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Sufficiency Mindset

Scarcity. Abundance. Sufficiency.

These words have come up a lot lately in my work with clients, and in my personal life, too. They are frameworks for how we approach the world.

These days, we are all strongly influenced by the "scarcity" model. There never seems to be enough…time, money, resources, hope, possibility, etc. The news is full of all that is wrong, and harmful. We make decisions out of fear, even when there is no evidence that supports the fear. We are afraid that there won’t be enough.

At the same time, we witness longingly those whom we assume live in abundance. We peer into the windows of our neighbors, certain that they are never afraid because they have nothing to worry about -not really.

Between the opposite river banks of scarcity and abundance, there is a bridge we rarely let ourselves cross: sufficiency. When I approach things in my life from the perspective of sufficiency, there is always enough ... time, money, resources, hope, and possibility. When I believe there is enough time, I figure out how to make things work. When I assume that there is hope, I find a workable solution.

My perspective - my mindset - actually changes the possibilities.

Here's a real life example of what I mean. A client called me frazzled, complaining that she didn’t have enough time to get everything done, much less the time to do anything she wanted to do. She was feeling frantic. Even over the phone I could feel the pressure on her shoulders.

Despite that nearly everything necessary for her to accomplish was already scheduled on her calendar (a great strategy, by the way!), she was sure there was not enough time.

I asked her to take a few minutes to write down what she would want to do "if she had the time." We were both surprised by the simplicity of her list (a walk, laundry, errands, etc.).

Next, I asked her to estimate the time required for each item, and to see what she could fit comfortably into the next 2 days. With extended time, all it took was 4 days to get everything accomplished.

Why am I telling you this? Because In five minutes, when my client changed from a mindset of scarcity to one of sufficiency, everything she wanted to do was possible. She left the call feeling lighter and more relaxed. And all that had shifted was her point of view.

Her homework, by the way, is to pay attention in the coming week to the messages she hears from colleagues, friends, and in the media, that reinforce the black and white ideas of scarcity and abundance. She will spend this week noticing when people are stuck believing ungrounded fears, and figure out what 'sufficiency' message she wants to choose, instead. I can’t wait to hear how this experiment goes for her. 

So what about you? Do you STILL believe that there is not enough?

What are YOU going to do about it?

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