We live in a world that believes scarcity is real.
It’s both a psychology and a choice, a choice often inflicted on others by people in power. In truth, abundance is a natural state. Nature has no limits. There is enough food on the planet to feed the world. There’s no limit to the air, water, and means of creating or providing shelter to all people. This is not what we see, but it is what’s possible. Scarcity has taken over as a dominant belief in most societies, including ours. It’s a trance.
Scarcity hinders our personal expression and we think from it whenever we make a choice. It’s scarcity that causes you to take the first opportunity, date, or deal that comes your way. It’s scarcity that makes it hard to say no to “great opportunities” even when they’re not great for you. A belief in scarcity leads to unfulfilling choices. It drives you to settle–to take what’s available and make the best of it. This may be inconsequential, or even beneficial, when you have an urgent need and can use whatever is before you as a bridge to get through a challenging time and onto something better. Yet, it negatively impacts the trajectory of your life when you use it a guiding force.
In her 20’s, Barbara had a passion for art.
She dreamed of becoming a fine art dealer or curator. Barbara’s family had no understanding of the art business. It was foreign and scary to them. They didn’t want to see Barbara fail and be unable to support herself, so in the name of love, they shared their doubts and discouragement with her. Around that time, Barbara was offered an administrative management job at the local hospital. The job paid well, offered great benefits and was very stable. For Barbara’s mother, it was a dream come true. She beamed with pride and spent endless hours convincing her that this job was perfect. She told Barbara that she had to take it because she was “very lucky” to have been offered it and warned her not to be “foolish” and pass it up. “Opportunities like this don’t come along for everyone,” her mother admonished.
Barbara took the job.
Twenty years have passed and her passion for art remains. Over the years, opportunities to explore a career in the arts have come up, but her family’s (and now her own) scarcity arguments have held her in place–clinging to an unfulfilling career. It’s become intolerably painful. The realization that by choosing the sure thing she’s betrayed her passion and spent decades existing in what, to her is, mediocrity makes her weep.
Now the stakes are higher and she has more to lose. She has children, a mortgage and two dogs. It’s much harder to take a major risk. Our work together revolves around finding opportunities that support her dream and keep her life functioning, too.
Barbara is working at a major museum on the weekends and has created a partnership with an artist she admires. The scarcity that’s run her life has been outweighed by the anguish of acknowledging her mortality and realizing she’s slept on her dreams. She’s driven and determined to create the life she’s been wanting for twenty-years. She will.
What might the last years have been if Barbara hadn’t lived from scarcity? How would her life be different if she”d made choices from a belief in abundant opportunities?
How might your life be different if you lived from a place of unlimited possibility and abundance?
When I determined to change my future, I had nothing but my belief in possibility.
I was broke, a dropout, on welfare, a single mom with no connections. I shudder to think about the life I’d be living if I’d believed in scarcity and clung to my first jobs (server at an ice cream shop, assistant at a Uhaul office, door to door insurance salesperson, corporate assistant). Thankfully, I was wise or foolish enough, depending on your perspective (abundance or scarcity), to know that while the odds seemed to be against me, they were irrelevant. Somehow, I knew that life confirms beliefs–whatever they are. I believed that ultimately I would have personal and professional success on my terms. Barbara’s bills have been paid for the last twenty years, but she’s gone bankrupt in the dream department. It wasn’t worth it.
Life is full of ups and downs, it just is, and no path is free of challenges. Clinging to safety won’t save you. Believe in abundance–it’s the fundamental state of creation. Be smart and make the short-term choices that get you from place to place with the most ease as you travel to the place on your path where your passion, purpose, and prosperity intersect. This place exists.
Believe it in and you’ll see it.
What one belief has held you back the most? Please share your answer in the comments below. ~ Cynthia