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Overcoming Scarcity Mindset

What comes to mind when you think of pursuing your life’s true calling? Does it excite you?

Or do you feel anxious, uncertain, or overwhelmed at the idea of finding greater joy and fulfillment in your life?

You know what you need to do to get ahead.

You know in your heart that you were destined for greatness, but you have no idea what that is or how to get it. Or maybe you get off to a good start, but something limits your success and you just can’t seem to break through.

When we don’t know what will happen in the future, a scarcity mindset can make you think and act in ways that hold you back from seeing how successful you can be.

You might feel like you do not have much knowledge, like you don’t have the means, or like you aren’t good enough to go after your goal.

You might wonder, “Who am I to follow this dream?” If this describes you in any way, know that you are not alone; everyone feels this way sometimes. I’ve even felt and thought this way multiple times throughout my life.

My name is Omar Deryan. I’m the CEO of OJ Digital Solutions, an agency that has made me $1.5M net in the past 4 years. I still don’t consider myself “successful” as that’s subjective and a big word. But I struggled with a scarcity mindset for too long, and it was until I started working on my mindset that I began truly seeing results in my entire life, including my business life.

In fact, success is not an event that happens when you “find” winning tactics or secret methods. Success is more of a process that you live, and that happens only when you change your mindset.

That said, if you’re ready to learn how you can work on your mindset to achieve greater things, then read on.

What Is Scarcity Mindset?

A “scarcity mindset” was first introduced by author Stephen Covey in his famous book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

A scarcity mindset comes from believing there’s never enough. This toxic view poisons our thoughts and self-talk.

People with a scarcity mindset are conscious of the gaps in their lives, which leads to counterproductive thoughts, especially when they consider the accomplishments of others.

Someone with a scarcity mindset believes that opportunities are few; they look at other people’s successes and feel like failures.

A scarcity mindset could ask, “Why should I try to achieve my goals? I’ll never be as successful as those who came before me.” Or they may believe, “All the opportunities have passed me by, so I have none.”

The truth is that fresh opportunities come up daily, waiting for the right person to grab them.

This is referred to as having an abundance mindset.

What Are Signs of Scarcity Mindset?

  • Envious of others and having a carefree attitude. (I had that too much)
  • Not hopeful that situations will improve.
  • Never pleased with the accomplishments of a sibling, friend, or relative. Subconsciously, you wish for others’ failure.
  • Keeping your expertise to yourself because you believe your team members or those in the same profession might outperform you.
  • Don’t believe in the possibility of a win-win situation. When you win, you feel like you’ve beaten everyone else.
  • Constantly comparing yourself to others. (Still happens to me to this day)
  • When other people acquire new possessions, you feel like you can’t afford them – it’s only for the “chosen few.”


Scarcity Mindset

1. Makes One Feel Fearful, Uncertain, and Overwhelmed

If you have a scarcity mindset, you tend to focus on negative feelings like panic and fear.

You worry that maybe you won’t earn enough if you follow your passion, or you assume that anyone who pursues their dream will end up in a financial crisis.

These ‘voices’ might cause you to feel afraid of failure. If you pursue your purpose, then you could fail or not succeed. You may also fear rejection because people may not understand why you’re doing something that is “not like you.”

The following steps may be hazy when you first discover your purpose. You may have no idea where to go or what to do next.

Worry and panic can quickly become an endless cycle. Fear of failure will paralyze you from taking any steps towards pursuing your purpose. You’ll still feel like a failure if you don’t take action that will reaffirm that you are not good enough.

When you feel overwhelmed, you can’t do anything because you don’t know what to do. This means you won’t move towards your goal and remain where you are. You’ll start to believe you cannot move forward.

2. Leads to Self-Doubt

A scarcity mindset leads you to believe that you’re not good enough. You start feeling overwhelmed and incapable of achieving what you set out to do. Your confidence wanes, and you start doubting yourself.

scarcity mindset causes self-doubt

Imposter syndrome is when someone feels like an impostor because they think they aren’t worthy of success. They may feel like a failure because they haven’t accomplished everything they wanted.

They might feel like they’re not intelligent, talented, or experienced enough to succeed. Imposter syndrome may remind you of previous failures and mistakes when you start pursuing your calling.

It whispers you’re not good or smart enough to succeed, nor do you have enough knowledge or money to venture into your calling. It will remind you that you are time-barred and will never be ready.

It can prevent you from living your purpose because it leads you to think that you need more in your life to find fulfillment. That you need another qualification or certification, or that if you don’t get more money, you’ll fail.

Sometimes, you may feel the need to return to school, especially when moving into a new career requiring a different skill set.

However, suppose you’re always enrolling in online courses and buying more books without taking action towards your purpose. In that case, you’ll continue to believe that you’ll never learn enough to succeed.

3. A Scarcity Mindset Prevents You From Taking Risks

A scarcity mindset won’t allow you to take bold steps towards your goal.

Our minds get scared when we move out of our comfort zones.

Our mind tells us all the horrible things that would go wrong if we step out of what we are accustomed to, such as “everyone will laugh at you” and “you are wasting your time and energy.”

Keep in mind: a comfort zone is a good place to be, but nothing grows there.

4. You Are Continuously Playing Small

You will never grow if you don’t explore what is outside your comfort zone.

Fear and overwhelm will have you stuck for years on a job you hate or do not live the life you were meant to.

If you let negative thoughts control you, you’ll never think you deserve a better life.

