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#030: How to Move from Scarcity to Motivation

We think of scarcity as a negative thing…and it is if you wallow in a scarcity mindset. But you can harness the feeling of scarcity to motivate you to get more of what you want.

If you really think about it, we all experience scarcity in areas of our lives from time to time. Perhaps the most universal area is scarcity of time. Rich, poor, thin, fat, young, old — we all feel scarcity of time sometimes. Some of us feel a scarcity of money or health or uplifting relationships or energy or fun…

But did you know that the feeling of scarcity can be a good thing? Here’s what I mean…

Sometimes you do laundry because there’s a scarcity of clean clothes. You grocery shop because there’s a scarcity of food in the house. You schedule time with your significant other because you’re feeling a lack of quality time. The “scarcity” in these cases propels you into action. But your focus quickly shifts from the item of scarcity to solving the problem. That’s the key.

So the feeling of scarcity can be used as a call to action. Here’s how…

  1. Don’t wallow in the scarcity mindset. That can be disempowering. Instead, recognize that you’re not where you want to be and ask, “What is it that I want?”
  2. Shift your focus away from what is lacking to what you want in positive, toward language. Ask, “How can I get more of what I want? What can I do now?”
  3. Choose an action step and go after it. Deadlines and specific goals are helpful here. 


Life is a journey, and it’s never going to be perfect. Use that sense of “I don’t have exactly what I want” to focus your mind and take action. That’s how real change comes about.

Thanks for listening!


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Episode Transcript

Brenda:  Hey there. Welcome to Episode 30 of the Mind Revolution Podcast. I am your host, Brenda Terry. A big, warm thank you to you for turning in today. And my wish for you, as always, is that wherever you are and whatever you’re doing that you’re feeling good, that you’re doing well, that you’re hearing things that make you happy, that you’re seeing things that make you even happier, and that, overall, life is good.

Things here in Reno are busy and fun. I just got back from masterminding with a group of fabulous people. It was really an interesting experience. It was one of those experiences where I stepped outside of the world of NLP and NLP training and assisting at trainings and went and got some fresh perspective on what it is to run a business and all the things that happen with running a business in terms of that journey and how to identify what is needed now and celebrating progress. It was just a life changing — for sure — experience. It was so, so good.

I’m excited to bring what I learned and start sharing it with you and also sharing it with my clients as we’re doing client work. There was a thing that really stood out for me, and I think it’s important to share this because I realized afterwards how this sentiment and this feeling that I got as I was going through the process of creating some tasks for myself and being held accountable by the group and all of those things, I realized that what I was feeling was also echoed by my clients in a lot of ways during our breakthrough work. And that is the feeling of scarcity.

I teach and I coach around feelings of abundance and connecting to the enough-ness inside of ourselves. And I found myself feeling a lot of scarcity around time when I was there.

I’ve been working on fine-tuning the message of my work, of my website, of this podcast, and the result of that is a pretty long todo list. I’m, sure enough, chipping away at it day to day. And now being part of this group created this sense of urgency in me. I typically feel a sense of urgency when I’m doing anything. I like to get things done quickly. It’s not a feeling of rushing. It’s more of a feeling of just wanting to get it done. And so I focus on achieving my goals. And my work is all about results, so we always start with the result in mind, and then we work backwards to get to the result, identify the steps… I do that with myself consistently, constantly. That is just how I operate.

There’s usually not a lot of people here to hold me accountable to my stuff — not that I need that accountability, because I usually am a really good do-er. If I commit to something, then it is as good as done, the majority of the time.

We were sitting there with a task for myself, and the task was to launch a Mind Revolution Podcast Community on Facebook. And as soon as that list started coming together, I really felt like there wasn’t enough time to do all the things that I needed to do to make that happen. Now that I’ve done it — by the way, it’s launched. I’m so excited to have that out there. And then once I did it, I realized that it wasn’t that hard.

Now, I have a great team in my business, and one of them is this wonderful content writer who keeps me accountable to stuff and just tells me how easy things are. And I remember having the conversation with her after coming back from that Mastermind Experience, and I said, “Well, it’s easy for someone who knows how to do it.” For someone like me who is getting into social media again, a lot of that stuff is foreign, so I felt that feeling of not enough time to get it all done. And then I feel guilty for feeling that way. I really did.

I felt guilty for feeling that sense of scarcity because I know that scarcity, when we feel it, it can go and seep into other forms of scarcity.

