The ‘not-enough’ mindset (how to spot a scarcity mindset and shift it to an abundance mindset)

The first time I heard about scarcity and abundance mindset it was explained through the Leah and Rachel story in the bible. They were sisters, one was ‘form’  and one was ‘function’. 

It seems whenever there is more than one sister, people apply this subconscious scale to them and rate who was blessed with the most ‘fill in the blank’ (usually it’s beauty) and the sisters are ranked in relation to one another.  So Rachel ranked high on the beauty, therefore, Leah was less. 

The scarcity mindset says there isn’t ‘enough’ beauty. So if one sister has some, there isn’t enough for the other sister. There is a limited supply. 

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Of course, this situation does not always apply to all siblings and sisters, but this mindset can be seen in all areas of our lives. 

A major layer of the scarcity mindset is the belief that there is NOT ENOUGH TO GO AROUND

There is not enough money, time, food, energy, attention, readers, friendships, spotlight, praise…..

If they have some, there must be less in the world for me


the rules of scarcity and enough

Scarcity mindset also believes things need to be ‘right’ to be acceptable

It also implies that these resources we feel are lacking also have a standard on what passes as acceptable. The ‘right’ clothes, the ‘right’ friends, the ‘right’ type of body, etc. 


It puts us in a victim mentality

It takes away our position of control on the situation.  So we hustle harder to get our slice of the pie.  We hoard, to stress, to hustle, we complain, we fixate. 


But what else is happening in this scarcity mindset is the underlying belief that there is something wrong with me if I don’t have this ‘thing’. 


The contrast to the scarcity mindset is the ABUNDANCE MINDSET

The abundance mindset says there is enough, there is plenty to go around, I am enough. 


When I heard the story of Leah and Rachel I realized that my life long identity as the ‘quiet, smart’ sister was a form of the scarcity mindset. And it didn’t do justice for my sisters who were/are dang smart too but that was a backburner thought, because the measuring sticks held up to us told us how to self-identify, and we (me) adopted this hand-me-down ruler as my own. 

scarcity mindset sisters

Scarcity mindset was showing up for me in this situation, but really, it shows up all the time for me in unexpected places from money, to friends, to online work. In life coaching other women and life coaching myself,  I see my thought life with more clarity and I am becoming more and more aware of where it is happening and the sneaky ways that scarcity mindset can make us feel and act. 


Here are some ways to see when a scarcity mindset is taking place of an abundance mindset

Feeling jealousy/ comparison vs celebrating others and yourself

Feeling worry/fixation vs being present and peaceful

Getting overwhelmed/burnt out vs managing your energy and making time for rest

Hustling/Hoarding vs setting healthy boundaries and limits for yourself 

Complaining/Gossiping vs having an open mind and speaking positively 

Feeling discontented/frustrated vs acknowledging where you are growing and moving forward


Maybe you can see when it is happening in your life, and probably particular areas that you feel it the most. 

But perhaps if you can’t see where it is happening just yet, you might be able to see where it has happened. Because this mindset costs us something, it gives us certain results in our lives. When we think with scarcity, we act out from a place of scarcity and these actions give us certain results in our life. 

outcomes results of scarcity mindset

Here are some outcomes of living with a scarcity mindset in different parts of our life:

Relationships: When we live from a place of ‘not-enoughness’ in ourselves we often rely on others to be that ‘enoughness for us’.  It keeps us both stuck. We cannot offer ourselves grace so we can’t show up as our true humble selves or appreciate it in others

Opportunities: When we are fixated on measuring success in a certain way, we fail to see all other unique opportunities that come our way. 

Our happiness: Without seeing the abundance (the amazing, the plenty, the grace) we forfeit a lot of gratitude and happiness happening right in front of us, for us. 

Our intuition: When we constantly question our own worth and if we have enough and if it is the ‘right’ enough then we lose touch with the truth about our worth and our enoughness. We aren’t operating from a belief in the truth about ourselves. We are letting others tell us what is true. We will lose trust in listening to ourselves. 

Our stability – We believe the cycle of lack that we perpetuate. We will sabotage it. When good things happen we don’t know what to do next so we prepare ourselves for that worst-case scenario and push away/sabotage the amazing opportunities we have for stability in all areas (friendships, relationships, finances, etc)

Our integrity – We may look for ways to belittle others or secure ourselves with saying ‘I’m at least better than this person’. We need someone to be less so we can be more. This takes us further away from showing up with respect and compassion – the roots of our integrity.


abundance mindset beliefs

What an abundance mindset offers

Abundance is the mindset that has beliefs like

I am enough,

there is enough,

if I don’t get this – it wasn’t for me,

life happens for me not against me.


Abundance mindset allows us to see our present life with gratitude, to trust in ourselves, and to bring peace into our relationships. 


how to shift mindset, scarcity abundance

So how do we shift our mindsets?

If you want abundance in any area of your life here are three simple steps you can take to start shifting your mindset:

1. The first step is to pay attention and look for those spotters of scarcity. Start identifying where it is happening. 

2. Ask yourself what you are hustling for, what is motivating you, what do you feel like you need more of?

Shifting your mindset needs awareness so you don’t get generate false contentment or affirmations that don’t feel true for you.

The next step is to see more clearly the abundance that is available to you in your life right now. 

3. Get grateful for what you DO have. This is a tip from Brooke Castillo, she recommends writing out a list of twenty things you want, and already have


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If scarcity mindset is something you struggle with and you would like more guidance on it, schedule a free 30-minute life coaching session with me and I will help you walk through it. 


To learn more about life coaching with me, go here. 

 the not-enough mindset how to spot scarcity mindset



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