What a Scarcity Mindset Will Keep You Tied to

It’s probably due to being at home so much and moving away from my phone that I have been more aware of my surroundings and behaviors. Some things that were important to me are losing their luster, and I feel encouraged to keep delving into the new things in which I am finding new enjoyment in.

I’ve been in a journey of removing the excess in my life. As the years go by, there is more and more that I am willing to get rid of. Lately, I have been looking at two of my great loves: clothes and food. I’ve used these two for celebration and as solace. I am moving away from only seeking pleasure in having, to enjoying what I have, and less is proving to be more. One of the greatest obstacles to this new perspective has been having a scarcity mindset.

The term may be new for some and impactful for others. It refers to the mentality that in any available opportunity, you should try to grasp as much of an item/service/event as you can, for fear that one day you might not be able to. It usually sources from times in our lives when we were in need of something and were not able to get to it. It is very common amongst those who have lived through hardship and poverty, or whose family have and influenced them to think this way.

I am very fortunate to have grown with plenty, yet it was in a poor country. My parents were hardworking and instilled in me to use up the worth of an item. Now with my own home, I am learning to distinguish between worth and value. It might have some worth but does it have value for me?

I’ve seen this mindset in multiple aspects of my life, and my friend’s have shared their own experiences as well:

  • Overeating: Being in a situation when you don’t know where you will get your next plate of food or if you will ever be back to this delicious place, will trigger you to overeat today. The issue is that many of us don’t live in a position where we won’t get to eat the next time that we are hungry or eat something else that is amazing. We would rather feel very stuffed than to leave anything on the plate. This feeling counteracts the pleasure from eating. We would need to recognize our hunger level and also realize that we are in control of how much we eat, regardless of who is serving us. We can always save some for later.
  • Holding on to undesirable things: These can be old outfits that don’t fit us, dishes we no longer use, or gifts that did not work out for us. We rather live uncomfortably with them because we believe that we need to get the money’s worth. Even though we may want to believe that we are holding on to respect the worth of them, keeping them unused will not get their worth. Most importantly, if they have no value to us, their worth can be insignificant. Feel free to let them go and enjoy the things that have a true value for you.
  • Not willing to pay for what is important: When living a life where we give a high worth things, all prices are inflated. You might not permit yourself to enjoy a certain service or item because of the price tag, even though you have the funds available. You might also overspend by looking for different solutions instead of biting the bullet. If you have the money, buy the thing and be happy! It will save you from excess and should stop you from shopping around.
Photo by David Matos on Unsplash

So what has value for you? Don’t think of the monetary worth it might have. You want to enjoy what is truly important to you. Mostly, realizing the truth is what will take you there. Ask yourself time and again, what is it that you enjoy from this activity or this item? If you don’t feel comfortable letting it go, remove it from your sight and test to see how you do without it. If you don’t come back to it, send it on a journey away from you. You might be able to donate or sell and in exchange receive space or time for what you truly enjoy.

One thought on “What a Scarcity Mindset Will Keep You Tied to

  1. Does it have value for us? I think it’s the right question when we accumulate so much and help us in assigning priority on how it helps us grow as humans. A super interesting post Karla. I have so much de-clutter to do and remember last time watch Minimalist on Netflix, speaking on the same and de-clutter. Also, how true it’s better to buy something expensive than getting drenched in this whole Psychology of buying more and end up spending a bomb.


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