Recently, I have been working to focus more on what I have. Not only possessions but also the time, energy, and people around me. However, it's so much easier to look at what I don't have rather than what I do. Easier to see the next thing I want rather than reflecting on what already exists in my life.
This concept of scarcity vs abundance is one I struggle with and I'm sure others do as well. We've all heard about or read summaries of the studies:
- Students who believe they can gain knowledge perform better than those who believe their intelligence is already set.
- Adults who have a positive outlook on aging live 7.5 years longer than those with negative perceptions.
I want to become smarter and live longer! Yet it's so easy with effective advertisements, "you need this" marketing, and perfectly cured social media feeds to focus on what we don't have. Rather than focusing on what we don't have, what if we changed our mindset to realize all the good things we have and appreciate them? How can we approach life from a source of sufficiency?
In her book "The Gifts of Imperfection", Brene Brown says:
Once we let go of scarcity, we discover the surprising truth of sufficiency. By sufficiency, I don't mean a quantity of anything. Sufficiency isn't two steps from poverty or one short of abundance. It isn't a measure of barely enough or more than enough. Sufficiency isn't an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration of knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough.
Sounds good to me! But how do we do that? How do we move from feeling inadequate to a mindset of sufficiency?
We follow these steps: Recognize. Acknowledge. Decide.
- Recognize: learn to catch yourself in your down word spiral of negativity about not having enough.
- Acknowledge: be honest with yourself about where you are. Be honest with yourself about what you're feeling. Be honest by asking, "Is that really a need?"
- Decide: decide to focus on what you do have. Decide to appreciate and enjoy all the good things around you.
As Brene says:
Sufficiency resides inside each of us and we can call it forward. It is a consciousness, an attention, an intentional choosing of the way we think about our circumstances.
I am enough. I have enough. I do enough. I make enough.
Today, let us decide to call forward sufficiency in our lives.