Where Scarcity Mindset Comes From

It’s no doubt that a lot of us are products of our environments. Our backgrounds shape the way we think and the things we believe in.  This mindset of not having enough (scarcity) begins at home. What I know for sure is that we keep passing beliefs from one generation to the next without examining those beliefs to know whether they should be passed on or quenched.

 I’m at that point in my life where I need to examine my beliefs and amend or eliminate some going forward. I’ll just share a few and I encourage you to do this exercise as well.

1. Not Having the Things My Parents Didn’t Have. 

A lot of us say that we want to have better lives than our parents had, but subconsciously we resist change. We didn’t have air conditioning units in our apartment growing up. We considered it to be an ostentatious buy.  “Only rich people use AC in their house” was something often said around the house. Now looking back, I see that we actually had enough money to buy one.

2. My Parents Never Went Abroad. 

It still baffles me, because my dad still thinks that travelling is the stuff of dreams. He has never said Yes to the suggestion of travel. If you have parents like this, you should aspire to be completely different. If you are young and have a job or business,  you should travel abroad for holiday, because it expands your mind. 


3. Wealth and Abundance: 

My parents were middle-class so it’s not that easy for me to aspire to be a millionaire. I think it’s going to take daily spiritual practice for me to overcome that scarcity mindset and build the belief that I can be wealthy and abundant. I see some people who grew up poor have the drive to be wealthy but being middle class makes you comfortable.

Another mentality I see around is that people associate wealth with greed. To some extent, this might be true, but I still think we should let go of this belief because I know that money is just a tool. Having it or wanting more of it, doesn’t make you a bad person.

4. My parents Hustled so I Must Hustle: 

My parents taught me to work hard, but I’m learning that I should be comfortable with things not being as laborious. Some of us actually go out of our way to make our lives uncomfortable in order to keep up with this mindset. I learned from Chimamanda Adichie that, “the person more qualified to lead is not the physically stronger person. It is the more intelligent, the more knowledgeable, the more creative, the more innovative [person].” My point is that we must all recognize that the times are different and we should lead our lives differently.


5.  I was not taught to have fun, so I’m not used to it. 

To be honest, I sometimes feel anxious about having a good time. Even when I’m not busy, I find it difficult to map out time for relaxation and enjoyment. Instead, I just sleep or read a book (which is not relaxation, in my opinion). It’s a learning process for me and I now spend Sunday evenings with friends, just catching up on unimportant stuff.

Finally, I would say that I was raised well. But I now need to raise myself. And that means building new beliefs that support my growth. Thank you for reading. Please take the time to do this exercise as well.

-Tobi Amokeodo