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  • Writer's pictureSaira Valley

Scarcity Mindset and limiting your potential

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

There is more than one apple for the world.

I suppose it makes sense that for years I struggled under the weight of the scarcity mindset. I grew up in a developing country, surrounded by poverty and violence and had mega financial instability at home. Almost all of my friends came from well off to very wealthy families, and it was never lost on me that we were very much middle class. I felt constant guilt for having better circumstances than most of the country, and constant envy and lust for the comfortable life of riches my friends enjoyed.

Talk about a recipe for inner conflict!

As an adult, I obsessed over everything. My health, my financial status, the kinds of cars I drove and clothes I wore. How I showed up in life was a very big deal, and I put a lot of effort into it. Still, I constantly found myself restless, unsatisfied and chronically worried. Was the pain in my back cancer? Was this job my last job ever? Was this fight with a friend the end of our entire relationship? There was no gray, there were no shades of black or white. There was just disaster, waiting. One shade, 24/7. To avoid said disaster, the only logical solution? Was to hoard like a squirrel for the imminent famine.

In non-squirrel terms, hoarding meant never allowing myself to dream beyond exactly where I was. It meant I would CLING to what I had because if I dared to reach beyond that, I would most certainly fail and be homeless. It also meant that I needed to be right about everything at work, because if I was wrong, it meant I was expendable. It also meant I had to be in constant control at work and at home, because if anything unexpected happened, I would fall off the edge of the earth. You know, epic and awful.

It didn’t occur to me for many, many years that I had been living my entire life in the scarcity mindset (Thank YOU Stephen Covey READ "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) The scarcity mindset in its simplest terms means you are insecure about your stability and your future. You believe resources are finite and that there is never going to be enough for everyone, and if someone else has something, it reduces your chance of having it too. So as an example from my own life, if my friend Raj (fake friend for this story) had a million rupees, that meant I wouldn’t ever have a million rupees. Because that is the ONLY MILLION RUPEES ON EARTH.

There are in fact many, many more apples for Raj and me and you and everyone we know and heck everyone we don't know! Shedding my feral commitment to the scarcity mindset was a very interesting, challenging and ultimately rewarding journey. It took practice and patience, but now that I am on the other side I feel like I can do anything. The only limit to my potential is my own imagination and drive. Even though I require less control at home and at work, I am actually more successful in my relationships personally and professionally and as a result FEEL more in control of my life. Somehow by letting go, I achieved more control than I did holding on for dear life.

Allowing myself to say, hey maybe someone else is right, doesn’t mean I am wrong. It means together, we are better! Working with someone without needing to be right all the time, means there is SO much more room for collaborative ideas and solutions. Everybody CAN win. Trusting that health today does not mean my health bank is empty and tomorrow I will die, means I am lighter on my feet and so much happier and less stressed day to day. Once I let go of the false narrative that everything was scarce, suddenly abundance was everywhere! I am no longer afraid because the future is abundant, because that is what I am sowing for myself. Abundance. Everyday I am planting more and more apple seeds, which will lead to more and more trees, which means, TONS of apples! More than I could ever enjoy alone.

Over the next few weeks I am going to share some tips and strategies that worked for me to basically do a full 180 on my limiting beliefs and live my truest, most authentic, positive and FULL life. My sister Minessa and I are going to host a podcast about this very topic! I will post the link as soon as we schedule it.

In the meantime, read the book by Stephen Covey READ "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People!

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