I know that I have clients who feel that scarcity of time. I have clients who have a scarcity of money, a scarcity of health, a scarcity of relationships that make them happy, a scarcity of chasing that dream. They’re not living the thing that they want to live right now. So they’re feeling the essence of the lack of it. I totally get that.

What I hadn’t connected with was how this allowed me to move. It allowed me to create momentum to go ahead and do the things that I said I was going to do and committed to during this mastermind experience.

Now, when we think of the word scarcity, there is a negative connotation, I think, for the vast majority of us. And on the other side of that, though, what scarcity also creates is a sense of urgency, and it creates a focus, and it creates a motivation.

What I want to talk about today is, how is it that we can take that dynamic and that feeling inside and dip our toes in it — not take a bath in it, meaning we don’t sit there for too long but really just notice it — and then use that then to shift focus and create that motivation and that sense of urgency to help us achieve what we want. So that’s what all of this is about. How to use scarcity to become motivated, to become a better version of ourselves, and get those things that we’re working so hard to achieve, minus that feeling of negativity that comes when we think of the word scarcity.

One of the benefits of being in that space is that scarcity orients the mind in a specific direction. It’s almost like the traffic signal that says, “Hey, go left, go left, go left, go left.” And let’s go in that direction. So it really narrows down the vision for what we’re doing as a result of whatever it is that’s happening in our lives.

So if you think about this, for example, I went out a couple of days ago, and I forgot to take a bottle of water with me. I usually have water with me wherever I go. This time I woke up. I had some coffee, and then I had to be out for quite a while. And I forgot my water.

By the time I got to my third appointment, I couldn’t even think of the appointment. I just wanted water.

So my lack of water really compelled me to focus on water. So that thirst really compelled me to focus on getting some water.

The same thing happens when we’re hungry. We’re hungry, then our focus is going to get really zoned into food and eating something. So our body feels that sense of scarcity. We’re hungry. And then huger then compels us to look for something to eat.

Money is the same way. Not having enough money creates a focus on wanting more money. That scarcity of money — not having enough of it — creates this desire to go get it. And sometimes — a lot of the time, actually — that propels people to start doing some work to go get some more money.

I have couples I’m working with where they’re wanting to have something that’s really rich in their experience, and they’re feeling the lack of it. So they come to me so that we can work together so that they can go ahead and get that.

And have other people that I’m working with who are single, and they’re feeling that scarcity of that partnership not being in their lives in the way that they want. So their focus — and they’re doing actual work to go get it, to go and find that partner.

The same thing with health. I am working with several people who all have weight-loss goals, and they have health goals, and they are experiencing the scarcity of that to the point where they’re now so keenly focused on getting healthy and having vitality and all the energy that they want so that they can have the life experience they want. That’s how this all works.

I always think of all these things in terms of balance. Scarcity does create a skewed perspective. It creates this bias that is very focused on the right now. In other words, it doesn’t make a lot of room for what’s happening in the future. We’re focusing on right this minute, right this minute, right this minute to fulfill whatever it is that we’re missing.

And usually when scarcity is present, then the mind is going to be focus on right now what is missing, not really focusing on achieving other goals. So it creates a sense of focus that can be really, really useful. That creates a positive type of dynamic because it can help us prioritize our choices, and it can make us do things really effectively and powerfully. I know for a fact that if I’m working on a little bit of a deadline that I will become really effective. And I find this for my clients as well.

Usually if we have things to accomplish, if they come in there with a little bit of pressure to achieve something, then their attention really focuses solely on that, and other things fall a little bit backwards in terms of priority. They just go lower on the totem pole. This allows them to create and achieve what they want much faster.

The reason for this is that when we’re feeling a lack of something, I think the underlying current is always a desire for more self-control, a desire to have a say in what it is that we’re experiencing, to have a say in what we have in our lives, and to have a say in getting that which we want.

And I truly believe that this is where that desire for self-actualization is rooted. It is in wanting to have control over what we have now and what we’re going to get in the future.

Now, the key is managing this. Because even just in saying the words, even me telling you the words now, I feel like an ascetic that doesn’t feel entirely powerful. There’s an element of powerlessness when we think of scarcity of living in scarcity. I think that makes so much sense.

In terms of managing what this is, the key is going to be in how long we stay in it. And this is where focus — everything else that we do here plays such a key role.

I always tell my clients that they’re going to go out into the world, and they’re going to find things that they don’t like, and they’re going to stumbling upon situations that make them uncomfortable, and they’re going to start getting thoughts running around in their minds that are going to be disempowering. And all of that holds a lot of information because it tells us exactly what we don’t want. And you can use that part that we don’t want as the launching off point to begin shifting the focus towards what we do want.

