How A Scarcity Mindset Is Holding You Back

How A Scarcity Mindset Is Holding You Back


by Linda Allen

Scarcity mindset.  Defining a term can sometimes get a little tricky.  Especially as it relates to an individual’s experience, perspectives affect definitions.  So I don’t want to get bogged down in a discussion about minimum wage, or personal commitment in a relationship, or greed vs. need.  What I do want is to challenge you to reconsider the things in your life that are likely holding you back from greater success and happiness.  And probably holding those around you back as well.


wallet with clamp pexels


Having been a business owner and entrepreneur for many years, I know the challenges.  I know the amount of time, money, and heart that we must put into our business for it to succeed.  And of course, we expect a payoff.  Hey, we’re not in this just for the fun of it.


Scarcity Breeds Scarcity

Most of us have experienced scarcity at some time in our lives.  Often, it’s a scarcity of money.  But it could be about time or even love.  Regardless, it plays the same.  We develop a subconscious, or worse conscious,  belief that there’s not enough of something.  While that may be an accurate interpretation of what’s happening in the present, it becomes a problem when we hang on to that belief.   The effects are self-defeating.  Holding a scarcity mindset is frequently what’s keeping you from the very things you desire.


A Metaphor

Perhaps you’ve heard the metaphorical story about the monkey who, of course, liked peanuts.  As the story goes, this little fellow is lured into a cage, the openings of which are just big enough for him to squeeze his hand.  Just outside the cage is a bowl of peanuts.

As any monkey would do, he extends his hand and takes a palm full of peanuts.  But to his dismay, he finds he cannot bring his full hand back through the caging.  Having an empty tummy and having not had any peanuts for some time, he refuses to let go of the peanuts.  This, in spite of the fact that he can see there are other bowls of peanuts nearby.  He has these nuts in his hand, and he’s determined to hang on to them.


monkey pexels


After a time the peanuts become sweaty, then even a bit moldy.  Still, he won’t let go.  He hangs on and keeps himself from having the very thing he’d love – – abundant peanuts.


What Are Your Moldy Peanuts?

We’re all guilty of holding on to our moldy peanuts.  The “safe” job.  Running your business the same way you always have because . . . it works.  The relationship sucks all the life out of us.  Or anything else we may hang on to out of the fear of change.

And while we may pretend to be oblivious to our situation, intuitively we know the prices we’re paying.  In business,  we use a variety of tried and tested tools and rules to make our business profitable.  They work. But when do they become moldy peanuts?

Let’s look at time and money.  The two things we’re always juggling.  What if some of our basic beliefs about them are flawed?

You might naturally think that if you allocate less time to your job, your productivity would suffer.  But in his book “The Five Hour Work Day,” author Stephan Aarstol says the opposite.  In fact, he shows how much more successful the team and business became after their workday was reduced to five hours.  And at the same time enjoying the same or even more income.

Similarly, when Seattle business owner Dan Price decided to give all his employees raises to at least $70,000, there was no drop in profitability.  And the same has been seen in other companies that are following his example.


empty hand scarcity pexels


Let Go Of Old Beliefs

As I consider the above examples, I see a common thread.  In each case, they let go of scarcity thinking.  When they did so, the magic began.  A new level of prosperity, in time and money, was achieved by the employees, the team, and the business.

Is it time to re-evaluate your attitudes about scarcity?  What’s out there, just beyond your reach?  Simply waiting for you to let go of the old and claim something better?  I mean, really.  Who wants moldy peanuts, anyway?

(Images via





Share :