From average lifespan to per capita income, we’re living in more abundant times than ever before. Yet a scarcity mindset seems to be the default mode of the modern world: we’ve learned to focus on what’s lacking and often spend more time worrying about what might go wrong than appreciating what’s going right.
When it comes to abundance, it’s not the external circumstances that we’re living, but our perception – how prosperous we feel – that truly matters. Research has shown that it’s possible for two people to have the same amount of money in the bank with one feeling that it’s not even nearly enough while the other counts themselves fortunate.
Thankfully, an abundance mindset can be consciously cultivated: each moment gives us another chance to shift our perspective and notice more of the blessings that surround us. Begin your own adventure of living in total abundance, using our handy roadmap below…
For many people abundance is synonymous with money and material possessions, but blessings show up in so many ways. What are the areas of plenty in your life? Abundance can show up as good ideas, artistic inspiration, beautiful surroundings, learning opportunities, fun and adventures or work that you’re passionate about… the list goes on. Recognise each as a component of your personal prosperity and notice how much more abundant you feel. And as psychiatrist Robert Waldinger explains in this illuminating TED Talk, what contributes the most to our happiness, hands down, is having meaningful relationships. So cherish your friends and family, for they are the true wealth in our lives.
Become aware of abundance
With their bias towards negative news, newspapers and TV channels will dutifully report every natural disaster and crime, yet progress and human compassion are no less prevalent – they’re just under-reported. In the same way, many of us go about our lives with a habitual scarcity mindset, constantly aware of what we don’t have. But scarcity is just another set of glasses we look through – the abundance is there as well, if we consciously look for it, and once we’ve tuned into that station, it gets easier to see more evidence of it.
One of the easiest ways to keep bringing our thoughts back to the joys in our life is to keep a gratitude journal. So dust off your journal if you’ve neglected it for a while and start writing down your blessings. Practising gratitude opens us up to receiving more.
Do you ever struggle to accept gifts or offers of help from others? Sometimes we’re inadvertently blocking the flow of abundance into our lives by feeling guilty over receiving and fearing that we don’t truly deserve these gifts. If accepting good things is an issue for you, you might want to reflect on how you’ve picked up the habit and start unravelling it by practising the opposite. Say ‘yes’ more and affirm to yourself: ‘I deserve all good things in life’. Once we feel more open to receiving, we may find that a lot more starts coming our way!
Notice also if you only allow yourself nice things when you feel like you’ve ‘earned’ them, perhaps through hard work or struggle… Could you let yourself enjoy a treat sometimes ‘just because’? An occasional fresh bouquet of flowers or a special meal with all the trimmings doesn’t have to break the bank, but could make a huge difference to how abundant you feel.
Share your abundance
The flipside of receiving is giving, and as counterintuitive as it may sound, giving away what we feel is missing from our lives can get us instantly into a more abundant frame of mind. When we’re low on funds, donating just a couple of pounds to our favourite charity or a few items to a local food bank will send a strong message to our subconscious mind that we’re actually pretty fortunate. And when it comes to things like love and appreciation, we’ll find that giving more to others can make us feel so good that the lines of giving and receiving begin to blur… Remember also that love is a thing we can and should give ourselves too!
Speak of abundance
People love to complain, there’s no doubt about that! Having a good rant can be a way to let off some steam and discussing problems can provide much needed clarity. However, when complaining becomes a habit, it can sabotage our efforts to create a more abundant mentality. Make a conscious effort to steer your conversations with others to more positive topics when you can: speak of the things you’re excited about and ask others what’s been the best thing about their week. Life will always have its good and challenging sides alike – and we get to choose which one we give more airtime.1