There may be more than 8 million people in London but we still have a tendency to think there is not enough to go around.
This can apply to sales opportunities, new client prospects, potential partners and possible new homes. We can get sucked into believing that another person’s success or happiness is to our detriment or at our cost. However, if we can adopt an “abundance mentality”, we can open our minds to the many opportunities which are available to us. By looking at our circumstances from a different perspective, we can make significant progress both personally and professionally.
The term “abundance mentality” was coined by Dr. Stephen Covey in 1989 in his widely-acclaimed book titled The Seven Principles of Highly Effective People. According to Covey, an abundance mentality is “a paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in the sharing of prestige, recognition, of profits of decision making because it opens possibilities, options, alternatives and creativity.”
The opposite of an “abundance mentality” is a “scarcity mentality”. According to Covey, those adopting a scarcity mentality believe there is only “one pie” and there won’t be enough for everyone. Such people tend not to achieve their life goals because they believe there are not sufficient resources to go around. Or they set less ambitious goals as they may suffer from lower self-esteem and a poor perception of their own self.
Consider a small team selling digital TV boxes. There is no doubt we are in a difficult economic climate but this has a great impact on Mr Doom who tells his manager, “There is no business to be had.” He stops making cold calls as he gets depressed and as a result, his pipeline dries up. He fulfils his scripted belief that there is no business. Ms Bloom, however, thinks, “There are 8 million people in London and all households have a TV.” Therefore she spends her day making calls to homeowners offering them deals to come on board, or to stay with her company. She gets result after result so keeps making calls as they work! Mr Doom has a scarcity mentality and feels that every time Ms Bloom makes a sale, it is at his cost. He becomes bitter and negative and makes even fewer calls. His place on the team comes under threat as he does not perform but also has a negative impact.
Adopting an abundant mindset is essential if individuals want to achieve their personal and professional goals. It enables them to rise to challenges and seek opportunities which will enable a fulfilling personal and professional life. It takes time, dedication, commitment, perseverance and it’s something that does not happen overnight. We are programmed to behave and respond in a default manner from a very early age so any change takes a lot of self-awareness and effort. We can all make small changes, though, and start today on the path to where we want to be.
People adopting a scarcity mentality may aspire to bigger and better goals, but as a consequence of their mindset, they will rarely fulfil their true potential, dreams, goals and ambitions. Most people are scripted to play small because of inherent pressure from peers, family and friends. These people will also “play small”, by setting small goals or not pushing their personal and professional objectives.
The Benefits of an Abundant Mindset
There are many benefits from adopting an abundant mindset including:
- Actively looking for opportunities which lead to bigger and better goals
- Adopting a win–win mentality with people and goals
- Individuals are more willing to collaborate with others;
- An increase in self-esteem
- Genuinely being able to celebrate other people’s achievements
- Inner calm and contentment
How to cultivate an Abundance Mentality
As with most things in life, cultivating an abundance mentality takes time and is not an overnight miraculous transformation. Individuals need to be very honest with themselves and to be determined to make the necessary changes. Here are a few steps to try:
- For the next week, when you hear of someone’s success or good fortune, simply think, “Well Done”. If you can say, “Well Done” and really mean it, even better. Don’t think about you, any competitions or allow yourself to be disappointed or bitter. Just say, “Well Done” and move on.
- In the second week, simply observe whether making this statement has had any impact on your morale, or your belief that there is plenty to go around. Small changes are the way forward!
- Over the next week, observe your thought processes about your goals. Do you think, “I can’t”, “There isn’t enough opportunity,”, “Someone else has already done it,” or “I’ll never get there.”
- In the second week, where you find yourself practising a scarcity mentality, simply think, “I could do that, “ or “There is enough opportunity for everyone,” or “There are 8 million people in London.”
- Observe, Recognise, Change!