Thursday, May 20, 2021

Scarcity Mindset vs. Legitimate Concern

As someone that scratched, clawed and efforted their way into the middle class, I became a champion expert at a number of things, one of which was the art of "No."  Along the path of building financial security, I like many others had to make choices about what I valued more at any given moment.  The choices were often between saving and spending whether on a physical possession or a life experience.  I can't and won't lie to you and suggest that I always chose saving.  Sometimes, I chose the experience but tried to do it in a financially mindful way.  But many times, I chose to save.  This choice served me well and allowed me to climb to a place of security I had never known before, but it must also be recognized that the mind can glom onto the instinct to save and struggle to let go even when the life circumstance has changed.  They present as limiting beliefs, sneaking up on you when you least expect it.  It's truly critical that we begin to question our thoughts and evaluate whether or not the mind is being fair in its evaluation of the risk it thinks it's protecting us from or whether it's simply handing out an unnecessary limitation.

Those of us utilizing Law of Attraction and its principles in our lives are often calling for things to flow into our experience, but not necessarily being open enough to the manner in which those things might arrive.  One of my clients (who has given permission for this little anecdote to be used) is working with me not only in the design of her financial life but also in the quality of her life experience as well.  In her vision for her life, she sees a bit more travel than in recent years.  She would like to be able to travel at least twice annually, one trip that involves family and one that does not.  She recently achieved the milestone of prepaying for a trip to see her family when something remarkable happened.  A co-worker, with a really interesting music-industry side gig offered her free tickets to a show sometime in July.  It's a musician she enjoys and was really excited about the prospect of going to this concert.  Cue Scarcity Mindset!  After mentioning it, her reaction was somewhat dismissive of it because it would involve a flight and hotel for a couple of nights.  She was suddenly struck by a severe case of "I can't afford it!"  What happened next, is really mind-boggling.  I asked the most riveting question you can imagine (note the dripping sarcasm) "Did you price it out?"  Admittedly she hadn't.  

This is where data is our friend.  Sometimes our minds are literally protecting us from making financial mistakes, but other times they are simply repeating old patterns and blocking us from the flow of something we want into our life experience.  We need to do a little digging to discover which is in play.  My client did a quick two-minute search and discovered that the airline tickets were significantly less expensive than she had anticipated, as were hotel rates.  She could easily cash flow this experience over the course of the next couple of months.

I've been attacked by a very similar case of scarcity mindset recently too.  Fortunately, I noticed it right away.  My partner and I are in the real estate market, and combing through tons of listings, seeing places, etc.  There are certain things that I really want in my next home that really do border on "need," but some of these things come with a higher price tag, which causes a big reaction in the mind.  I'm noticing a certain resistance to looking at anything listed above my "ideal price."  On one hand, the mind is obviously trying to protect me from getting in over my head.  However, anyone that's been involved in real estate transactions knows that list prices and sales prices are not the same things.  How can I call to the universe to meet my needs and automatically shut down anything it has to offer in order to meet them?  This is where an eye to the future we're building becomes key, in both the dream-becomes-reality aspect and the number-crunching financial one.

The reality that I am creating for myself involves having a bit of outdoor space and a space to do my work.  I could deny myself these things, but the truth is that the direction things are going in my life, they're quickly becoming more needs than wants.   In order to honor these needs, it's important to remain open to allowing a space that meets them to flow into our experience.  Moreover, it's important to realistically evaluate our financial picture as well.  I mean this in two ways: don't get in "over your head," and recognize which parts of your financial picture are there for the long term versus temporary ones.  There are questions like "will this make us house poor?" that need to be answered, and in doing so there are follow-up questions.  Remember, data is our friend!  Will our household income go up or down?  Can we anticipate by how much?  Are there debts that will be eliminated over the next few years that will remove certain bills from our lives?  How will these new payments fit into our 50/30/20 Budget right now, and with the future projected income changes?  Doing our homework should help determine whether this is a legitimate concern or simply scarcity mindset in play!

Scarcity mindset doesn't simply disappear.  It repeats itself over and over again forcing us to deal with it.  Sometimes, it even comes veiled as legitimate concern; or the other way around. Sometimes legitimate concern can be dismissed as scarcity mindset.  This is where facts are our friends, and keeping our eye on the future we are creating for ourselves can help us maintain our sense of security as we create the life we're longing to live. 

No comments:

Post a Comment