Last week I briefly mentioned the mindset of scarcity: that is when we are convinced we don’t have enough of something. This puts us on defense: we worry, we are suspicious of being cheated, or we rush because we believe we don’t enough time. It’s easy to focus on what is lacking, since we all could use more of many things. It more or less expected in our conversations to complain of what’s missing or criticize what’s not good enough. It’s less common, and even frowned upon, to speak of what we have plenty of and what we are very happy about.
If we can think about what is abundant in our lives, this removes the sense of angst about what we don’t have. You won’t rush if you feel you have plenty of time, or just simply realize we all have the same amount of time. Rushing is based on a fear of not getting enough done (being good enough) within a certain window of time (that we fear is too small). Without rushing you may make fewer mistakes, be more present with the task at hand, and thus you end up with more time in the end. You won’t cheat others if you feel you have enough, and others will be generous with you in exchange. You won’t worry about being robbed because you recognize that you have plenty of resources to survive. Living in scarcity is living in fear of not getting enough or getting your needs met.
You my think I’m talking about monetary wealth, but I’m arguing that the feeling and belief of living in abundance is what’s most important. It’s not about what actually is. It can be the feeling of walking through a beautiful forest and feeling the abundance of beauty all around. It can be feeling the abundance of love when you see many happy children and parents playing in the park.
Coaching is rarely about making a concrete change in life, i.e. getting a higher paying job, or finding a perfect partner. It’s about changing our internal selves, attitudes and perceptions. This makes a much bigger difference than changing your job, for example. You may be equally as unhappy in a new job. There are always things that can be better. The internal skill of turning a fear of scarcity into a focus on abundance can be a complete change of mindset and mood. When you realize this attitude shift will give you a boost, at any moment you can choose to focus on the abundance around you: friendly faces around you or even your unlimited favorite tunes accessible via Spotify and YouTube. When we realize we have enough of something, we can then relax and enjoy what we do have.
Today, again, I found myself waiting for 2 hours for workmen to show up at the apartment. Immediately, I get frustrated that I’m missing my German class. I get frustrated because I don’t feel my German is good enough for the job I start one month from today. The fact that I was stuck in the paucity of my language skills made me annoyed at anyone getting in my way of even two hours of class. I was also in the mindset of “not enough time” to learn German. But I decided I did not want to be bitter. I chose see the 2 hours of opportunity handed to me instead: 2 hours I could study German at my own speed and work more seriously on the vocabulary I needed.