Advantages of an Abundance Mindset
A little clay bull sits beside the computer monitor at my desk to remind me to have an abundance mindset. Why would a clay bull remind me of this you ask? In today’s post I’ll explain the significance behind the bull, tell you a story of how an abundance mindset saved me $10,000 dollars and share some suggestions for cultivating an abundance mindset yourself.
What Does it Mean to Have an Abundance Mindset?
Before we begin, just in case the concept of an abundance mindset is new to you, let’s talk a little bit about what this means. Perhaps the easiest way to explain what an abundance mindset looks like is to describe someone that doesn’t have one. The opposite of an abundance mindset is often referred to as a scarcity mindset. Someone with a scarcity mindset is always afraid they don’t have enough in life and they often feel the need to hold tightly to things because they believe there isn’t enough for everyone. They can be jealous of the success they see in others and are fearful of change. Because of this they typically wait for life to happen to them, rather than “grabbing the bull by horns” and making things happen.
Conversely a person operating from an abundance mindset is an optimist. They can find a way to spin a positive light on almost any situation and are always expecting the best to happen. As a result, they are not afraid of the future because they believe that there are infinite possibilities to achieve success. And because of this they can feel genuine happiness for someone else when they watch them achieving their goals. They are not afraid to share, as they feel there is more than enough to go around - it doesn’t matter if it is money, business or recognition. In addition, they are comfortable thinking big because they allow their mind to be open to the multitude of possibilities of getting from point A to point B.
Most people are somewhere in between these two parameters, but it is clear which mindset we want to guide our brains to operate from. We’ll get to how to do that in a minute, after I tell you about the bull and the $10,000 saved story.
Abundance, Protection and Well Being - Symbolized by the Pucara Bulls
The little Pucará bull was a welcome gift at the hotel we stayed at for our retreat in Ollantaytambo, Peru. Two years ago today we were at Machu Picchu which explains the reason why Peru has been at the top of my mind lately. Anyway, this little bull is often found in pairs sitting atop the homes in the sacred valley area. It is thought to bring prosperity, well being and fertility to those that live in the home. They also represent the concept of Andean duality; the idea that male and female, day and night, positive and negative and other opposing ideas are divided into complementary parts. And further that the harmony of the universe depends on the harmony between these opposing polarities. The merging of the two bulls represents the fusion of the positive and negative energies which are needed to find equilibrium and accomplish a common goal.
If you look closely you will see that the bulls eyes are wide open, representing the act of being alert in the world and able to practice self-observation. I also like to use this as a metaphor to remind me that to find abundance and prosperity one must keep their eyes wide open to both look for and expect opportunities.
A Story of an Abundance Mindset
Years ago I was a single mom, going to school and living paycheck to paycheck. I had recently become aware of the concept of your thoughts creating your reality and was constantly listening to books on tape such as Think and Grow Rich. I was trying every kind of money mindset technique possible to elevate my financial situation and was working diligently at it daily. I had also been introduced to the concept that everything is made of energy, that this energy is always moving and that energy moves toward equilibrium. This made sense to me. If I think about it now in the simplest of examples, it takes inertia to move something uphill. It is far easier to simply stay put. It seemed to me that elevating my financial state may also require this kind of mental inertia. Further, I had been told that when working in the subconscious realm to change your current reality, sometimes when you are close to making big gains you may suffer some setbacks as energy seeks to return to a state of equilibrium.
At that time I was making monthly payments on a red Ford diesel pickup truck that I had bought at a used car lot. One day on the way to work I noticed it making some strange and alarming noises. I happened to be driving past a Ford dealership, so I took a quick left and pulled into the service portion of their parking lot. They pulled it inside to take a look and after waiting what felt like an eternity, one of the mechanics came out and asked me to follow him back to the truck so that he could show me the problem and explain what was needed to fix it. Two other mechanics joined us to peer under the hood as he proceeded to tell me that I needed a new engine. My choice was a new one for around $10,000 or roughly half that for a rebuilt one that couldn’t be guaranteed to work. My heart sank to my knees as I told them I was going to have to consider this. I pulled the truck out of the dealership and into a nearby parking lot and burst into tears. I didn’t have any way to get my hands on five thousand dollars, let alone ten thousand. After the initial shock wore off, I remembered that setbacks are possible when you are close to making big shifts in reality. I purposefully decided to take the viewpoint that I was close to making big shifts in my financial situation. I sat there in the vehicle and stated affirmations until I got myself super psyched up. “Yes!” I shouted aloud to no-one but myself. “I’m so close!!!”
