I recently had the pleasure of taking an entire week off strictly for vacation. And I didn’t work on one single blog post!
While taking a break may sound simple and easy enough, for me it’s a giant accomplishment.
Why, you ask?
Simply because I have believed for a long time that I just couldn’t afford to take time off. And the source of that belief was the same source that frequently causes many of us to put off, or even avoid the things in life that would most benefit us.
That source is a scarcity mindset.
What You Focus On Is What You Create
Focusing on scarcity is something I’ve struggled with most of my life. As a child I obsessively practiced to achieve whatever goal I had in mind; generally it was getting ready for some type of talent show or trying out for a team.
But no matter how hard I practiced, I would always spend more time worrying and fearing that I wouldn’t make the goal and that I would ultimately fail.
Hard work is all well and good, unless you allow the outcome to define you, which is exactly what I did and is a post for another day. 🙂
As an adult, my scarcity mindset has played itself out in my careers, my family life and my finances.
I’ve been an entrepreneur since 2001 and have taken pride in creating work and an income for myself and my family.
But, with a scarcity mindset, my focus was always on what I didn’t have and what I hadn’t yet created, or accomplished, instead of seeing just how far I had already come.
In other words, every time I succeeded at one goal, I would instantly discount that success and instead focus on the long list of goals I was afraid I couldn’t handle.
Scarcity and Fear Ruled My Life
Fear of not having enough money kept me on the hamster wheel of work and certainly didn’t allow for vacations. The funny thing about situations like this is that they’re invisible. I was completely unaware of how much turmoil I was constantly creating for myself.
I was in pain and I had accepted that as normal!
In 2009, I had a big wake-up call. Life and work became painful enough to raise my awareness to a new level. Something had to change and I was finally moved to begin the slow process of shifting my perception.
In the spring of 2010 I was extremely fortunate to join an amazing group of women who met once a week and who were also on a similar path of shifting their perception to a happier existence.
At one of our meetings I arrived feeling particularly low. I’d just completed payroll and paying all of the bills. I was left with $0 in my business account and $0 in my personal account.
Instead of focusing on the fact that I actually had enough to write payroll and rent checks and pay all the other bills, I was focused on the zero dollar balances.
In the group we took turns discussing situations that were “up” or creating turmoil for us and I took the opportunity to talk about my dire financial situation.
Without skipping a beat, the woman leading the group looked at me and said “Do you have food in your kitchen at home?” I nodded, yes I did. Then she said, “I imagine that you not only have food in your kitchen, but you probably have a few options to choose from. You probably even have enough for multiple meals.”
She was correct, we did. I knew we at least had peanut butter and jelly, bread, spaghetti, ramen noodles, eggs and soup.
Then she said, “Can’t you see? You are already abundant. Focus on what you have. Until you are grateful for what you have and can see the abundance you already have, things are not going to change.”
Her words hit me like a ton of bricks.
It was so simple and obvious. I had been completely blind to my existing abundance. How could I have been so blind?
That moment was a major positive turning point in my life.
What is Your Default Setting?
It turns out my mind’s default setting is scarcity and defense and it has been that way most of my life.
My goal and focus the last four years has been to reset my default mindset from scarcity and defense, to abundance and happiness.
It hasn’t been easy. An abundance mentality is a commitment that I must renew each and every single day.
And I’ve made significant progress, which my recent vacation reflects, but there have also been other far deeper improvements in my life, especially on the physical side of things.
What Does This Have to Do with Your Pilates Practice?
When it comes to our bodies and our physical practice, it’s easy to get caught up in a scarcity mindset. See if any of these statements sound familiar:
- I don’t have enough time.
- I’m not thin enough.
- I can’t do a roll-up or roll-down.
- My body doesn’t move that way.
- I’ve missed so many weeks/months, how can I possibly get started again?
- If I had just kept going to classes when I first began, I’d be so much further along now.
These are all scarcity thoughts that will stop us in our tracks. They are ways we use our minds to justify staying in a painful place instead of seeing the other side of the coin of possibility and focusing on changing and improving our present and future lives.
I invite you to explore your thoughts and see if you uncover any scarcity phrases or habits that are keeping you in a holding pattern with your Pilates practice, or any other part of your life.
I have found that scarcity in one area of life affects all other areas, so there can be a big payoff for your Pilates practice if you find that place and bring some light to it.
I didn’t realize the magnitude of my own scarcity thinking and the crippling effect it was having on all aspects of my life, including my body and Pilates practice.
It’s fascinating to me that the more I’ve uncovered these thoughts and deepened my awareness of them, the more aware I’ve become of my poor physical patterns and habits.
Greater mental and emotional awareness has given me more subtle and sensitive body awareness and that, in turn, has dramatically improved my body and Pilates practice.
In fact, challenging my scarcity mindset has ultimately helped me develop the awareness I needed to balance my back and gain two inches in height!
Do you have a favorite scarcity phrase you find yourself using? I’d love it hear it! Speaking a scarcity thought out loud (or typing it 😉 ) brings it to the light and starts the process of transforming it.
I hope you’re enjoying the change in season, wherever you happen to be and I wish you abundant thoughts and positive leaps and bounds in all areas of your life!
With love and abundance,