And this is the same thing with this concept of scarcity. Just knowing that you’re in there, knowing that you’re feeling this inside… What this episode is about is about you using it as a way to reframe yourself out of it and begin to focus on what it means to achieve the thing that’s going to help ease that feeling, the dynamic, and ultimately quiet down that energy and allow you to then experience more of what you want.

Sometimes scarcity is overpowering and disempowering. Sometimes we’re experiencing so much of it that it makes it hard to focus on everything else. There are people out there who are suffering. They don’t have enough money to pay their rent. They don’t have enough money to pay their bills. They’re having to deal with late fees. They’re having to deal with how to figure out how to get back-to-school stuff for the kids or how to go and make a purchase or pay a medical bill. They’re all in this place where scarcity is the way of life.

In situations like that, it makes it really hard to sit there and begin to shift momentum and just shift on the things that we want. And this is where it is most important that we do. Because ultimately, when we have a lot of scarcity, what happens is that it takes our control away. It takes our ability to choose a way because we’re having to say no to so much in our lives and say yes to so little.

Then the consequence of that is that sometimes we simply don’t have the strength to take care of ourselves, to make logical choices, to look at our environment from a place that is a little bit removed so that we can take a step back and see options and solutions. It’s really hard to do that when we’re in there.

And it’s important and one of those pieces that’s going to make a significant shift. That is why people come to me in the first place. They come to me because they’re missing something. I don’t have clients that come into my office and they’re telling me that life is great, and everything is wonderful. Sometimes they start there, but soon after we understand what we’re dealing with.

So I know what it’s like to not only work with people who are in a situation where they’re living in scarcity. I know what it’s like to live in scarcity myself. And I got reminded of it a week or so ago. 

I know what that feels like. And because I know both sides of that spectrum, I can also tell you that there’s a way to begin to make that shift, and it’s really important. And this is a basic reframe that I use with my clients for just about everything. And the reframe is very simple.

I have said this several times that this is usually the hardest part for most of my clients, because this is when they are not in my office anymore. They are out there living life. They’re stumbling upon things. They’re learning to manage life now, minus those negative emotions and limiting beliefs, and yet they’re still going out there to live the life that was there before they come into my office.

So it’s hard, because this is where language really becomes key. It’s a very simple reframe, and it works so very well.

The reframe is this. It is noticing that you are in a place of scarcity, noticing what it is that you’re missing, understanding what that is, and then simply checking in with yourself and say, “Hey, this isn’t what I want. What is it that I do want?”

And you start from there.

And then you begin to shift the language in the direction of what it is that you want. I know it’s so redundant, and it’s repetitive, and it can be a little boring…and it always works. So it’s, “This isn’t where I want to be. I’m feeling this thing of scarcity, and I’m missing out on the health that I want,” or the money that I want, or I’m missing out on the fun that I want or the time that I want. So understanding that you want more of it, then the reframe is, “How do I get more of it? What can I do now?”

I can tell you that for me, my time scarcity was a really good wakeup call. I realized that I was doing a lot of client work and not making the time for other things to do, because I know we live in a world, and you see it everywhere online that we talk about time being a construct, and there’s a lot of people out there who are talking about this, and yes, it’s true. And I’m not living that yet. I’m still living with 24 hours in a day. So are most of my clients.

And so I know that for me, right this minute, I cannot do and will not do multiple things at once. I am going to choose where I’m going to invest my energy.

So for me, in the context of time, I made new choices. And when I made those new choices, then I was able to make room for more of what I want. And that’s how this works.

It’s understanding, just dipping your toes in it, not living in there, not living in scarcity, because nobody has to live in scarcity long-term. There are so many things that are happening around us that are good.

I work with people all the time who come in to work with me, and they’re coming in in a state that is very disempowering, and they’re just looking at all the things that are going wrong. Life is hard, and people are bad, and all that other stuff. And it doesn’t take very life for us to come to an agreement that, for the vast majority of their lives, things are really, really good. What’s happening is that these few things that are not working out the way they want are really distracting. And it keeps their focus away from the good stuff.

So, yes, noticing, understanding what you want, because being where we don’t want to be really tells us where we do want to be a lot of the times. If we can begin to shift the focus from there… So, noticing “This is not where I want to be,” and then being able to identify where we do want to be. And that requires focus, because sometimes we’re so attached to the things that we’re missing and we’re lacking and that we think that in focusing on the lack of them is going to help us achieve them, and it’s not correct. That is not correct at all.