I’d revved myself up so much I was actually smiling as I pulled away. A few minutes later I thought to myself that I should get a second opinion. This was an out of the ordinary thought for me at the time. I knew nothing about cars and was used to simply accepting the recommendations of whatever seemingly wiser person had told me. So I noticed a small vehicle repair shop on my way to work and decided to pull in and ask them to take a look. The kind man behind the counter was the owner of the shop. He gave me a puzzled look when I explained what I had been told at the dealership. He said that while he was not a diesel mechanic and didn’t work on diesels himself, he had never heard of one of the engines in a truck such as mine failing. He said they were extremely good engines and were built to last. He gave me the name and phone number of someone he knew that used to work at the Ford plant and now does a little repair work on the side. Two weeks later after a lot of mental inertia work, the man had fixed my truck for around $200. I was elated. And though I didn’t realize it at the time, when I looked back later my income had doubled in a short time thereafter as well - new job, raises and promotions. My abundance mindset certainly paid off big that day and in the months that followed.
Cultivating an Abundance Mindset
So what are some ways that you can practice having an abundance mindset? There are countless books on this subject, but I'll give you some straightforward suggestions that I like to follow in general.
Begin each day with a positive attitude before you even jump out of bed. Proclaim aloud that this is going to be a great day.
Start a daily abundance practice. This is just slightly different from a gratitude journal in that you list all the ways you have more than you need. Keep in mind this is not purely monetary. Abundance can come in many different forms. As an example, my mother has come to recognize abundance with respect to always having a full refrigerator as so many family members often bring her meals and things to eat. Abundance to you may be a bookshelf full of great things to read. It could be trees in your backyard or good friends you can count on. You get the idea. I like to rotate listing things that are abundant in my life with things I am grateful for. Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s are gratitude days for me and on Tuesdays and Thursdays I list abundance.
Be happy for the success of others. Congratulate them. And if what they have is something you’ve been longing for, instead of allowing jealously to creep in, decide to take the perspective that if they can achieve this, it is possible that you can too.
Share with others - money, time, smiles and more. When you give, you recognize you have more than what you need. And if you consciously acknowledge this fact, it will give you psychological boost as well.
Decide to adopt the belief that because energy likes equilibrium, when things aren’t going as well as you like you must be really close to a breakthrough, a windfall or success. Let yourself believe and get really excited about this. The more you psych yourself up the better.
When you go to bed at night, fall asleep creating a dream about what your ideal life looks like. Try to fill in all the details, imagining it vividly.
Choose to be around other people that are naturally positive or that also intend to have an abundance mindset. Together you can strengthen each other’s practice. If possible, find a way to let go of negative unhealthy relationships or inspire a loved one to look at things in a more positive light. Tell them about what you are doing and ask for their support.
Take action to become a lifelong learner. Make learning new things a way of life and nurture the belief that not only do you like learning new things, but that you are good at it too. In this way your brain gets used to being open minded and is always looking for ways to make things better, simpler, more fun, etc.
Recognize that there are going to be times when you strongly don’t feel like being positive. Allow yourself to have this time and perhaps give yourself a timeframe for how long you intend to let it last. Observe what you feel without scolding yourself or attempting to guilt yourself out of it. See if you can notice any patterns in what causes your mood to shift in this way. Try to withhold judgement and recognize that this is a practice - nobody has an abundance mindset 100% of the time. Think of practicing an abundance mindset to be like lifting weights. At first you’ll start with small weights and don’t feel like you are accomplishing much but gradually over time, with practice, you’ll get stronger and stronger.
Do you have any other tips for cultivating an abundance mindset? If so, share your thoughts with the rest of the Kula in the Comments section below. Wishing you an abundance of happiness this week! Julie