Shirin Etessam is an entrepreneur (founder, OML TV) and transformational speaker. Her first book will be released in June 2023.

As Lao Tzu is credited with saying: “When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

During times of economic uncertainty, consumers may begin to lose confidence in the economy and decrease their spending. We may also see interest rate changes, increases in unemployment, stocks declining, and new car sales, as well as retail sales, declining. For the experts, economic challenges and even recessions are an inevitable part of the business cycle. Recessions typically feature an economic decline in which the country experiences negative GDP (gross domestic product) growth for two consecutive quarters. When faced with this type of economic environment, individuals typically take one of two stances: a scarcity mentality aligned closely with economic conditions or an abundance mentality that focuses on success regardless of those conditions.

Leaders with an abundance mentality continually move forward with confidence; they believe they have the power to create the life they want. These individuals are empowered to see endless opportunities rather than impending defeat. In contrast, leaders with a scarcity mentality are likely to lean into difficulties and focus on what is lacking. They act out of fear of the current challenging conditions. These individuals aren’t ready to tackle anything that seems unrealistic or out of reach. On the other hand, abundance mentality leaders approach difficulties head on. They learn the skills needed to achieve their goals.

How A Leader’s Mentality Affects The Team

A leader’s mentality plays a huge role in business, where change is inescapable. Leadership’s responses reflect their mentality and, in turn, affect their team in a like manner. Leaders with an abundance mentality are flexible and adapt to changes with confidence. Leaders with a scarcity mentality focus on the lack of resources and anticipate failure due to unexpected changes. Much like an economic downturn, leaders with a scarcity mindset often spiral downward into negativity and take their team with them. Leaders with an abundance mentality share their ideas, seek out opportunities, and pour themselves into the company, and they encourage their team members to do the same. They build a reliable support system that is unafraid to tackle change and solve problems effectively.

Whether it focuses on abundance or scarcity, a leader’s mentality contributes to the company culture and spreads throughout the team. A leader with an abundance mentality offers opportunities for growth for the team in every aspect of life and work. These leaders are invested in their team and realize there is enough success to go around.

Do Economic Challenges And A Scarcity Mentality Have To Go Hand In Hand?

The answer is “no.” Everyone has the option to choose their mentality. In truth, abundance and scarcity mentalities aren’t just about circumstances; they are mentalities that can be adopted and developed. For some people, the challenge may come because they were taught to have a scarcity mentality as children (with lessons like “good things come to an end,” “there isn’t enough for everyone,” and so on). As adults in the business world, it becomes “there aren’t enough customers for everyone” or “most businesses fail.” No one has to succumb to negativity and fear; instead, they can develop an abundance mentality, even in the midst of economic difficulties.

Developing An Abundance Mentality In Times Of Economic Uncertainty

To develop an abundance mentality, even during economic downturns, we should choose to operate on the belief that there is enough to go around and that everyone can achieve success. How do we make the change to an abundance mentality? It begins with setting our goals and then developing a plan to make them happen. It requires making the most of our existing resources and capitalizing on them, looking for the positive in every situation and seeking collaboration rather than competition. It calls for developing a growth mindset and not being afraid to learn new skills.

Moving to an abundance mentality also requires that we surround ourselves with like-minded people. When we surround ourselves with those who have an abundance mindset, we can gain a more positive outlook and find the encouragement we need to accomplish our goals. Finally, we should choose to shift our perspective to see opportunities rather than obstacles, failures as occasions for learning, and change as an opportunity for new successes. After all, opportunities for growth and success are waiting for us everywhere.

Putting Your New Abundance Mentality Into Practice

How do we put our new abundance mentality into practice during an economic downturn? Leading with abundance requires us to foster our new mindset and continually develop it so we don’t fall back into a scarcity mindset. We must continuously ask questions and seek answers as we unceasingly seek personal growth and development. In encouraging our own curious nature, we encourage others to do the same, which can create more opportunities for all. As we do, we must continually cultivate our team to surround ourselves with individuals who also have an abundance mentality. As mentioned, abundance is collaborative and can drive sustainable growth by creating a culture in which everyone is free to contribute and innovate. As the team makes positive contributions, we should remember to recognize them and genuinely thank them for their contributions. With our newfound abundance mentality, we can find creative solutions to business challenges, even in an uncertain economy.

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