You are capable of so much more. A scarcity mindset causes one to play small because you think it’s safer. But then you wonder why you can’t get ahead or can’t experience success.

As Marianne Williamson says, “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”

5. There’s Nothing Unique About Me

You may think you have nothing unique to offer compared to others in your field. This idea can kill self-confidence and identity.

Don’t be discouraged. You have something special to give to the world.

Your unique background and life lessons can be of great value to someone else.

You can be an invaluable asset to others without even realizing it.

Maybe you went through a difficult time and overcame it. You can help others going through the same experience.

Or maybe there are milestones that you achieved that others are striving for.

Even your appearance, culture, or ethnicity plays a massive role in making you unique.

People usually relate more to individuals who look like them.

As Dave Grohl says, “No one is you, and that is your power.”

6. Comparing Yourself With Others

Social media makes us consciously or subconsciously constantly compare ourselves to others.

You might feel you are not good enough because someone else is doing better than you or “looks like” they are doing better than you.

But the reality is that no one is perfect.

Every one of us was gifted with a distinct character, unique skill sets, and life story.

So instead of focusing on how better someone else is doing, focus on what makes you “you.”

You might be surprised at how much you have accomplished in life.

And don’t forget to always celebrate your wins, no matter how small.

7. Constantly Evolving Technologies Will Render You Obsolete

We live in a fast-changing world where today’s latest discovery is outdated tomorrow.

scarcity mindset and feeling obsolete

For some people, this can be discouraging because it makes them feel like the time they spent getting that expertise was for nothing.

Curiosity, excitement, and openness to change make you use your skills and knowledge in ways that people who don’t have your background wouldn’t think of.

8. Giving up After Failure

If you’ve had a string of failed ventures, you probably think you are a failure, and if you think you’re a failure, you’re unlikely to try anything that would make you feel horrible about yourself again.

Don’t give up on yourself because you didn’t get the desired outcome.

The key is to stop telling yourself you’ve failed and look at it as a learning experience and stepping stone to success.

9. I’m either Too Young or Too Old

Who told you there is a minimum or maximum age for pursuing your goals?

We make assumptions about ourselves and the way things work.

These assumptions limit us because they keep us from reaching our goals. By letting go of these limiting beliefs, we can achieve what we set out to do.

10. I’m Not Yet Ready

A scarcity mindset says, “I need enough information, or I need to be completely ready to open a new business.” A period of time passes with no action. You can never be prepared 100% for what lies ahead.

Don’t wait for the perfect moment to act; start with the imperfect and improve from there.


How to Overcome Scarcity Mindset

1. Stay Away From Negative People

Avoid being in the company of negative-minded people. The people we spend time with influence us in one way or another.

Spend time with positive-minded people; within no time, their influence will rub on you.

2.    Focus on Gratitude

Practicing gratitude improves both mental health and well-being. Start a daily gratitude journal where you list at least five things you are thankful for.

3. Refocus

When you focus on one issue, you ignore others. Change your mindset to address problems instead of letting them get to you.

refocus to overcome scarcity mindset

Instead of thinking how bad the problem is, change your thinking to ‘How can I solve this problem?” or “What the solution here?”.

By doing this you’ll not only feel better about the situation, but you’ll put yourself on getting footing to create positive change in your life.

4. Change Your Thought Patterns

When times are tough, try to take a step back and consider how things could get better.

Reminding yourself that “there’s no such thing as not enough” can help you reframe your thinking so that you can accept that the idea of “lack” is just a mental illusion.

You could also use mantras or affirmations to help you change your thought patterns. All it take is the consistent use of one effective mantra for success, and your whole perspective, and thus life, could change.

5. Connect With Friends and Family

Loneliness increases the risk of mental illness, including depression, suicide, substance abuse, and more. A good support network can help you bounce back from stressful situations.

When moving out of a scarcity mindset and into abundance, find a group of friends who will hold you accountable. They’ll keep you grounded and remind you that you’re not alone.

6. Visualize Abundance and Success

If you can imagine yourself living with an abundance mindset, you can. Visualizing abundance and success is one of the most powerful ways to overcome a scarcity mindset.

And if you do it right, it can help train your brain to think differently and make it easier to embrace an abundance-oriented perspective.

So, give yourself a few minutes each day to day dream and/or visualize yourself living an abundant and successful life, and you’re days of scarcity thinking will be numbered.

7. Celebrate Your Small Victories

This method may sound trite, but it’s powerful. By celebrating even your smallest daily wins, you changing your mindset from lack to more.

Acknowledge and celebrate even the smallest achievements. This positive reinforcement will undoubtedly shift your focus from what’s lacking to what you’re accomplishing.

Before you know it, you’ll be thinking abundantly all the time.

Final Thoughts

To varying degrees, we all struggle with some form of a scarcity mindset.

The solution of course, is to become aware of the moments when that scarcity mindset influences our thoughts and actions, so you can steer clear of the negative results having one can bring to your life.

So, when you start feeling disoriented, stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you already possess all the skills, resources, and attributes necessary to succeed.

Then, get back to work doing what you do best.

Till you reach your aims,


PS – If you enjoyed this post on overcoming a scarcity mindset, then this post on the power of positive thinking will help you create empowering habits of thought that will lead you to positive life changes.

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Omar is an entrepreneur and digital nomad, co-founder of, a 6-figure Amazon agency he founded with his wife Jessica in 2017. He is also an international real estate investor and a coffee lover. You can connect with Omar via his website.