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 mindset 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 to rule them all.
I grew up believing (like most of society) that there were few opportunities, in a scarce world, for 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) or live in pitiful regret that I was the one who missed out.
I had what I now know is called a "scarce mindset"
In this blog I show you why most of us operate from a mindset of scarcity. Then, I delve into Abundance, one of the 6 mind-hacks of Top Performers, and show you three ways to cleanse yourself of scarcity and forge a mindset of confidence, attractiveness and opportunity.
What is a scarce mindset?
A scarce mindset is anxious and fears loss. It fears losing what it has and fears missing out on what it has not.
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 of something, then they are more likely to take action. So, businesses, politicians, the media (yes, and salespeople) reinforce this lack to make you do things. Buy stuff. Their stuff.
The eternal ‘closing down’ sale tells you to “Hurry! Before it’s too late!
The countdown timer screams at you to “Buy now!” or forever live a life of regret that you were the one who missed out.
The problem is that because we hear messages of scarcity all the time, we start to believe that things are scarce... when in fact, they are not.
What are you lacking?
Time? Prospects? Opportunities? Money? Confidence? Laughter? Love?
If you go through your day thinking about what you lack then you are operating from a scarce mindset.
Why is a scarce mindset bad?
A scarce mindset is bad as it powerfully focuses our attention on what we don't have.
When we focus on what we lack, confirmation bias kicks in and we start seeing the lack everywhere. We believe it more. It becomes all consuming.
Our anxiety increases. Our unhappiness increases. And, ironically, we are more likely to get the very thing we don't want.
A scarce mindset also makes us overly-attached to what we do have.
We become overly attached to the things, people, opinions and opportunities we do have. We become dependent, desperate, fearful and needy and all those other delightful things that make other people (prospects, clients, hot dates) want to run far away from us.
Imagine that two people start out in sales:
The first has a scarce mindset. He sees the competition and poor market conditions. He thinks his territory is poor and his customer base is saturated. He believes in winning and gets caught up relentlessly calling the same prospects in the same way, over and over again in a desperate attempt to close a deal. He is seen as needy, desperate and a a 'pest'.
The second has an abundant mindset. She sees her territory as unique, valuable and full of opportunity. She sees opportunity where others are scared to go. She creates new ideas in her company, helping other people and departments to succeed in their roles. She believes in finding opportunity for herself and others and seeks to add ideas and value in every conversation. She is seen as attractive and a valuable asset to every conversation.
What is an abundant mindset?
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.
The abundant mindset:
- Sees opportunity vs. sees the lack of opportunity
- Is driven by maximising positives vs. driven by fear
- Believes in sharing success vs. believes in winning
- Seeks new exciting opportunities vs. holds onto old, tired opportunities
- Is daring and quietly confident vs. fearful and pessimistic
- Is detached vs. attached
Abundance is not a number or an amount. It is a feeling; a belief that there is a huge amount of opportunity in the world and everything will be OK.
It creates confidence and is hugely attractive; people, prospects and colleagues will pick up on it and want to be around you.
The more abundant your mind, the more opportunities you see and the more opportunities come your way.
How to re-frame your brain for abundance
Here are three ways to foster an abundant mindset:
Challenge your thoughts
Challenge yourself to reframe things from a perspective of lack to a perspective of abundance. Remember that there are millions of businesses on this planet, there are billions of opportunities and there are trillions of pounds.
Success is not about winning at the expense of others. You and a million others can succeed and still have enough to share it around. Seek win-win and bring others along with you for the ride. They will do so in return for you.
Find daily gratitude
Being grateful is not about skipping around hugging trees and singing Kumbyah.
Countless studies confirm that writing down something you are grateful for every day actually re-wires the neural pathways in your brain making you more abundant and more happy. Not bad considering it takes less than 10 seconds a day.
In the Top Performer Journal, you are encouraged to write down one thing every day that you are grateful for. Life, love, dry snacks. Even when the s__t hits the fan, life is still pretty sweet. The more we appreciate what we have, the more we re-wire our brains for abundant success.
Share the good things
Scarce mindsets are fearful. They bitch, they moan, they blame. They point out the bad things. And so more bad things come their way.
Instead, make it your mission to be the one who shares the good things about people, situations, prospects and opportunities.
Start with compliments. They are easy and 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.
And one more, because I'm feeling mighty abundant:
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.
And that leads us nicely to the next of the 6 Mind-hacks of Top Performers (coming soon): Be Detached.
Scarcity is ingrained in our mindset from an early age. But through awareness and daily re-framing we can foster a mindset of abundance; allowing us to shine with confidence and attractiveness and find new opportunities in every situation.
HOW CAN I INSPIRE MY TEAM TO ADOPT A CONFIDENT SALES MINDSET?
Got a sales team? Want some ready made training material to use in your next team meeting?
2. Print off the ready made worksheets to use in your next team meeting
3. Follow the examples and coach your team to strengthen their mindset
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Blog written by Jen Wagstaff, CreativeMind Sales Training