by Sara S
Naturally gratitude has been on my mind this past week. It’s always good and healthy to pause and focus on what we’re thankful for. Too often on our debt journey I only think about what we owe and how can we make more money and how can we grow our business so we can pay off more. I’m constantly focused on needing more. This week, however, I kept thinking about the concept of an abundance mindset.
One reason is my 8-year-old has not been looking forward to Thanksgiving. We were originally going to spend it with my mom, my sisters, and their families. Now thanks to COVID it’s going to be just our family of five at home eating—total sacrilege!—a roasted chicken. (All the small turkey breasts were sold out.) My daughter declared through tears, “Everyone else in America is going to be eating turkey except us!”
I know she knows not everyone will really be eating turkey, and sadly many will not be eating a big dinner at all. But in her disappointment and frustration (which to be fair she’s had a lot of this year), all she could see was the lack. The scarcity. And girl, I do that all the time too.
Scarcity Mindset vs. Abundance Mindset
Stephen Covey popularized the ideas of a scarcity mindset and an abundance mindset in his 1989 book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” He explained that with a scarcity mentality you think there’s only one pie out there, and if someone gets a big slice then there’s less for everyone else. However, with an abundance mentality, you believe the pie is getting bigger and that there’s enough for everyone.
I also liked this definition from Scott Epp, an abundance life coach (I guess that’s a thing?):
“Abundance is completely believing that you are more than enough. You have more than enough and more than enough is coming to you in the future.”
Abundance Mindset During Debt Payoff
I struggle to see abundance in many areas of my life, but especially with our finances. But thank goodness for a day like today to remember we have a roof over our heads, clothes to wear, food to eat, clean water to drink, and jobs to support us.
Yes, we are deeply in debt. Yes, almost $3,000 of our income each month gets eaten up by our debt payments. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t still have enough. No matter what the Black Friday sales say, we have enough already.
Here are some myths I’ve been challenging as I’ve tried to shift to an abundance mindset:
Myth: We’ll be happier when our debts are paid off.
Reality: We can be happy now, no matter our circumstances. Life won’t begin when we pay off our debts.
Myth: We don’t make enough money to cover our debts.
Reality: We make enough to meet our needs and our minimum payments, and we can choose to work for more if we’d like. We have agency.
Myth: We can’t give much to others right now because we don’t have enough extra money.
Reality: We can give more money than we think, and we can also give more of our time.
Myth: We can’t do anything fun until our debt is paid off.
Reality: Fun things don’t have to cost money.
Myth: Our lives are nothing like the Joneses, so we need to change to be like them.
Reality: Our lives are nothing like the Joneses, and who cares? I’m happy they’re happy with what they have, but we’re not them.
I hope you all have a chance to see the abundance in your lives. This has been a nightmare of a year and I know so many are suffering. But things get dark if we forget there’s always something to be thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends.