The Scarcity Mentality

I’m realizing more and more I write about the MOST vulnerable topics.

Today, I want to write about something I’ve been working through recently.  And by recently I definitely mean since I was 5 years old until last week.

When I was small, I met a girl who became my closest person.  She was everything that I wasn’t.  Which from a healthy standpoint, would be great.  Two friends who complement each other.  But from the scarcity mentality, it was not so great.  She was Type A, I was Type B.  She was an A student, I was a B student.  She was on the dance team, I was in band.  I know this sounds reminiscent of a Taylor Swift song but the point is I always, always compared myself with her.  Being an only child, she was basically my sister.  And I felt I always fell short.

The most vivid example I can give is our closets.  Her closet was COLOR coordinated at age 13! I remember enviously eyeing her gorgeous clothing and feeling super inadequate.  My closet didn’t even have clothes.  Not because I was poor, well that’s another story truthfully, but because I moved all my clothes out of it and put a sleeping bag, a lamp, and pillows in it.  Think Lane in Gilmore Girls meets Harry Potter pre-Hogwarts.  I transformed my closet into a mini room where I felt I could reflect and journal.  Which is kind of cool, actually.  I now believe that those are the things that make me different and who I am.  But back in the day, man, her closet was all I wanted in life!

Comparison has been the one crippling weakness that has worn me down over and over again.  In a conversation with a friend, I realized what we do when we compare. We compare, we glorify what the other person has, and then you end up condemning ourselves because we feel like we’ll never be that, never have that.

A lot of us, perhaps, live our lives feeling the lack of what we are not.  This is what I want to call The Scarcity Mentality.  The scarcity mentality, is a mindset in which you focus on your lack & inflate other people’s strengths to the point where you feel like you can’t measure up.  The scarcity mentality holds you back from living fully and applying your own personal strengths and gifts.

The scarcity mentality can also include feeling like there’s not enough to go around, like someone else’s success means your failure.  Or when someone else is highlighted you feel diminished.  I’m not proud to have felt this way, but I’ve felt this way for a long, long time.  I’m learning to break out of it and hoping that if this resonates for you it can help you too.

The truth is that we have ABUNDANCE if we would only realize it.  Abundance in so many ways and things and truths but we’ve become blind to the abundance because of our stubborn fixation on our lack.

Let’s talk for a moment about Christmas.  That is where my scarcity mentality kicks into full gear.  If I hear the word “potluck” one more time… I just can’t cook well! Potlucks are my worst nightmare.  Once, I contemplated on bringing just beer and candy to a Christmas party because I can’t even.  And then when other people cook well I’m just like well that will never be me because I can’t even cook toast properly at this point in my life.  Do you get what I’m saying? I’m exaggerating, by the way, I can cook toast.

Wrapping gifts? Same deal. And with the people who CAN wrap gifts, I’m just thinking like… “Them.  Those are the ones that are going to make it in life.”

Christmas Comparison, is a thing. And something to be mindful of…especially for those who are prone to the scarcity mentality.  Switch to the abundance mentality.  I’ve learned that the more you can feel confident in your strengths, the more you can appreciate and celebrate others freely without condemning yourself!

~Comparison is the thief of joy~