Scarcity vs Abundance Mindset

How do your words affect your thoughts? What if I told you that the language pattern you use with yourself and others determines your level of success in the gym and out in the wild. Read on to learn how…

To start we need to understand 2 mindsets:

  • Scarcity (Fixed) Mindset
  • Abundance (Growth) Mindset

Scarcity Mindset

If we’re trapped in a scarcity mindset we believe that everything necessary for future progress is becoming scarce or running out. Scarcity also tends to focus on what others have that we do not. Scarcity shows up in our language with a focus on what there is “Not enough of”. There are never enough hours in the day, money in the bank, people who care, etc.

When we are in the Scarcity Mindset in regards to fitness we say things like, “I don’t have time to meal prep.” OR “I’ll never be as fit as (fill in the blank). I bet it’s sooooooo easy for them to lose weight.” A scarcity mindset also focuses on all of the things you’re giving up or losing by making healthier choices: treats, pizza, alcohol, Netflix.

Scarcity often focuses on immediate gratification and disregards your long term goals because… YOLO. This mindset brings negative emotions like envy, guilt, sadness, and anger. Examples: Have you ever eaten like shit for a whole weekend and felt awesome about yourself on Monday morning? Nope! Does comparing yourself to that super fit person on Instagram make you feel good? Doubtful

Abundance Mindset

On the other hand, an abundance mindset believes that there is always enough. When in abundance we focus on the long term and create positive feelings about self worth and value. Abundance focuses on what we do have and what we can do. Abundance shows up in our language with a focus on what there “IS enough of” and what we “CAN do.” I can plan better and give myself more time, I’ve always had enough money and will always find a way to provide, my life is filled with people who care about me, etc.

A growth mindset in fitness says, “I can schedule time this weekend to meal prep for next week.” OR “I will work hard to become the healthiest version of me because I am worth it.” An abundance mindset also focuses on all the things that you’re gaining or adding by making healthier choices: health, energy, libido, self confidence.

When in abundance you are in opportunity seeking, problem solving, a$$ kicking flow. This mindset brings positive emotions like joy, excitement, compassion, and calm.

Cultivating An Abundance Mindset

Mindset is a powerful tool because just like working out to build muscle, mindset can be practiced, and if you practice my friend you can get better at it. You are not fixed. Human beings are capable of amazing change both internally (how you think and talk to yourself) and externally (your body composition and how you talk to others).

Sometimes scarcity language is sneaky. It may not be as obvious as the above examples. Often, it’s more a slow creep. Here’s a quick mindset/language game I’d like you to play that will hopefully hit this material home for you.

First, grab a pen + paper or open up a Google doc to type.

Got to, Need to, Have to → Get to

Part 1: Pressure/Scarcity Language

Step 1- Please write out 1 of each “Got to”, “Have to”, and “Need to” sentence.


  • I’ve got to go to bed earlier tonight.
  • I have to go to work. 
  • I need to work out later.

Step 2- Read these sentences aloud.

Step 3- Check in with yourself. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How do you feel saying it? 
  • What are you feeling right now?
  • Where are you feeling it?
  • 10 is high, 1 is low – what number is it?

Part 2: Choice/Abundance Language

Step 4- Rewrite the 3 sentences from above and replace the got to, have to, need to with get to.


  • I get to go to bed earlier.
  • I get to go to work.
  • I get to work out later.

Step 5- Read these sentences aloud.

Step 6- Check in with yourself. Ask yourself:

  • Any difference between the first set of sentences and the second set of sentences?
  • Describe the difference.

What Changed?

When we change our words we change our focus. Shifting 1 word in a sentence can make all the difference in how you see the event in your mind. Is this a “have to” or a “get to”? If you look objectively at your life there are very few things that you “have to” do. I have to go to work… you can quit. Well, I “have to” pay bills… you can sell your house and move into something cheaper. I “have to” work… you can get a different job, change your lifestyle, move across the country. You choose to go to work, to pay bills, to stay where you are. 

Our days are the culmination of our decisions, our choices, and when we acknowledge that then we can choose to enjoy them or make different ones. That is the scaffolding for building an abundance mindset.

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