For starters, let’s answer the question, “What is an abundance mindset?” Simply put, the abundance mindset is a perspective on life that focuses on the idea that there is plenty of _______ for everyone. That blank can be filled by words like opportunities, jobs, pots, etc. The opposite of the abundance mindset is the scarcity mindset, which functions from the perspective that there will never be enough of _______ (opportunities, jobs, sports, etc).
It’s a simple concept; you either think that there’s plenty of opportunities out there and you’re cable of realizing one, or there are not enough spots, and you couldn’t possibly get one with all the talent that’s out there. But what’s not so simple is how differently those two mindsets impact your overall outlook on life.
This is something I talk to a lot of athletes about ahead of things like tryouts. This year, specifically, I’ve been talking a lot about the abundance mindset in regard to college scholarships. As a result of the pandemic, we’re essentially seeing three recruiting classes being crammed into one year. The immediate thought: three times the number of people fighting for the same amount of spots.
While this is, indeed, a fact, the questions I ask are: “Is focusing on that fact helping you achieve anything?” and “Does focusing on that fact make you feel good”. The answer to both is no. So, the immediate consequence of buying into the scarcity mindset and focusing on those two unchangeable facts is: the athlete feels out of control, frustrated, upset, and even helpless. Those feelings are the enemy of high performance.
Not only does the scarcity mindset mean we’re focusing on all the things we could possibly not have or achieve, but it also means that we’re probably engaging in catastrophic thinking patterns… “If I don’t get this then I won’t get that” etc. Which altogether sets up for a pretty limited, low-performance, low-quality state. Not somewhere we want to be.
So, how do we flip the narrative? How can we focus on the abundance of our situation instead of the scarcity? The answer is different for everyone. But for a lot of athletes, maybe one of those abundance mindsets points of focus is the fact that they now have an extra year to train and improve before they’re off to college. An extra year to take classes and get ahead of the game before they get slammed with a hectic schedule. More time to try to develop new skills and land an even better opportunity.
With all of this in mind, can you think of where you’ve been feeling the pinch of your own scarcity mindset? How can you flip that narrative into, not only one of abundance but one that actually serves you and helps you achieve your goals?