What is an abundance mindset?

Discover how to live in a state of gratitude and abundance today

Have you ever been to a nice restaurant, had a delicious dinner in a beautiful environment with great service, then received a bill that nearly made you fall out of your seat? How did that change your mood? Did you walk out of the restaurant raving about the experience or lamenting over the bill?

Instead of practicing an abundance mindset, why do we tend to focus on the negative aspects of a situation or experience? Why, in the case of the restaurant, was it easier to hone in on how steep the bill was rather than immerse ourselves in the outstanding food, lovely ambiance or the hospitable service? Because, instead of focusing on gratitude and abundance, the human brain is wired for a single purpose – survival.

The mind is not designed to make you happy, it’s designed to help you survive. It is always looking for what could hurt you, and it magnifies the bad. We are wired to operate out of a place of scarcity and fear. But here’s the thing – you have the choice of what to focus on. You can learn how to develop an abundance mindset. Remember, what’s wrong is always available, but so is what’s right.

What is an abundance mindset?

An abundance mindset is the belief that there are enough resources in the world for everyone – and of being grateful for whatever the universe provides. It’s often talked about in contrast with a scarcity mindset, or the belief that the world’s resources are finite – when someone gets something, that leaves less for everyone else.

These two different ways of thinking can shift our entire perspective. People with a scarcity mindset focus on unfulfilled needs: what others have that they don’t. They tend to think short-term and have less fulfilling relationships. People with an abundance mindset focus on what they already have and make peace with the present moment. Because they’re not living in a state of fear, they experience the many benefits of gratitude and can make better decisions and plan for the future. Or as Tony says, “When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” 

Signs you have an abundance mindset

Many people go through life without thinking about their mindset. You may be held back by negativity without even realizing it. If you recognize these signs, you may already be on your way toward an attitude of gratitude and abundance.

  • You celebrate others’ success. An abundance mindset is the opposite of jealousy and fear. You believe that others’ successes don’t detract from your own and that you will be just as successful. You genuinely celebrate the success of others who achieve their goals.
  • You give back. People in a scarcity mindset are too busy taking to give back. If you volunteer your time, energy or skills, often give away your possessions or enjoy taking care of your loved ones, you’re on your way to having an abundance mindset.
  • You live in the present. When you focus on gratitude and abundance, you’re not worried about the future or stuck in the past. You know that the only thing that’s guaranteed is the present, and you focus on taking it all in.

how to develop an abundance mindset

How to develop an abundance mindset

It’s natural for many people to operate in a scarcity mindset, especially in the corporate world and other competitive environments. But when you learn how to develop an abundance mindset, you’ll open opportunities you never thought possible.

Examine your limiting beliefs

Limiting beliefs are unconscious beliefs we hold about ourselves and the world which we allow to prevent us from enjoying our lives to the fullest. For example, if you have an unconscious belief that you do not deserve happiness, understanding how to express gratitude will not come easily, even under the best of circumstances.

As you embrace the process of cultivating gratitude in your life, keep watch for the limiting beliefs you unconsciously hold and examine how they are preventing you from reaching your full potential. Beginning the hard work of replacing your limiting beliefs with an abundance mindset will reveal how your beliefs impact almost every area of life. This is because our beliefs grow from a combination of life experiences: our knowledge base, our environment (past and present), positive and traumatic life events, results of our past actions and how we envision our future.

Adopt more empowering beliefs

Because our beliefs are multi-faceted, unravelling their origin can be a challenge. Replacing them with healthier beliefs can be even more difficult. However, if existing beliefs are an impediment to the attitude of gratitude you’re committed to developing, it’ll be well worth your time to put in the effort.

To overcome your self-sabotaging beliefs, put yourself in a positive mindset by making a list of things you’re thankful for. Then practice flipping your limiting beliefs to empowering ones. As you uncover each limiting belief, ask yourself: Does this belief take me further along the pursuit of gratitude, or does this belief hold me back? With practice and diligence, you’ll find that adopting an abundance mindset and attitude of gratitude becomes more natural.

Embrace change

Life will never go as planned. There will always be undesirable surprises. Change is inevitable, and we must learn to embrace change. The potential for transformation is present in every change life throws our way, whether or not we choose to embrace it.

Rather than be derailed by unexpected changes in our lives, we must learn to approach change with curiosity. Begin practicing an attitude of gratitude by “softening” to change, letting it in without a fight. Rather than telling yourself that you have either lost something, have less of something or will never have what it is you want, make the command decision to focus on adopting an abundance mindset and focusing on what you can be grateful for. By learning how to express gratitude under difficult circumstances, you build an abundance mindset into everything you do.

So what is an abundance mindset, after all? It doesn’t mean you are repressing your emotions or living in a state of denial. It means you are making the overarching decision to live in a beautiful state every single day, no matter what happens. Because if the only time you are happy is when things are going your way, you’re not going to be happy very often. And the more you start to make these subtle shifts, the more you can cultivate an abundance mindset, the more you will begin to experience joy and, eventually, create a new emotional home.

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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