This is a guest post by Ahmad Benguesmia, the founder and co-owner of Bengu.
What’s the one thing that separates a beggar on the street from a millionaire walking past?
Aside from the superficial differences, it’s the thoughts they think in their head.
The way they relate themselves to the world. Their mindset, if you will.
Your mindset is extremely powerful. Especially when we consider that the world of business and entrepreneurship is mostly a psychological game.
Tony Robbins has mentioned on many occasions that success in business is 80% psychology and 20% strategy and skill set.
In my personal experience, I can definitely say there’s a lot of truth in this. The techniques and strategies for building a successful business are out there for everyone to learn. Most people know there’s no secret sauce or magic silver bullet to success.
So why is it that so many people struggle when it comes to entrepreneurship?
It’s all in the mind. It’s about how we perceive challenges and setbacks in our lives. How we relate to our goals and ambitions we set for ourselves.
The Scarcity Mindset
Many people in society live their lives through a mentality that’s deep in scarcity. They see life like there’s only one pizza, and if someone got a big slice, it would mean less for everyone else!
It’s a paradigm that makes it difficult for people to share recognition, power, or profit. Even from people who helped with producing those profits.
They also really struggle when it comes to being happy for others achieving success in various shapes and forms.
This scarcity is centered around the idea that there isn’t enough resources for everyone. That what we desire is in limited supply.
In extreme cases, it can manifest as choosing instant gratification over long-term benefit for everything…
“What uses up all the resources I have right now so it won’t be taken away later?”
“If I don’t spend all my time partying now, i’ll never have the chance when i’m older.”
It can also create jealousy and rage from seeing other people get what they want. An example of this could be a colleague who’s been promoted at work or a friend that has a beautiful partner.
This all comes from the strong feeling of separation that people with a scarcity mindset have.
They view themselves as totally separate from everyone and everything. Many of these people fail to display compassion or empathy for their fellow human beings. This is partly because they view everyone as a threat to their success.
It’s a dog eat dog world out there for these people.
Managing money and creating wealth is also extremely tough with a scarcity mindset. Anything that involves long-term thinking is rarely considered.
This includes starting a business, investing money or simply putting some savings away for a rainy day.
There’s also a tendency to blame external events for their financial failures.
“It’s all the tax man’s fault for taking my money” or “the economy is in really bad shape at the moment so it’s impossible to start a business”
The Abundance Mindset
On the flip side, we have the abundance mindset. This way of thinking is centered around a deep sense of worth, confidence and ability.
It’s a paradigm that views the world from a frame of abundance. That there’s more than enough to go around for everyone, and then some.
It’s a way of seeing the world that involves infinite possibilities and potential. Being open to sharing ideas, recognition and even profits.
This mentality has no issue with thinking long-term. People that have an abundance mindset have the ability to delay gratification in exchange for results further down the line…
“Just because I’m not partying now doesn’t mean I can’t in the future. I choose to focus on building a business right now.”
“I’m happy to make lifestyle sacrifices in order to create passive income streams and secure my financial future.”
It also creates positive feelings for surrounding people. Someone else getting promoted or finding an awesome relationship isn’t a source of jealousy or pain.
Instead, it’s a feeling of genuine happiness for that person because you love seeing a fellow human being succeed.
When it comes to personal finance, things are much easier for people with an abundance mindset. Money will always be there so there’s no incessant desire to spend everything as soon as possible.
You’re less afraid to invest your money, to start a business, to take financial risks that could lead to great rewards in the future.
These people are more willing to invest time and money into businesses without expecting any immediate returns. They’re willing to put the work in required to build long-term streams of passive income.
Five Ways to Help Cultivate an Abundance Mindset
Changing the way you perceive your reality is never going to be easy. It takes time, effort and persistence, but it’s something that will stick with you for the rest of your life.
Changing your mindset is priceless because it can improve the quality of your life by an infinite number.
From health to relationships, career successes and business, these are all areas that can be improved on at the same time. It’s a universal way to improve every aspect of your life.
If you find yourself fighting with life and blaming other people or external events for your failings, try taking a step back and assess what’s going on in that brain of yours.
Here are some ways to cultivate an abundance mindset…
Start With What You’re Grateful For
When you wake up in the morning, take some time to think about the things you have in your life right now. It could simple things like your health, your car, a roof over your head.
