, she was always seen as a freak in school, and she had a depressive eating disorder that altered her appearance through her teenage years to adulthood.

In an interview with Allure she admitted:

All of the insecurities that I’ve dealt with my whole life from being bullied when I was younger, they come right back up to bite me...Then I put makeup on, and before I know it I feel this superhero within.”

In her 2018 movie, produced by Bradley Cooper, she admitted that she felt ugly when Cooper took off her makeup during the screen test of A Star is Born, because her makeup was always what made her feel beautiful and powerful. However, she embraced this insecurity and gave an outstanding performance to her character ‘Ally’ in the movie. The movie bagged several awards and nominations for Gaga.

The more you embrace your insecurities, the more liberated your mind evolves into exploring opportunities and solutions.

You don't have to always worry about what you lack. It would further drag you away from realizing your potentials and completely shutting you off from the opportunities the world has to offer. It will also obliterate your confidence, thereby limiting your possibilities and your outcomes.

3) There is Always Enough.

Don't always be fooled into thinking that there is never enough. Those are part of the conditioning society and our family members have hardwired us to think -’there is never enough money’, ‘there is never enough food’, ‘there is never economic resources’, ‘there are no good women left to date’ and so on...

The reality is -there is enough. The smart ones know how to get it, the confident ones know where to find it, the ones who are not afraid to go toe-to-toe with the world know how to win it.

Everyone has equal time and space to succeed. Everyone also has access to equal opportunities, you simply need to train your mind to identify an opportunity when it presents itself. You also need to improve your skills and knowledge to be able to deliver when given the chance.

If nobody would give you the chance or opportunity you need, then look for ways to attract them to you, or simply create yours.

People who whimper and murmur that they are unfortunate or unlucky to get good opportunities are those who are incapable of thinking outside the box. They spend most of their time faffing around and holding grudges against the corruption of government (which is something that would never cease, so why bother?), or against those that are successful. Rather than focusing on how they can create their own opportunities and also impact the lives of others.

This is Noteworthy!

Even though you are not where you want to be right now, choosing to adopt a scarcity mindset would only set you back, rather than pushing you forward.

Eliminate cues or triggers that can easily overwhelm your mind to think that you are not good enough, or there is never enough.

Even when you are tempted to say it or think about it because of some challenges, distract yourself from such thought by doing something fun, for example, playing video games with your partner or your friend, taking your kids to the park, playing with your dog, watching Netflix. Do anything fun and healthy that can discard such thought of scarcity.

Afterward, go back to your plans and strategies and figure out fresh ideas and solutions. If you can't handle it alone, don't be afraid or proud to ask for support or help. We all need that once in a while.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Preye Raymond

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