My precious: Why a scarce mindset leads to fear, loss and failure… and what you can do to change it

I hate to compare myself to Gollum, but when I was younger I shared more with him than just my devilishly good looks and a liking for shiny things.

I was from an early age immersed in a culture of scarcity.

I was told there are only 5 spots in the sports team, 3 university scholarships, one winner, one gold, one true love, one ring. My precious.

There were a select few opportunities, in a select few places, with a select few people.

Like Gollum, I became attached. He with his destructive ring. And me with my competitive streak, desperate to win and to be the best.

To have it (whatever it was) else I was to live in pitiful regret that I was the one who missed out.


What is a Scarce Mindset? 

  • A Scarce Mindset is anxious and fears loss: fears losing what it has, fears missing opportunities, fears failure, or fears missing out.
  • A Scarce Mindset fosters belief that opportunities are few and must not be missed
  • A Scarce Mindset creates jealousy and the belief that affection and good things cannot be shared

A Scarce Mindset is common trait. In fact, the world makes a lot of money on the concept of scarcity.

If people believe there is a lack in life, then they are more likely to take action. So, businesses, politicians, and the media reinforce this lack to make you do things. Buy stuff. Their stuff.

The problem is we take this reinforced belief and apply it to other, more delicate areas of our life.


What are you lacking in life?

Time? Money? Clients?  Romance? Love?

Scarcity focuses the mind powerfully toward whatever it is we don’t have. And when people focus heavily on what they believe is lacking in life, then their psychological bandwidth[2] is consumed. So much so, it affects our judgement, decision making, and even our intelligence. IQ goes down by 10%.  People neglect the big picture and focus on quick gains as they make anxious, short-term decisions.[3]

So the more we focus on what we don't have, the less we are able to actually get it.


Imagine that two people start out in business:

One person sees his business as unique, valuable and full of opportunity. The other sees the competition and poor market conditions.

Which one is more stressed? Which one is more likely to succeed?

So what can we do?

The key to getting out of the scarcity trap is to develop a more abundant mindset.

Abundance is the opposite of scarcity. It is the philosophy that there is a huge, overflowing amount of opportunity in the world. There is enough to go around for everyone and you just know that everything is going to turn out OK.

  • The Abundant mindset lives in a world of opportunity
  • The Abundant mindsets allows us to eventually succeed, through allowing us to fail.
  • The Abundant mindset believes that what one has must be shared
  • The Abundant mindset loathes attachment; because there are so many opportunities, they must be detached in order to progress
  • The Abundant mindset  is daring, quietly confident in pursuit of values and driven not by fear but by maximising positives


So how can we foster an abundant mindset?

There are many ways to create an abundant mindset. Here are three ideas to get you started:

1)   Be a river not a reservoir

Remind yourself: There is plenty for everyone. Give whatever you feel it is that you lack (yes, seriously) and you will start to feel more abundant.

  • Not enough time? Spend an hour helping someone.
  • Not enough money? Give to someone less fortunate.
  • Not enough clients? Make a referral for someone else.
  • Not enough love in your life? Give some love to someone who needs it
  • Not enough gold medals in your trophy cabinet? Give someone else credit for something you have done.

2)   Understand that what you see is a belief not a reality

Challenge yourself to reframe things from a perspective of lack to a perspective of abundance.

There are millions of businesses on this planet, there are billions of opportunities and there are trillions of pounds. Remember that it is your outlook that will dictate the success of your interactions. Stop blaming everything and everyone else and choose to see opportunity in everything that happens. 

3) Reflect on what you have

Gratitude is not about skipping around hugging trees and singing Kumbyah. It is about us actually stopping and having a look around us and appreciating the insain amount of luck we have that we take for granted every day. Life, love, dry snacks. Even when the s__t hits the fan, life is still pretty sweet. Share the love and hit me with 5 things you are grateful for in the comments box below. Do this every day and rewire that scarce mindset.

And a bonus one, because I'm feeling mighty abundant and you are looking smokin' hot today...

4) Say nice things to people. Often.

Do not hold on to compliments like a little gremlin holds on to dirty fag buts. Give compliments away. They are free. Do it now. Text someone. Tell your colleague their hair looks ace. Tell the person next to you you like their shoes. Tell your dog he's the dogs bollocks. Just say something nice. Now.

Once you have begun to grow an abundant mindset, not only will you see the world through a lens of opportunity but you can learn how to detach yourself from the desperation, neediness and clinginess that comes from a scarce mindset.

But that is for next time....

So tell me, what are you going to do this week to make your mindset more abundant?

Have a great week,


CreativeMind Sales Training