top of page

Do You Have A Scarcity Mindset?

Have you ever heard of it? It has to do with Positive Sum and Negative Sum and an Abundance Mindset and…that’s right, a Scarcity Mindset. Four things are too many to cover so since I’m doing the writing…I pick Scarcity Mindset. (You can look up info on the other three.) IKR.

So, a “Scarcity Mindset” is a life philosophy that there are limits to “resources”, and not necessarily “enough for everyone”. Put very simply, for example, if you start with a freshly baked pie, and someone takes a piece; then there will be someone who comes out on “the short end”. So, for someone with a Scarcity Mindset, everything is a “competition” of some kind. And that means there will be a “winner and a loser” about something. So, for someone with a Scarcity Mindset, there will be “losers” …and it just might be “YOU”. Not good. And, when it comes to that pie analogy, a person with the Scarcity Mindset, will be preoccupied, immediately concerned that the person cutting that pie just might not cut it evenly. This presumption and concern about “coming out on the short end”, is in contrast to an Abundance Mindset” which considers that, oh by the way…. we can bake another pie.

Individuals with a Scarcity Mindset operate with a preconceived notion of failure or falling-short of achieving an objective. That’s called having a defeatist mindset.

Now consider this, often a person with a Scarcity Mindset is intimidated by the success of others. Any success achieved diminishes any opportunity for anyone with a Scarcity Mindset to experience success and receive recognition of their own. It’s like there is a finite amount of recognition and anytime someone else gets recognition, it decreases the amount left to go around. This can be observed by negative emotions surfacing in the form of conflict behaviors and envy.

Lastly, how is your “Schadenfreude” doing? Schadenfreude is a type of emotion when acted out, that often looks like the person finds “joy” in the failure of others. The person with a scarcity mindset considers that the failure or falling short of a coworker improves their individual chances for success.

Do you work with any people who exhibit a Scarcity Mindset? Hmm, are you one of those people?

If you have them in your organization, they could be toxic.



bottom of page