Having an abundance mentality is one of the tools (for lack of a better term) that is helping me to make significant strides in my life and career. By focusing on what I have instead of what I lack, I get to use my resources to look for opportunities, meet more people who will support me in my goals, and focus on how to make things happen instead of whining about my difficulties and problems.
It’s often a challenge to develop an abundance mentality because most of us were raised in a culture of scarcity, that life is about survival of the fittest. We were taught that we have to compete for money, time, and position if we don’t want to end up being poor or a major loser. In my case, it didn’t help that my family actually encountered some hardship and that I chose a very competitive career. I pounded the business news beat and for years valued myself based on what I achieved vis-a-vis other reporters. Needless to say, being too competitive only made me sad and insecure, and kept me from pursuing what my heart truly desired.
It took a personal crisis and years of inner work to make the shift from scarcity-based beliefs to abundance mentality. There’s no quick way to achieve this, but there are many simple steps that you can do now to start making an abundance mentality work for you.
1. Start the day right, with meditation and affirmation.
Do this first thing in the morning, soon after you wake up: just sit for a while and meditate. It doesn’t matter what kind of meditation style you prefer – I, for one, always put on my iPod to listen to a guided chakra healing meditation by my intuitive coach Christina Ambubuyog. Then set your intentions and make an affirmation, something like your personal mantra.
Here’s one lovely affirmation that I got from Leonie Dawson that you might want to use: “All good things are coming into my life. I receive abundance in a rainbow of ways.” It is important to begin your day training your mind to focus on abundance – this will help you get through the day, as you encounter both small and big difficulties that will surely come in the daily course of living. Treat this as a mental exercise that will gradually build your abundance “muscle.”
2. Keep a gratitude journal.
Every day, list three to five things that you are thankful for. It can be something small like having a freshly brewed coffee for breakfast or receiving a romantic text message from your partner. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is. What is important is that you learn how to count your blessings. Reading and writing in your journal every day will make you aware that you have many good things in your life, allow you to be more grateful, and open your energy to more abundance.
3. Drop the blame game.
Whining about your problems won’t make them go away, much less solve them. And if you continue to look for someone or something to blame, you’re bringing down your energy, which keeps you from seeing real opportunities that are already within you.
4. Put yourself on a digital diet.
Social networking sites may be a great way to connect to your friends and family, but they also spur you to compare yourself with others, which only depresses you and makes you question your choices in life. If you can’t help but be envious when you see a friend’s cool travel photos on Facebook or an announcement from one of your colleagues on LinkedIn bragging about her promotion, then please get away from that social network site ASAP! You can’t learn to appreciate your blessings if you keep on comparing yourself to others.
5. Eat more veggies.
What you eat affects how you think. I’m not advocating for anyone to be a vegetarian or adopt a raw food diet. But having a healthier diet – more vegetables, moderate portions of meat and carbs, and a little less of cakes and pastries – is not only good for the body but also keeps you light, allows you to think more clearly, and helps you to enjoy a more positive vibe.
Like any other tool for personal development, an abundance mentality is something that you need to develop over time. I, for one, am not completely free of limiting beliefs. I still worry about things and second-guess my decisions — even if my heart is telling me that this is the best decision for me — simply because I’m afraid to lose something: a friend, a job, my savings. I am certainly no Pollyanna who believes that life can always be happy and bright, because it won’t and it never will never be; that’s just how life is.
Still, I continue to hope and believe that this is an abundant universe, capable of giving us anything that we need and deserve to have. It is this mindset that in the end encouraged me to fulfill a childhood dream of having my own media business. Thanks to my semi-flexible schedule as a journalist, I have managed to develop a side project, a travel blog that I’m growing into a full-fledged multimedia site for female travelers. It may be a small project right now, but I’m confident that it will soon grow into a thriving business.