“I’m not as ________ as her.” What is the first word that comes to your mind? Not as pretty? Not as smart? Not as skinny? Not as athletic? Your children aren’t as well behaved as hers? Your job, paycheck, backyard, house, etc. aren’t as big as hers?
Or maybe you’ve experienced something more subtle, like a slight twinge of jealousy when someone gets the praise…or the raise. Or someone else’s outfit, home, or kids are complimented and yours are not. Has this ever made you feel just a little bit left out, or even…forgotten?
I know I’ve felt this way on countless occasions. But what makes us feel down or left out in these situations? It might actually have something to do with our style of thinking.
There are two terms floating around thought circles on leadership these days: abundance thinkers and scarcity thinkers.
Those considered abundance thinkers generally believe the axiom “There’s more where that came from”. Just because she was complimented doesn’t mean you aren’t just as pretty or successful or worthy of praise. It means it was her moment to get recognized. But…there’s more where that came from.
Just because she received a raise this time doesn’t mean your time won’t come. There’s more where that came from.
But, the opposite is true of scarcity thinkers. They believe there is only so much good to go around. So, if they receive good things, they can’t share them with others. Or if someone else receives good things, they feel slighted.
“I can’t take it if someone else gets a raise, because it means my work isn’t noteworthy.”
“Why is she the only one who receives compliments? Apparently my house/clothing/etc. aren’t good enough.”
“She’s so pretty and it makes me feel like my beauty is threatened.”
“My boss just praised my efforts on the success of our big project. I know it was a team effort, but it’s nice to receive the praise for a change.”
We’ve all been there, haven’t we?
These are thoughts coming from a scarcity thinker. Instead of rejoicing with others when they receive good things, scarcity thinkers believe they are missing out. However, an abundance thinker realizes when someone else receives good things, it doesn’t mean their share of good things has lessened. In fact, it means they can get excited for others’ good fortune, in addition to their own.
What if the way we choose to think, with scarcity or abundance, also affects our relationships with each other as women? What if it were possible to call out the good we see in each other…the talents, the gifts, the beauty, the strength…realizing that acknowledging another’s greatness does not diminish our own? What if, in fact, it made all of us greater?
What would it take for you to practice more abundance thinking in your life? Is there someone you need to praise today? Is there some good thing in your life you need to say “thank-you” for? Would recognizing what’s at stake–the empowerment of all of us as women–enable you to think more abundantly?
Let’s start today to see where we can swap the scarcity thinking for abundance thinking. You won’t be disappointed…and the people around you will be invigorated by your presence.
Written by Brittni Paris.
Brittni is an alum of Colorado State University, where she mingled with the greats like Kellie Walters and Chrissy Chard. She currently resides in Hoosier Country, with her husband Hunter, worki
ng for Indiana University as an academic advisor to business students and donning the IU candy-cane striped pants. She spends her time taking ballet classes, listening to podcasts, biking around town, and hosting friends at her apartment and favorite coffee shops. Brittni earned a B.A. in Psychology, an M.S. in Health and Exercise Science, and is an ACSM Certified
Clinical Exercise Physiologist. She’s excited to pursue a career in wellness coaching, helping women see how great they are and how much good they can bring to the world.