Shifting the Way We Live to be Enough

Written by Juhandi Dwi Putra Lyana, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

When I was in highschool, I saw my friend get an achievement because he won a science olympic. I congratulated him, but deep down I envied his achievement. It could be me. Stephen Covey calls this as Scarcity Mental. It can be said that this mind has been developed since we were kids. We may, however, live in abundance with practice.

According to Stephen Covey,  “The Scarcity Mentality is the zero-sum paradigm of life. People with a Scarcity Mentality have a very difficult time sharing recognition and credit, power or profit – even with those who help in the production. They also have a very hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people”. It is based on the idea that there simply is not enough to go around.  Our mind begins to focus on the shortage of love, friendships, time, and money. We feel alone and unwanted, powerless and pessimistic that we will not be treated fairly.

Before we jump into how to change scarcity to abundance, we need to know what abundance is. According to Stephen Covey, The Abundance Mentality flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity”. Abundance is a profound feeling of self-awareness about your role in the world. It is not measured by things. 

How to Shift Scarcity to Abundance

First thing that we need to change is by deciding to do it. Making a decision is the hardest part. Once you have done that, the rest will fall into place naturally. 

  1. Have Appreciative Conversations

When we notice good qualities in others and point them out, our mentality turns to one of optimism. This, in turn, highlights the positive aspects of your life. Do not forget to thank them and compliment them on their work.

  1. Organize Your Home and Your Life

When we are disorganized, a part of our brain tells us that we are not in control, that everything is falling apart. We must begin to arrange ourselves, taking small steps at first.

Perhaps you should begin by arranging time to clean your own room. Clean up the messes, and we will have more mental room for other, more positive aspects of our lives.

  1. Reduce Your Media Consumption

Media is designed to tell us that we don’t have enough so that we yearn for more. We see someone else’s posts and feel sad when we look at ourselves.  We compare ourselves to only partially true images that people portray.  We can’t possibly compete with a false image and you inevitably fall short. That is defined as scarcity.

  1. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Do not compare yourself to others because you have no idea what is going on in their lives. You are sufficient in your current state. You are a one-of-a-kind individual. Everyone moves at their own speed and on their own schedule. They, like you, are also going through a difficult time.

  1. Remind Yourself That There is More Than Enough

This is a basic exercise that we can repeat over and over again. Remind yourself that there is enough and that you are enough when you feel lost and empty. Give yourself a cheerleading statement such as “this too shall pass”, “I am enough”, “there is reason in this”, “I will survive” or whatever works for you. It could be a song lyric or something said by someone. Find words that inspire you that you may repeat to yourself as a reminder.

We have to make our “not enough” to be our motivation to achieve something in future. We have the biggest control of ourselves. Don’t let our scarcity mental make us suffer. We need to remember that each of us has our own places. Let there be abundance in our mind. 


Butler, L. (n.d.). Living in “Not Enough”? How To Feel About What You’ve Got. Bay Area Mental Health. Retrieved 10 29, 2021, from