What Is An Abundance Mindset? (And Why Leaders Need It)
An Abundant Mindset (Or Not) Impacts How We Influence Others
Have you ever heard people talking about an abundance mindset and wondered what that really meant?
Recently, I had an experience that drove home the importance of cultivating an abundance mentality not just for myself, but also for the people around me…
I was pumped!
I had just spoken to twenty junior high students about leadership skills. More specifically, we had talked about how they could impact their school in a positive way because of the way they lead.
My enthusiasm for the program was contagious as the students were engaged, asking insightful questions.
Unfortunately, not everyone felt the same way about the project.
Tim* (*name changed to protect privacy) had just been through the very same experience. But while I was on cloud nine, Tim asked a question that was like dumping a bucket of cold water on me (and everyone else).
“Do you really think that this will make any difference? I mean, do you think we will have any lasting impact on these kids?”
As soon as the words left his lips, I watched the faces of the two young girls who had been working with us fall.
Photo Credit: Ryan McGuire from Pixabay
Abundance Mindset vs. Scarcity Mindset
Now, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s important to examine how we can make things better and to work from a place of excellence…
But that’s not the kind of question this was.
Tim wasn’t looking for an answer to the question of “are we making a difference?” Instead, Tim was draining the life out of the room — and he was there to lead others!
His question demonstrated scarcity thinking. That type of thinking says:
- “We can’t solve this problem.”
- “This challenge is too big for us.”
- “How can we ever think that we could make a difference here.”
To be honest, I wondered why he was even working on this project if he didn’t believe in it.
As I listened to him, my positivity was screaming inside:
“If I can impact one student in that room today, then today was worth it. And if that student goes on to do something impactful in his or her community, then this effort was worth it.”
Having an abundance mindset isn’t always easy and doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people. However, the good news is that any one of us can learn how to cultivate an abundance mindset.
Photo Credit: Abigail Miller on Unsplash
What Is An Abundance Mindset?
An abundance mentality has a proactive approach to life and sees possibilities and solutions regardless of the challenges it faces.
For instance, I heard one student who lived in a poverty-stricken area say this:
“Having nothing is not an excuse to do nothing.”
Instead of focusing on the poverty all around them, this student is focusing on what they can do.
So, an abundance mindset is a very hopeful approach to life. It has the attitude that there is always enough pie to go around. To some, it may look like naivety, but I would say that it’s a choice that a person makes to cultivate an attitude of positivity and hopefulness instead of negativity.
For instance, another important aspect of an abundance mentality is gratitude. This kind of thinking focuses on being thankful for what is instead of focusing on what isn’t.
Another part of this involves living with confidence that there is enough to go around so we can cheer each other on and celebrate with others who do well.
Abundance Mindset Doesn’t Mean Ignoring Problems
Now, it doesn’t mean ignoring problems or putting our heads in the sand. Instead, when we’re faced with challenges, we focus on possible solutions rather than how big the problem is.
On the other hand, when a scarcity mindset sees a challenge, it focuses on the problem and gets overwhelmed by the problem. So when you hear someone with a scarcity mindset talking, it’s discouraging because it doesn’t matter what you do or how good it is, it’s never enough.
Casey Graham, Founder of Gravy says, “The way you view it is the way you do it.”
Graham goes on to say, “How you approach anything, how you view anything, is how you do it, and your perspective and your mindset matters.”
Photo Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Why Leaders Need To Develop An Abundance Mentality
We all have a choice about the kind of mindset we cultivate but there are only two options as leaders…
Either we live with an abundance mindset or we live with a scarcity mindset.
Thing is, the mindset we choose (because make no mistake, it IS a choice) affects absolutely everything in our lives, including the way we influence others.
And that’s why it’s so important to develop abundance thinking because this is how we will approach things like…
- Our team when they make a mistake
- Unexpected challenges that come up
- Opportunities that arise for other people
- Our personal and business finances
So, I want to encourage you to live with an abundant mindset and to look for solutions. Live a life full of anticipation and hope and you’ll influence the people around you in such a positive way.
Also, be on the lookout for the significant moments that will come your way and you might be surprised how often they start to happen once you develop the right mindset.
What mindset are you going to choose today?
What do you think about abundance vs. scarcity mentality? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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You are so right about this being a choice! One I sometimes forget to do. Thank you Ann for the reminder.
You’re so welcome Sandie! I forget too, so I wrote this blog post to remind me of why it’s important to have an abundant mindset.
When I saw the word ‘abundance’, I was wondering if it the article would be about prosperity theology…….
Instead, I was happily encouraged again that God is Big Enough. He makes a way, He understands, He is on our side, we can trust Him to be with us and get us through with peace and joy..
I am on my way to Harvest House today where we reach out to marginalized people with a myriad of struggles. A current issue is being asked to leave the horrible rooming houses they live in because they have been sold. Renovations will be done and the rents will be unafordable.
In the past we have prayed for what seemed like impossible housing and He has provided.
He will again.
God’s abundance does not always heal addictions, mental problems or physical ailments. He does not give them abundant finances. He does build trust in Him. I have to be very careful to not blithely build false hope. Yet I do believe and have seen that God makes a way.
And when I hear some of these clients pray and see their deep trust in God and their big hearts that truly love other hurting people….. I am blown away….
Thanks for the article.
You’re raising a lot of good points, Jill. First, I want to say that I really admire the work you’re doing at Harvest House in caring for marginalized people. That’s not easy work and there are no easy answers. I see similar issues in the work that we do at the jail. It would be easy to feel overwhelmed by all the challenges the women at the jail face. But we celebrate every small step because those are significant growth steps (just like they are for you and me) and every small choice they make matters.
Excellent Perspective! Positivity is contagious (Abundance Mindset)
Negativity is also contagious and will always breed Negativity (Negative or Scarcity Mindset)
So true Deborah! I believe that we’re the average of the 5 people we spend the most time around. So when our 5 people are positive, it encourages us to keep going on the hard days. And it helps us to go further than we thought we ever could.