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Clutter: the scarcity mindset.

identifying clutter Aug 12, 2019

What are your beliefs on the availability of time, money, and opportunity?

While scarcity can help us by creating a sense of urgency, the belief that there isn’t enough to go around, will ultimately hinder us as we pursue the lives we’ve always dreamed of.

In this post, we will discuss how a scarcity mindset creates clutter and how to get rid of it.

Do you believe in scarcity or abundance? Answer yes or no to the questions below.

  1. Do you procrastinate on purchases or payments because even though you have the money, you’re afraid to let it go?
  2. Do you hold on to or re-use items that are inexpensive to replace in an effort to be “frugal”?
  3. Are you often envious of what others have? Do you think that you could never achieve the same?
  4. Do you feel that every minute of every day must be maximized in order to achieve your goals?
  5. Are you afraid that any life changes, drastic or small, may cause you to lose everything?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, there is a chance that scarcity may be keeping you from living your best life and achieving your goals. Keep reading to learn how to identify this type of clutter and what to do with it.

The manifestation of a scarcity mindset

When we possess a scarcity mindset, it manifests in our lives in a variety of ways. Below are a few examples of physical, mental or emotional clutter that may creep into your life as a result of this mindset.

Physical Clutter

It may seem counter intuitive, but scarcity can present itself in the physical clutter we choose to keep around. Physical clutter from a scarcity mindset manifests itself in the following ways:

  • Holding onto or failing to replace things that are broken, old, or worn
  • Purchasing in bulk
  • Holding onto items that go unused for weeks, months or years – “just in case” you ever need it again
  • Keeping items you don’t like or love because they were gifted to you or recommended by a friend

The fix? Letting go.

Letting go of the things that we no longer use or need allows us to find the confidence to believe that we have enough. How much food can you truly consume in a week? Start purchasing just enough from the grocery store. How many outfits can we manage to wear on a monthly basis? Let go of the clothing items you purchased because “one day” you plan to wear it.

Mental Clutter

Lacking an abundance mindset can also present itself in our thoughts. Mental clutter from a scarcity mindset manifests itself in the following ways:

  • Convincing ourselves or others that we can never have, be, or do something
  • Telling ourselves that other people have achieved their goals because they possess something that we lack
  • Avoiding taking chances because if we leave our comfort zone, we stand to lose everything
  • Choosing to believe that our greatest fears are real and never making an effort to overcome them

The fix? More doing, less thinking.

That job application you’ve been putting off? Complete it. Those dream trips to you’ve been thinking about? Start planning them. That class you that will help you improve your skill set? Take it. When we choose to execute and take action on the things that we want, we will begin to believe that we have the power to manifest what we desire and that there is enough to go around.

Emotional Clutter

Finally, scarcity is exemplified in many of our emotional responses. Emotional clutter from a scarcity mindset manifests itself in the following ways:

  • Overeating
  • Overspending
  • Overindulging
  • Overworking

In an effort to calm our stress or anxiety we often participate in 1 or more of the above actions without concern for the long term effects. This results from the belief that satisfaction, happiness and/or time are fleeting. We often take these thing to the extreme for short intervals of time.

The fix? Reflection.

Ask yourself, why do you overindulge? Start by making note of the triggers that lead you to this type of behavior and your typical response. Once you recognize your triggers, it will be easier to manage how you respond and curate a life that avoids or minimizes those triggers altogether.

For me, the trigger is stress and the response is overworking and overeating. Understanding my trigger allows me to contemplate how I can create a healthier response and minimize stress. As you uncover your emotional clutter remember not to feel guilty or frustrated. Instead, just make note of what you notice. Writing down your thoughts will create a mental note of behavior/triggers to look out for and give you the freedom to address these thoughts or feelings in your own time.

How does the scarcity mindset present itself in your life? 

Que-so Goodbye,


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