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude will help you appreciate the things you do have in your life and give you some perspective on your life situation compared to other people. In most cases, people find that they’re way better off than most people. And even if you aren’t, so what?
You’ve always got something to grateful for.
Some people think this is waste of time but it really helps you cultivate the attitude you need to succeed over the long-term in all areas of life.
Grow Your Awareness Through Meditation
Did you know that you can grow your level of awareness?
Have you ever tried watching your thoughts in your mind as they come into view?
Growing your awareness gives you the ability to see through dysfunctional thinking patterns. It allows you to stop identifying yourself and reacting to certain thoughts in your mind that cause emotional pain and suffering.
Speaking from personal experience, growing my awareness enabled me to stop obsessive overthinking and overcome many mental coping strategies that I previously used to try and control my mind.
There have been thousands of studies that prove the numerous health benefits of meditation.
It’s an incredible way to quiet your mind, release stress and practice being aware of your thought processes.
Here’s a fantastic meditation that I do myself still to this day. It’s a simple meditation that has made profound changes in my life.
Practice sharing and being more open-minded about things
If you’re living with a scarcity mindset, chances are your beliefs about the way the things are in life are pretty concrete.
Practice considering alternative points of view. At first, your brain will freak out and go into overdrive but just becoming aware of this is extremely powerful.
By becoming aware of the voice in your head, you’ll notice that the voice isn’t you. It’s just programming that you’ve taken on from your existing beliefs and external environment.
It’s your ego trying to make sense of the world because it’s obsessed with survival and past/future accomplishments.
As humans, we’re wired to seek out things that confirm pre-existing beliefs instead of being open to challenging them, this is called the confirmation bias.
By being open-minded and even seeking out things that oppose your existing beliefs, you’ll find that many of the things you deem to be true are actually false.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People
In this day and age, it can be tough not to compare yourself to others.
But ‘comparison-itis’ as Natalie calls it, is rampant and dangerous, especially thanks to social media.
That’s why they’re running a new Freedom Lab Master Your Mindset in January 2018 to help you work on your ‘inner game’ and stop sabotaging yourself.
It’s important to remember that everyone is on their own individual journey in life.
Social media is great at highlighting insecurities people have. People post pictures for validation from people they don’t even know. They trade real connection for pings on their mobile devices.
No wonder so many people struggle to forge deep and meaningful relationships in this day and age.
We all started from different levels and have different dreams, ambitions and talents. Comparing yourself to others is a recipe for feeling inferior and insecure. There’s always going to be someone that earns more money than you, has a better job or a nicer car. But all that stuff doesn’t matter.
It’s all superficial.
The only person you want to compete with is yourself. Challenging yourself and pushing your boundaries are the things that deserve your full focus and attention.
Just cutting back on social media alone can help you move closer to cultivating an abundance mindset.
Seek Out the Positives in Every Situation
Sometimes we fall flat on our face in life. Something doesn’t work out or we’re just dealt a bad hand. This happens to the best of us.
It’s the way we respond that determines the things we achieve in the future.
We can’t control exactly what happens to use, but we’re fully in control of the way we respond to these experiences.
People stuck in a scarcity mindset have a tendency to ask “why me?” They think life is unfair and that other people just got way luckier than they did. But the truth is people create their own luck through hard work and dedication.
It doesn’t matter where you start in life, what matters is how you respond to the cards you’re dealt.
There’s a silver lining in every situation. There’s always a lesson to learn and something to take away. A bad experience is still an experience and something you can learn from.
Reflect on the positives that came out of seemingly negative situations, you’ll be surprised at how these perceived negative outcomes can help you in the future.
Bringing it All Together
Your life is full of wonder and magic. All the opportunities you seek already exist, you just need to work on your ability to see them in your life.
There’s more than enough wealth and resources to go around, the only thing that’s stopping you is the person staring down at you in the mirror.
They say the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, but you know what the second best time is?
So what are you waiting for?!
Ahmad Benguesmia is the founder and co-owner of Bengu, a website that helps people get started with an online business. Whether you’re looking to find freelancing gigs, start a consulting business or learn about affiliate marketing, you’ll find helpful, actionable content that caters to all these requirements.