Ever worry about not having enough — or not being enough? Find out how scarcity-related thoughts and beliefs can impact your mental, physical and emotional health, and how to evolve them in more abundant directions.

Can you ever have Enough — money, time, energy, love? Do you trust that you will have enough in the future? Do you believe you are enough, right now, just as you are?

Your answers to those questions can have a profound influence on your health and happiness.

In this week’s episode of The Living Experiment, we examine the opposing mentalities of scarcity and abundance. We explore how they affect our experiences in the present moment, and how they can impact our future.

Research suggests that worrying about “not enough” — or even focusing on imaginary “not enough” scenarios — can reduce both our available IQ and our ability to respond to real-life challenges.

As Pilar says, “scarcity mentality tends to produce scarcity results.” That’s why we’re excited to offer up insights and experiments to help you evolve your mindset in more rewarding directions.

“Enough” Episode Highlights

  • The scarcity-fear connection, and its hidden costs (2:45)
  • Research by a Harvard economist shows how scarcity scenarios can undermine your mental capacity (4:40)
  • Scarcity as a self-fulfilling prophecy: How fear of “not enough” sets you up to lose (5:45)
  • Discovering the origins of scarcity mentality in childhood experiences (7:10)
  • Why grasping for love, attention, and affection tends to alienate, rather than attract, other people (10:20)
  • The physiological underpinnings of scarcity — including the effect of stress-escalated cortisol and adrenaline (11:10)
  • Scarcity and self-worth — the shame inherent in feeling inadequate (15:00)
  • Connecting with a mindset of abundance (16:00)
  • Pinpointing your scarcity-based beliefs (18:00)
  • How mass media sows discontent and self doubt (19:00)
  • Pilar’s experience of measuring her body against an unachievable feminine ideal (19:45)
  • The “never enough” machine: How marketing drives dissatisfaction (20:20)
  • Dallas shares his experience of questioning another person’s notions of fiscal scarcity (21:00)
  • Inside abundance mentality (25:30)
  • Brené Brown’s concept of sufficiency (27:10)
  • How rushing conveys scarcity — how to avoid it (31:15)
  • Simple mantras to connect you with the abundance you already have (35:30)
  • Dispelling scarcity via Byron Katie’s process of self-inquiry (38:00)
  • Attitudes and inquiries to connect you with “enough” (41:00)
  • Experiments for the week (46:45)

Explore and reframe your scarcity-driven feelings.

  • Notice when you begin to experience a negative emotion of fear, worry, anxiety, or stress.
  • Ask yourself whether that feeling is rooted in some perception or projection of scarcity — the notion that you somehow aren’t enough or will not have enough of one thing or another — whether now, or at some time in the future.
  • If the answer is yes (and it almost always is), challenge that belief by saying, out loud or to yourself: “Right here, right now, it’s enough. Right here, right now, I’m enough for me.”
  • Try that reality on, and see how it feels.

1) Adopt a posture of plenty.

  • Pick a moment when you are inclined to feel scarcity, whether around money, time, attention, affection, or any other area.
  • Notice how that feeling inclines you to physically and emotionally contract. Decide to instead hold your body in a posture of plenty and generosity.
  • Uncross your arms and legs, lean forward, allow your face and neck to relax, soften your eyes, unclench your hands, breathe slowly and deeply —  as though you have plenty of everything and nothing to fear.
  • Notice how adopting this different posture shifts your experience and perception, particularly if you’re relating to another person.

2) Ask, “What am I missing?” in two different senses.

  • 1) What am I longing for in this moment; what do I really most want and need? (Hint: It may be something other than what you originally thought you were craving.)
  • 2) What good things am I not seeing? What positive experiences or opportunities are available to me in the present moment that I may have overlooked?
  • Getting real about what you actually want and need (vs. chasing some second-best thing) and noticing what you currently have can help you challenge scarcity-based perceptions and enjoy a more positive present-moment experience.

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