Today is all about stepping into an abundance mindset in midlife. I feel like some of these personal development terms sound kind of floaty and "out there." They're rather difficult to grasp onto.
That's why I'm simplifying things to a basic level so I can explain what abundance is, and give you an example of how I didn't have an abundance mindset last week. Then I'll leave you with a couple of questions to ask yourself so you can determine if you live in an abundance mindset or not.
I'm a practicing Christian, and I believe in an abundant God who lavishes me with blessings over and over and over again. Sometimes I'm so overwhelmed, I just start crying. It's just so much! But at the beginning of all this, when I initially said yes to Jesus, it still took me a while to grasp onto this idea of a abundance.
I was stuck in a scarcity mindset for most of my life up to that point, but that's not unusual. Most of us are. Most of us function from a place of scarcity within our lives on a daily basis. If we don't genuinely believe there's enough to go around in any area of our lives, scarcity will always be our default mindset.
An abundance mindset is a belief that there's an infinite amount of resources available to you. You always have more than enough time, more than enough energy, and more than enough money. You have more than enough of any resource that you need.
Can you imagine going through life like that? Can you imagine how low your levels of anxiety and fearfulness would be? How incredible does that sound?!
Functioning from that place on a daily basis makes life smoother. It makes life easier and more peaceful and downright fun. You could be having more fun in your life if you could function from an abundance mindset. You wouldn't be stressed out over finances or relationships or health or anything else.
You would simply live in a state of expectation that there was always going to be enough.
An abundance mindset sees possibilities. It's open to seeing what's possible, even if you've had a bad experience before. An abundance mindset lets you take the deep breath, step back and go from a narrow focus to a broad focus.
On the other hand, a scarcity mindset sees limitations. It sees everything that can go wrong. This mindset is one that thinks things like, "Oh, that'll never work," or "That's never going to happen." It immediately goes to the negative because it's based in limitation.
An abundance mindset sees possibilities.
A scarcity mindset sees limitations.
I talk a lot about stepping into possibility because that is one of the key ingredients in developing an abundance mindset. I want you to see what's possible. I want you to see what's out there. I want you to see what options you have.
And remember, because we're Easy Agers, it doesn't have to look a certain way. We get to think beyond the way things are right now.
An abundance mindset is based in possibility thinking. Grabbing onto this mindset takes a little focus but if you take baby steps and practice, you're going to improve the more you do it.
Once you get there, do you stay there? Not always. It is quite easy to fall back into your old ways if you're not paying attention. When you're not paying attention is when you're the most vulnerable.
Let me give you an example of this. Last week, I was trying to open a business account at a credit union that I've used before. In the past, they've always taken certain documents to open the account. But this time, they wanted a specific type of letter from the IRS, and I didn't have it. So the representative gave me a phone number to call the IRS and said goodbye.
As I was walking to my car, I could feel my blood pressure rising and I immediately went to "that place." You know the place. It's that icky place of the doom and gloom of scarcity.
My thoughts were racing: "Oh, I can't believe I have to go to the IRS. This is ridiculous! This credit union has always taken my documents. Why are they being so difficult? Why do they have to do this? How long is it going to take me to talk to the right person at the IRS? I'll be on hold forever. It's going to take me all day to find them." Grumble, grumble, grumble.
So I came home, grabbed a bite of lunch and put myself down for a nap because clearly, I needed it. I had already put myself in a bad mood before I even made the call.
When I got up, I called the number and I got into the phone queue to be called back. Thirty minutes later, the phone rang and I talked to a woman named Mrs. Grove. I explained what I needed, and she faxed me the letter.
The call took 15-20 minutes. She was so nice and patient. She even waited on the phone for me to open the fax to make sure it was what I needed so I wouldn't have to call back later. Wow, service with a smile from the IRS! I thanked her profusely, hung up, and I went back to the credit union to open my account.
Let's take a look at what happened here. When I discovered I needed to talk to the IRS, I went into scarcity mindset. I did not have an abundance mindset; I didn't even think about possibilities.
It never occurred to me to think, "Hey, maybe it'll be easy this time. Maybe I'll get a nice rep who's extremely competent and will take good care of me. And because she's so good at her job, she's going make it quick, and I can get all my other stuff done today."
This type of possibility thinking wasn't even on my radar. Instead, I focused on the limitations. I went into blame mode. I blamed the credit union for asking for documents that I didn't have. I blamed them for having rules that I thought were ridiculous.
Then I blamed the IRS because they're so difficult to deal with and they take forever. I kept thinking, "This is going to take the entire day and waste so much of my time."
Remember, an abundance mindset sees possibilities. Had I been paying attention and taken a moment to control my thoughts, I would've been able to move into an abundance mindset and possibility thinking fairly quickly.
In general, I'm an optimist. I was born as little Mary Sunshine, always seeing the good. Even to this day, I'm always looking for the good.
I don't know what was wrong with me that day. I certainly didn't take that moment that I desperately needed. I went into scarcity mindset about how I was going to be wasting the entire day trying to get the IRS to give me what I needed. I was anticipating a rough experience. I was anticipating ending my entire day with a lot of frustration.
Basically, I set myself up for defeat in 30 seconds or less, simply by allowing the first thought and then the second and so on. Then my thoughts became a runaway train and put me in a bad mood before I even called the IRS.
So the moral of this story is to pay attention to those thoughts. Don't let them take over if they aren't benefiting you because once they start, they're going to be tough to stop.
But the more aware you are of your thought life, the easier it will be to catch those thoughts that bring you down.
Those are the thoughts that are going to run in your mind and make you feel hopeless, and that's a horrible place to be, don't you think?
Take a moment to figure out what your dominant mindset is:
Pay attention to your thoughts and where they take you, and start wrestling those nasty critters to the ground. Then you can replace them with more positive thoughts that move you into abundance thinking.
Do this regularly, a little bit every day, and you'll be on your way to creating an abundance mindset that benefits you every single time.