The Difference Between A Scarcity and Abundance Mentality

Someone asked me on my Facebook page to explain more about the difference between a scarcity and abundance mentality. So let me take a little space here to do that. Stephen Covey was one of the first people to discuss the contrast in his book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

scarcity and abundance

Abundance is Everywhere


Scarcity is all about fear; you are afraid that there won’t be enough for you…enough money, enough love, enough time…whatever it is that you feel you need in life. Scarcity focuses on what little you have and assumes the worst; that that’s all you’ll get and if you aren’t careful you will even lose that. Scarcity is about walls and locks and secrets and hiding because you can never be too careful to guard what little you have.


Abundance is just the opposite of that. Abundance is about hope. Abundance sees the opportunities. I’m looking out the window right now at all the maple tree “helicopter” seeds falling to the ground. One tree throws off thousands of seeds. One tree could create a forest. God has wired abundance into his creation if we will only see it.

Another way people have explained it is to see life as a pie with a limited number of slices. People worry if they’ll get their slice. People fight over the slices and even cheat to make sure they get a slice.  But others walk away from that pie and the pettiness because they know there are other pies in the oven waiting to come out.

I don’t think you have to believe in God to have an abundance mentality. You just need to see the abundance and opportunity that exists. But believing in God helps because God can create something out of nothing. Even when all hope is seemingly gone God has a way of bringing things into existence, i.e. think resurrection.

The Bible is full of examples of abundance.  One you may be familiar with is when 5000+ people had no food when they had spent the day listening to Jesus. One boy had some bread and fish. The disciples worried what would happen. But Jesus simply thanked God for what food they had and it miraculously multiplied to meet the needs of everyone there.

How you view the world often dictates whether you live in abundance or scarcity. I talk more about this in my book STUCK…how to mend and move on from broken relationships.  Your attitude has a lot to do with how you perceive and function in your relationships.

Question: What are some examples of how having an abundance mentality has helped  you or a scarcity mentality has hurt you?  Leave your comment below.


5 thoughts on “The Difference Between A Scarcity and Abundance Mentality

  1. Alicia

    A great topic..”God has wired abundance into his creation if we will only see it.” I totally agree.. probably why it is so much easier to believe this when we see all that He has created and the bigger story that He is always telling.

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