"People with a scarcity mentality tend to see everything in terms of win-lose. There is only so much; and if someone else has it, that means there will be less for me. The more principle-centered we become, the more we develop an abundance mentality, the more we are genuinely happy for the successes, well-being, achievements, recognition, and good fortune of other people. We believe their success adds to...rather than detracts from...our lives."
Author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
I must warn you that this contemplation starts out on a dismal note. It's not exactly what you would expect from me for a New Year's musing but I'm no different than the average bear. I sometimes tend to focus or should I say get caught up in the negative. If you need proof, just ask Brad. Unfortunately, for us I think it's in our makeup to focus on the negative. My coach, Lisa, says it goes back to when we were hunters and gatherers. She says, "Our brains needed to focus on the potential dangers for our survival." We didn't need to focus on all that was going right - we needed to steady our keen awareness on all that could and might go wrong. Pay attention to the tiger who bites so that you don't get caught unawares and eaten up. I think it takes practice, courage and determination to stay present to the goodness in this life.
I'm going to tell you about Thing 1 and Thing 2 - the two characters that derail me or should I say, "I let derail me". But please don't worry, I do promise to turn this "ship" around and set our sails toward abundance in the New Year before this contemplation is done.
I've noticed a couple of things at my new job that aren't so sun-shiny. I work with some characters that are not-so-much about the team as they are about their own iSelves. Of course, there are a few dedicated team players that help at every turn, but being like the rest of humanity, I tend to lose sight of them and focus on the two characters that get my goat almost every time. Let's call them Thing 1 and Thing 2. Thing 1 loves to point out my shortcomings as a newly trained dialysis nurse. She loves to highlight my mistakes to others and then seems to smirk as she scolds me. She never seems to miss an opportunity. Thing 1 is not perfect. She makes mistakes, too. But when she makes a mistake, she sends out the blame in all sorts of directions - never the one to own up herself. Surprise, surprise. I think her favorite mode of operation is to blame the new girl - that's me. I just love that - not.
Thing 2 seems nice on the outside but showed her true colors on Christmas Eve. We had the patients come in ridiculously early (4:00am) so that everyone could get out early. It sounded like a great plan. Unfortunately, Thing 2 worked against the team all day to ensure that she would be the first one out and was unwilling to do what it took to help the closers get out early, too. She refused vehemently to do a task that would have taken her all of 3 minutes (stating it was unfair), which in turn ensured that her co-workers that were closing would have to stay an extra hour or two when all was said and done. It really steamed me especially when Thing 2 had the audacity to backtalk to our lead nurse when he had to order her to help out her teammates. Oh my!
Thing 1 and Thing 2 led the charge with a hearty bah humbug regarding our Christmas luncheon. They stated in no uncertain terms that if you didn't contribute to the meal then you couldn't partake. They took this stance because our boss invited some of her employees from the hospital to our Thanksgiving meal at the last minute. Those employees ate without contributing. Thing 1 and Thing 2 were aghast. Can I get another oh my?
Deep breaths. Let's release all that negative energy.
When I step back from the muck and mire that Thing 1 and Thing 2 like to stir up (I'll spare you anymore details), I notice this. They come from a place of scarcity. They don't have win-win in their vocabulary. Experts says that people with a scarcity mentality believe that competition is the only course for survival. That this competition is linked closely with fear, which creates more scarcity, with a win-lose outlook. The fear is focused on abandonment, or retaliation, or both. It only makes sense that if we operate from a place of scarcity - we must attack or be attacked. It's sad, really. I wish that I could keep this reality for Thing 1 and Thing 2 in my heart and overwhelm them with love and grace instead of letting myself get wrapped up in their negativity.
If you're like me, you are thinking how could Thing 1 and Thing 2 be like that? Don't they know there is a better way to be in this world? I think that this is great place to stop and ask ourselves some questions. I'll use the proverbial "we" to make it a bit more palatable.
Where in our "worlds" do we operate from a place of scarcity? Does scarcity dictate our behavior? Do we trust that life flows from a place of abundance? Would our co-workers know that we believe there is "enough" for everyone's success? How often do we perceive a lack? Do we ever say or think "I'm not enough...You're not enough... There's not enough..."? When I'm honest with myself, there are places in my life where I act as if scarcity is alive and kicking. Don't you know I wish it were different.
So, that's where this ship gets turned around. I'm going to set my sails with a spirit of abundance in 2013. I'm going to believe that whatever is needed - there will be enough. I'm making the choice right now with you as my witness. I know it's going to take discipline. I'm betting it's not gonna be easy. I might even get a bit turned around in the storms of life - but I'm determined. I'd love for you to join me in adopting an abundance mentality for this New Year.
Let us choose to believe that we are enough together. That there is plenty to go around. That it's a case of win-win. Let us believe that all of us intend to bring all that we've got. Let us share our resources. I raise my glass to our Maker and to you, my dear girly friends! May our spirit of abundance abound in 2013!
Believing there's plenty,