Understanding where we don’t want to be is an important component because if we know we’re somewhere where we don’t want to be, then that right there can be the starting point for us to begin to lay down the groundwork to get to where we do want to be.

So back to the reframe. The reframe is this. Notice that you are where you don’t want to be. And just simply notice that. And very quickly, ask yourself, “Okay, this isn’t what I want. This isn’t where I want to be. I’m feeling scarcity. I’m missing something. What is it that I’m missing? What is it that I want more of?”

Then talk about the more of what you want for quite a while. If you’re sitting there and you’re in “I don’t want any of this” for ten minutes, then really give yourself some space to focus on what it is that you do want for another ten minutes or so. At least balance it out.

Science tells us that for every negative thought that the emotional weight and the cognitive weight of a negative thought is about five times as heavy as a positive thought. So that means that for every negative thought, you really need five positive thoughts to balance things out. And in my work, we want to tip the scales to purely positive and toward thinking, so I know that’s probably about ten times the amount.

So it’s a really good exercise for my clients because they don’t want to be doing all the work, so they very quickly begin to focus on what they want.

And when you do focus on what you want, then you can identify all the things that you want to have as a result of you no longer being in scarcity, now being in abundance thinking.

And then choose an action step. You’ve got to take action. I’ve mentioned before where I’ve had people who are like, “Hey, my money is in the universe.”

I’m like, okay, what are you going to do about it?

“Hey, I’m just going to wait. If it’s meant to be, it’s going to happen.”

Great. So what can you do about it between now and then?

Action is key here. I understand that, yes, we can get aligned, and vibration can be aligned with receiving, and be open to receive. That’s really, really important. And you still have to take action.

So action is the name of the game. So what action can you take that’s going to help you achieve more of what you want and focus solely on what it is that you do want so that you can begin to tip the scales and live more in the abundance of the things that you’re seeking as opposed to the scarcity of them.

And you can do this with just about anything.

I know, for myself, that the focusing on what you want requires energy and requires focus. And as a result, what you end up doing is no longer beating yourself up in the process. You can’t do both. You can’t focus on what you want with intention and focus on what you want with a smile in your heart, all the while beating yourself up.

The beating yourself up only sends the message to your unconscious mind that this thing that you think about yourself is true and real, and it applies to you generally. Meaning, it’s just part of who you are, as opposed to you just feeling this way in the moment.

So it is about understanding the “what” of it all and then focusing on how to get there. And then when you focus on that, all the while taking action, this is going to get you to that motivation factor that we all want and need, and that’s what’s going to help you achieve what you want.

This is about not looking down that hole you’re trying to get out of and instead focus on coming out on the other side.

This is about focusing on the light versus the darkness. This is about focusing on that possibility versus what we call reality, because at the end of the day, we have so much that is filtered out of our experience as a result of our focus that there is an option there for you that includes all the things that you want to achieve, and to also keep noticing that as you grow and as you change and as you evolve in your life, you’re going to have that sense of scarcity.

I’m working with people right now who are creating multi-million-dollar businesses. And they’re not in a scarcity mindset as in, “I can’t pay my bills,” but their scarcity is simply not having that business that they want. I’m on that journey with them. That’s how this works.

You’re always going to have that sense of “I don’t have exactly what I want.” That’s a really good place to be, as long as you can simply dip your toes in it, not take a bath in it, and then use it to propel you in the direction that you want.

That is all I have are you today. I hope you found the information useful. I am so excited to share that we have now our Mind Revolution Podcast Community on Facebook. There is a link to that on the page, so please go ahead and visit that. And as always, I’m going to ask you to please leave us your feedback, go to the page, and check out the show notes, all the free resources that are there for you. And I’m going to ask you to please rate and subscribe to our podcast, as all of that helps us so much. It’s motivating. It’s exciting.

I want to thank all of you for the feedback that you send me already. It means so much to be able to create content that is serving you. So I’m excited to connect with you very soon. Until next time. 

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I'm Brenda Terry. I'm a personal development trainer and master coach who works with go-getters like you who want to achieve big results in your business and personal life.

If you're excited and ready to play bigger in business and kill it in life, I help you identify and change beliefs, patterns, and behaviors that aren't supporting your goals so you can make more money, find more joy, better manage relationships, and communicate more effectively.
I'm here to help you make the powerful, effective shifts you're craving- faster than you ever thought possible.

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