We want what we want and . . . many of us don’t reflect beyond this point. We use the energy of our will indiscriminately, constantly pushing forward without discerning. Are we chasing our desires from a sense of lack, or are we pursuing them from a sense of abundance?
Many of us adopt a scarcity mindset and unknowingly enter its vicious cycle. Having a scarcity mindset starts with a belief that we don’t have the inner resources to manifest what we want.
Becoming aware of what we’re chasing after, whether it’s money, power, fame, or love, is a powerful place to start recognizing the never-ending loop of the scarcity mindset. The chase in itself is often an indication that we are experiencing stuckness and confusion.
Why is chasing problematic? Because it plants two false ideas in our mind. The first is that we don’t currently have what we need. The second is that what we want lies outside of us.
In the process of chasing our desires, we form attachments—to people, situations, or things—in order to compensate for what we think we lack. These attachments disappoint us, of course, because nothing on the outside ever fills us on the inside.
We create expectations of how people and situations ‘ought to be’ and tell ourselves that until our outer circumstances look a certain way, we can’t get what we want. This is precisely how we give our power over to outside forces and lock ourselves into chronic waiting.
We are our own roadblocks. Our circumstances don’t have to shift before we can move forward with our goals.
The loop repeats itself and our pain accumulates until one day…a major trigger comes along. This shows up as a mid-life crisis, illness, losing love, or a job—basically any event that causes a major blow to the heart. Life shakes us hard, asking us to wake up to what we love and to stand up for it.
Alternatively, we can bypass the suffering and jolting experience altogether and decide now that enough is enough.
What differentiates a life of surviving from a life of thriving is choosing to live fearlessly. Living fearlessly means we’ve sorted through the wounds, traumas, and historic patterns that have disconnected us from our natural abundance.
Our natural abundance is always there, only hiding beneath our ‘stuff.’ If tackling personal clutter seems daunting, know that we can sort through it pretty quickly.
It starts by bringing more awareness to the enemies and pain stories we latch onto. This reveals a great deal about what’s been holding us back from success and allows us to let go of our baggage once and for all.
Our enemies are those we blame for holding us back. Perhaps it’s the boss who won’t give us a raise or the colleague who throws a wrench in our work. We may point fingers at uncooperative staff members, company leaders who don’t act on what they say, or clients who don’t pay.
Whatever the case is, the mistake we make in dealing with our enemies is overlooking how we are enabling them to hurt us. What boundaries have we not set for ourselves that others have silently interpreted as an invitation to take from us?
Our enemies mirror back to us valuable information about the weaknesses in our boundaries. Regardless of what our enemies are doing to derail us, they also mimic the ways we sabotage ourselves. Therefore, focusing on an enemy as the source of our problem only creates more distance between us and our inner abundance.
In addition to being a distraction, holding enemies with judgmental thoughts and polarized feelings costs us a great deal of energy. It is not in our true nature to hate others. Hate depletes us because it requires us to feed the image of our enemy with more justification, which is often an endless pursuit.
What pain story do we tell on a regular basis, and why do we keep repeating it? It doesn’t matter what the story is about—dissatisfaction with our career, our colleagues, or our business—latching onto our stories beyond their point of expiration causes them to play out over and over.
Stories treated as transitions, rather than permanent identities or realities, allow us to evolve rather than revolve. Seeing them as pass-throughs helps us write the next story as one that features us as wiser and more liberated.
I don’t advise against sharing our past. However, I do recommend that we detach ourselves from it so that any time we discuss it we don’t enter back into it.
To know whether we’ve detached from the past, we can pay attention to how we currently feel about our story. If in telling our story we once again are seeking validation and explanations for what happened, that’s a sign we are caught in its loop.
Repeatedly trying to reconcile the past is living in the past, as we are investing a chunk of our awareness in an alternate reality, rather than maintaining our complete awareness in the present moment which is the only place where we can effect change.
Any time we attempt to recreate new expressions of the same experience while hoping for a different outcome, we form a loop and get stuck in the past. If it feels too difficult to leap out of it, realize that our future liberated self doesn’t care about what happened back then. It doesn’t even remember the pain we felt — because that self is too busy enjoying life!
We spend a great deal of time, energy, and money building new skills and nurturing passions, which helps to make our dreams more visible. Nonetheless, with all the training and coaching we do to design and envision our dreams, why are they still beyond our reach?
It’s in letting go of enemies and pain stories—the stuff that stands between us and our dreams—that we find the ability to step into them. It’s in letting go that our inner abundance becomes instantly accessible and the source from which we can create the outer reality we want.
Bianca Finkelstein originally published this article in Fast Company Magazine