Aug24From Scarcity To Abundance: Grow Stronger With This Mindset Shift

“The way we think is often how we live.”

How often do you think about how your thoughts actually affect your life? They have more power than you might realize. Our thoughts shape and form our character, so they affect every aspect of our lives.

I’m not going to tell you to “think positive” and everything will be awesome and nothing bad will happen. This is life, and tough times are ahead for everyone. What I am going to talk about is shifting from a scarcity to an abundance mindset, which are two polar opposite ways of thinking that have a big affect on your life.

Forewarning: this post is slightly unrelated to fitness, but depending on how you digest this, you could use this information to think and feel differently about your health & fitness goals, and be better equipped to deal with difficult situations and outcomes.

 

Scarcity vs. Abundance

Imagine, if you will, two people. We will call these two people Scarcity Bob and Abundant Bill.

Bob always thinks that there is never enough to go around; never enough money, time, opportunities, etc. Anytime Bob makes some money, he saves as much as he can and never uses it for anything. He sees extra expenses like gym memberships and quality food as something that is either too much money or as something that he’s going to fail at anyway, so he thinks why bother? He views others as competition, and doesn’t invest in personal growth because it’s a “waste of time and money”. Anytime something negative happens, he quickly focuses on the bad outcome and puts himself into a negative hole. Bob only ever sees what he doesn’t have, and looks on with envy at the people that have more than him.

Bill, on the other hand, is quite different. Bill doesn’t see the world as something with limited resources, but rather as a huge place with unlimited potential. He sees short term sacrifice as a means to long term gain. Any losses or setbacks are seen as learning experiences, and Bill looks for opportunities to grow. Bill is never looking down, but looking up towards the sky and sees the potential. Most importantly, Bill sees what he does have, and shows gratitude for it.

The difference between Bob and Bill is a contrasting perspective: scarcity vs abundance mindset. In the simplest of terms, the scarcity mindset is the belief that there will never be enough. This can translate into insecure feelings about relationships, self-worth, money, time, etc. One with scarcity thinking will also be afraid of change and difficult situations and outcomes, and beats themselves up when bad things happen.

An abundance mindset is one that thinks bigger. Having an abundance mindset is when you accept that change is an integral part of life, and views loss as learning experiences. Someone with an abundance mindset is one that sees unlimited opportunities and pathways. ‘If one door closes another one opens,’ is the usual thought process of this positive thinker.

While it might sound generic, these two contrasting perspectives can have a huge effect on your outlook on life and how you deal with setbacks and risks.

 

How An Abundance Mindset Can Help With Your Fitness Goals

Thinking in this open-ended mindset can help you in any facet of your life. You can even take this viewpoint and apply it to your health and fitness goals. To take steps towards this mindset shift, there are several different actions you can practice in you day to day life.

#1 Practice Gratitude

Instead of thinking what you haven’t yet accomplished, think about about the progress you have made. Write down the things you’ve gotten better at. Progress could look like:

  • better mobility
  • less pain
  • better athleticism
  • increased strength
  • increased endurance

Don’t compare your progress to others. Instead, write down what you do have in a journal and practice gratitude for those things.

#2 Focus on Unique Strengths

What are you uniquely good at? Where do you excel that others have a harder time with? Look towards your unique strengths to enhance your mindset. Focusing on these areas will not only allow you to get even better at them, but because you’re good at them you will feel accomplished.

Speaking specifically about fitness, there are multiple ways to make your strengths work for you. If you’re a naturally good squatter, try to push yourself more to make more progress in that area. Try to get an extra rep, or a little extra weight. Focus on improving your squat even more by adding more depth, or improving form to a mechanical perfection. If you are great at pulling movements, then every time you do a row or a similar movement, really push past your usual comfort zone. Try going a little harder in that movement to gain that extra bit of progress.

When you focus on what you’re good at, you’re more likely going to stick with it. if you have something that sticks, you’ll see better progress over time.

#3 Look For New Opportunities in Every Situation or Outcome

A silver lining exists in all situations. In the fitness realm, we often shoot for goals that we might not always reach; when we don’t reach those goals, we sometimes get demotivated about our progress. Instead of thinking about how you didn’t reach a certain goal, think about what you did gain.

Maybe you were aiming for a weight loss of 20 pounds but didn’t hit that number, yet you still lost 10 pounds.

Perhaps you wanted to get 10 reps on a certain exercise but only got 8, which could still be an improvement from when you started.

Maybe you didn’t improve in the ways you expected, but still gained so much in very different ways. Similar to point #1 above, look at what you have gained or gotten better at.

 

Practicing these actions can help cultivate a more abundant mindset, one that is better equipped to handle tough circumstances, have growth, and to see potential. Start using these action steps for an abundant mindset!