After years of studying personal development, there’s one thing I know for sure: your mindset is everything. The way you think and how you view the world can impact how you experience life—whether you realize it or not.
For example, I'm willing to bet that you have at least one person in your life who just never finds anything to be good enough. They always have something to complain about, they're stingy with money, convinced that they don't get what they deserve, and are never satisfied with their situation.
Compare that person with your most positive friend. They're excited about the future, maybe, and are open to new experiences and possibilities. They're generous, grateful, and generally positive—even when going through hard times.
These people on paper might have similar finances, similar family dynamics, and similar challenges. But how they experience those challenges is totally different—because one of these people has successfully cultivated an abundance mentality.
What does it mean to have an abundance mentality?
An abundance mentality believes that there is more than enough for everyone and has trust that all your needs will be met. “It’s a mindset where possibilities exist and things in your life, including relationships, resources, money, love etc., feel energetically open and as if they’re happening for you and your highest good and the highest good of others,” says Kelsey Patel, wellness expert, reiki master, and author of the upcoming book Burning Bright: Rituals, Reiki + Self-Care to Heal Burnout, Anxiety and Stress. “You’re seeing opportunity, learning with gratitude within the tides of your life, and inviting change into your experiences as a positive force for your highest good.”
A scarcity mentality, on the other hand, believes that everything is limited and there is only so much love, joy, success, wealth, opportunities, and resources to go around. “Someone who has a scarcity mindset is typically worried a lot, never able to feel like a moment is good enough, or that the people in their lives, their job, their resources are never enough,” Patel says. “That’s not a fun place to live and operate from on a day-to-day basis, and it can feel very exhausting and depleting to always feel in lack.”
Having an abundance mentality doesn't necessarily require you to feel this way all the time. There are certainly going to be rough points that come up in everyone's life (loss, financial hardship, health struggles) that might in those times make it hard to feel like so many great opportunities exist. But the abundance mentality isn't about how you're feeling in the day-to-day—it's about how you approach life in general. Plus, having faith that change can be a positive force (you know, an abundance mentality) can potentially help you navigate the harder points of life.
TL;DR everyone could benefit from having their worldview be shaped by an abundance mindset. Keep reading for expert tips on how to cultivate it in yourself.
How to start developing an abundance mentality
1. Observe your thoughts and feelings
Developing an abundance mindset requires you to be vigilant with your thoughts, specifically the thoughts that don’t make you feel good. Spiritual coach and business mentor Amanda Frances suggests going through your day and making a note of any scarcity-based thoughts that pop up—like thinking you're not qualified enough for the promotion you really want, or worrying that all the "good" romantic partners are taken. Then, actively remind yourself that these stories you tell yourself are just that: stories, not facts. “We all hold internal ideas that say we can’t have what we want,” Frances says. “These ideas are often not ultimately true. There are [almost] always other possibilities and other realities for how life can work for you."
2. Find an Affirming mantra
Mantras are a great way to get into the practice of flexing your abundance mindset, because they can help you counter any scarcity-based thoughts that try to creep in. Some mantras Frances recommends repeating are: “It is always working out for me. I am deeply loved and wildly supported. I am so magnetic when it comes to attracting my desires.”
Licensed psychotherapist Nicole Iacovoni, LCSW, recommends the mantra: "I am grateful for the abundance I enjoy and my attitude of gratitude attracts more to me." Whatever your mantra of choice, she adds, be sure to state it in the present tense as if it’s happening now.
3. Journal it out
To dive even deeper into cultivating your abundance mindset, you can take pen to paper and write out new stories you want to believe about life and abundance. Here are four journal prompts Frances recommends asking yourself to help you expand what you believe is possible.
- If anything were possible for me, what would I really want? Think big here.
- What beliefs tell me I can’t have what I want? (For example, do you not feel good enough or capable enough?)
- Are those beliefs ultimately true?
- What is a more positive perception I can choose to believe instead?
4. Don’t compare yourself to others
Whether it’s money, success, material possessions, or connections, comparing what you have to what other people have is a one-way ticket to Scarcityville. “Instead, focus only on the gifts of abundance you currently experience in your own life and your dreams of what you hope to experience in the future,” Iacovoni says.
5. Expect that you will receive everything you desire
Expectations can be powerful—which is why Iacovoni recommends actively expecting the best rather than the worst. “When you hold a vision of the life you want in your mind, you unconsciously begin to behave in alignment with that vision and actively create it,” she says. “Expecting to experience all your heart's desires in this life, whether that be traveling around the world, finding your soulmate, having children, becoming wealthy, or landing your dream job, helps you cultivate an attitude of abundance and greatly increases the likelihood of you actually experiencing those things.”
6. Be open to all possibilities
An abundance mentality is also about expanding what you believe is possible. Frances encourages believing anything is possible. “What you are creating internally is reflected externally,” she says. So open yourself up to believe that opportunities for abundance are unlimited and all around you. Believe that there is always more than enough for you.
7. Step up your gratitude practice
One of the best ways to step up your abundance mentality is by practicing gratitude for the things you already have in your life, big and small, and really feel the emotion behind it. “Allow that energy to really reside and resonate in your body,” Patel says. “That way you can start to feel what it’s like to have abundance. More abundance comes from allowing the energy of abundance into your life now. Everything is energy. Everything we are and everything we do is rooted in energy.”
8. Look for evidence of abundance in your life
Beyond being grateful for the people and things in your life, it’s also really helpful to acknowledge the times abundance has been present in your reality. Iacovoni suggests writing down a big list of times when your needs were provided for in all areas—love, joy, resources, money, opportunities, etc. “Having lists of concrete examples that show the abundance you’re currently experiencing in your life hardwires the belief in abundance,” she says.
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