Over the past several years, I have been endeavoring to stop seeing scarcity everywhere I look and start seeing sufficiency instead.
As an example, let’s take Exhibit A: my bank account.
I work full-time in the service industry as a freelance writer. Sometimes my clients need lots of articles. Sometimes they don’t need any articles at all.
In either case, it is rare to get any kind of heads-up before my workload (and my monthly bank balance) increases or decreases accordingly.
There are pros and cons to working in this type of industry, and for me the pros consistently outweigh the cons (including having my choice of officemates).
But for all the enormous increase in “gig economy” type workers of late, when it comes to mainstream matters like paying health insurance premiums, buying a new vehicle when your 14-year-old ride finally calls it quits, coping with unexpected expenses like your young tortoise’s CT scan tests and similar big ticket items, my protective, survival-based mindset has been firmly set to “expect scarcity” for as long as I can recollect.
However, this is not entirely accurate. I am just now starting to realize that if I get up, walk around to the other side, take a fresh look at my fiscal situation, what I see is actually one example after another of total sufficiency.
I see being able – one way or another – to meet my financial obligations each month in full. I notice how when emergencies do arise, a bit of creativity and determination has always provided me with the means to incorporate those expenses without undue hardship.
I perceive that I have even been able to take a week-long summer vacation for the last few consecutive years, complete with extra expenses for professional pet boarding, forgoing an entire week’s income and emerging not measurably worse off for it.
This is kind of….cool. Like, really cool.
Now, I will admit my definition of “sufficiency” as “making ends meet” could probably use some tweaking.
But given that I spent more than five years arm-wrestling tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid credit card debt down to zero, making ends meet feels like a great place to start.
It is true that “abundance” in my world does not yet look like having Dave Ramsey’s six-month savings account emergency funds in hand. It doesn’t look like a robust retirement account or even paying full retail price for a new outfit (but then again, why shop new when you can thrift and find super-cool things for super-cheap prices?!).
But it no longer looks like scarcity either, which for me is the whole point and the best place to start in building a new picture of my life that reflects ongoing robust sufficiency in every way.
The more and the more consistently I can catch my mind when it starts adopting a scarcity viewpoint, make minor course corrections as needed, or as one mentor once put it, “change the prescription of my glasses” to see my financial situation more accurately, the more sufficiency I can expect to perceive and receive.
In this way, one thought and one dollar at a time, I endeavor to continue my slow but steady journey from scarcity to sufficiency.
Today’s Takeaway: A mentor once explained that it isn’t possible – at least for most of us – to make a single big leap from Point A, where we are now, to Point Z, where we want to go. Instead, it is necessary to make a series of shorter hops from Point A to B to C to D and so forth…until Point Z follows Y and we finally arrive at our desired destination. Do you resonate with this approach to changing your mindset and your circumstances in areas where things aren’t going quite to your liking? Have you discovered any creative ways to make hopping from A to B to C easier and speedier? If so I’d love to hear about them!