How to Have an Abundance Mindset (with exercises)

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I am a dreamer. I am also an overly positive optimist on most days. I am also eternally grateful to my dad for instilling in me the ability to see and believe in possibilities. Whenever I doubted my ability to do or create something while growing up, he would point out all the great accomplishments of other people and tell me, “if they did it so can you, we are all just people”.

That right there is powerful stuff. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized not everyone shares this mindset. So what is an abundance mindset?

The key qualities of an abundance mindset are 1.) a belief that there is enough to go around for everyone, 2.) a belief that things are possible and that opportunity exists for everyone, and 3.) a belief that like attracts like so thereby focusing on, and taking actions based on, abundance will bring more abundance into your life.

Abundance Versus Scarcity

When you have a scarcity mindset you may feel that you are not enough or that you lack resources or opportunities. Daily life may feel like a constant competition. When it comes to outcomes and the things you want, you may fear that others have taken all there is of “this or that” or that there isn’t enough of “this or that” to go around for you. You may even harbor jealousy and resentment towards those around you because you feel they have taken something from you or are holding you back.

With a scarcity mindset, the focus is inward, on what you lack or are missing.

Focusing on scarcity holds you back because it keeps you in a continual state of feeling victimized and mistreated by everyday situations and life circumstances.

Abundance Mentality Meaning

With an abundance mindset, the focus is outward, on what you have to offer others and how we help each other. The world is full of opportunity and possibilities.

You have a sense of personal worth and security and believe that there is enough for everyone. Life isn’t a competition and you’re not concerned about missing out on something because someone else has it. You’re able to share recognition and successes as well as creativity and ideas.

Abundance Mindset Exercises

Below I’m sharing 5 practical steps to help you understand the signs of both an abundance and scarcity mindset, along with exercises you can start practicing today to think more abundantly.

1.) Identify your dominant mindset

The first step is to identify your dominant mindset. What is the default mode of thinking you currently utilize in your approach to relationships, work and daily life situations?

Are your thoughts typically based in fear? Do you constantly worry about not having enough or that resources are limited? Do you find yourself “keeping score” of others successes weighed against your own?

If this sounds familiar, scarcity is most likely your dominant mindset.

On the flip side, when abundance is your dominant mindset, you approach situations with the attitude that resources are plentiful.

You believe all that is needed can be attained and you don’t worry about how you stack up to others.

Exercise:

The key to understanding your dominant mindset is becoming aware of your thoughts. Try this exercise by reflecting on the following:

  • A situation that turned out really well that you’re happy about as well as a situation that didn’t turn out well or end the way you would have liked.
  • Imagine an ideal future for something in your life. This could be a relationship, your job or simply an upcoming event. Now instead of imagining the ideal future, imagine all the things that could go wrong or things that worry you about the outcome.
  • Lastly, focus on the things you really like about yourself and then focus on what you like least.

In each of the above scenarios, which one are you able to focus on longer and give more of your attention?

Are you able to easily visualize the positive side of each scenario or is it easier to list out your worries and flaws?

2.) Focus on what is going right

Many times we have a tendency to focus on things we don’t like or things that are going wrong versus things that are going right.

According to research our brains are actually hard wired to react this way as part of the fight or flight response. However, just because we’re wired with the ability to recognize the bad doesn’t mean we can’t and shouldn’t strive to recognize the good and be more optimistic.

Exercise:

The next time you’re faced with a problem or you’re in a situation where things aren’t going well, take a moment to zoom out on the problem or situation and bring your attention to what is going right.

The more we are able to focus on what is going right, the more space we create and allow for opportunity. Instead of feeling stuck you start to see possibilities.

You may have ideas about how to improve the situation or solve the problem in ways you never thought of before.

3.) Practice a win-win approach to life.

Does life sometimes feel like a competition or do you often find yourself unable to feel happy when others succeed?

Sometimes the scarcity mindset can present itself as jealousy or spite where situations are viewed as win-lose. This can often lead to behaviors where you intentionally, or unintentionally, attempt to keep others down for fear of them getting something you want or doing better than you. This can manifest as simple gossiping or even working to sabotage the success of others.

Exercise:

One of the best ways to turn these situations from win-lose to win-win is to practice focusing on your own goals instead of comparing yourself to others.

Instead of trying to be the winner, consider ways to improve you own situation that is also beneficial to those around you.

If you find yourself wanting to compete, try making a conscious effort to complete with yourself. When you are focused on improving yourself, you’re more likely to reach your goals. In turn, reaching your goals will boost your self-confidence and make you less concerned about others.

4.) Share with others

One of the most fascinating principals of the Abundance Mindset is the concept that the more you give something away, the more you receive of that thing in return.

For example, research in this article from Psychological Science suggests that giving away your time to others increases the amount of time you perceive you have in both the present and the future. Those are pretty remarkable findings in my opinion.

Exercise:

Find ways to share more with others. It can be sharing your time, experiences, resources or money. However, it can also be smaller, simpler things like the way you treat others.

If you feel you don’t get enough respect from others, give respect.

If you feel others misunderstand you, seek to understand others.

If you want more love, love more.

5.) Practice Gratitude

Researchers have called expressing gratitude one of the simplest ways to feel better. I believe this quote from Oprah Winfrey sums it up nicely:

“If you look at what you have in life, you will always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you will never have enough.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Exercise:

Go back to the exercise in the first step where you were asked to reflect on the 3 scenarios. Using the first scenario as an example:

  • A situation that turned out really well that you’re happy about as well as a situation that didn’t turn out well or end the way you would have liked.

It is often easy to be grateful when things go well, but what about when things don’t turn out the way you want.

Can you find something to be grateful for even in the bad times?

Challenge yourself to practice gratitude in these moments as well. It may sound counterintuitive, but when you learn to practice gratitude, even in the bad times, you create more abundance and happiness in your life.

You can also try keeping a daily gratitude journal where you list 10 things you are grateful for each day. Even if it is just simple things like clean sheets, the clothes on your back and food. The act of being thankful will work its magic.

Conclusion

The concepts and exercises shared here are a mixture of my own thoughts and personal experiences as well as those of popular world-renowned thought leaders on the subject.

If you’re interested in delving deeper into this topic, here are some resources to get you started.

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2 Responses

  1. Thank you very Jodie for this beautiful article. You have written beautifully about mindset exercises. I have a similar point of view regarding this. I am waiting for your next article. Appreciatable thoughts & writings.

    1. Thanks Reese! I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I’ve not had time to publish anything new in a long while, but hope to return to writing some fresh content soon. Have a wonderful day!

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