Because dental practices are so busy, we often spend more time talking about business growth than personal growth. In recent years, however, dental practices and other businesses have invested more and more attention to the personal growth of its leaders and team members—and rightfully so.
When leaders and team members are at their best mentally, emotionally, and physically, they will perform better in all areas of life, including work. On an individual level, a healthy team member who performs better will be more likely to hit their performance goals and advance in their careers. Collectively, a group of team members who perform better will make the practice more profitable and a much better place to work.
One of the simplest and most important areas we can work on is our mindsets. Specifically, have you ever taken a few minutes to consider whether you have an abundance mindset or a scarcity mindset? If not, take a few minutes today to do so. If you discover you tend to have a scarcity mindset, a shift to more abundance thinking might be just what you need to achieve better business success and personal fulfillment.
Abundance Mindset vs Scarcity Mindset
Dental Hub 360’s Elijah Desmond recently asked the Trapped in the OP Facebook community to share their definitions of scarcity and abundance mindsets. Many members jumped in to share their thoughts.
For example, one member shared a thought processes of an abundance thinker and a scarcity thinker:
Abundance = There is enough for everyone, and when we share, we grow exponentially.
Scarcity = I must keep it all; I can’t share, or there won’t be enough for me.
Another member shared the following:
Scarcity is thinking only certain people can obtain success. Abundance is knowing anyone who wants and works to be successful can.
A third applied it to her work as a hygienist:
Abundance thinking is being okay with a patient rescheduling with another hygienist due to a work conflict because you know there is no lack of patients to keep the practice busy. You don’t get jealous, sad, or scared. You truly know that making sure patients get the best care when they need it will benefit everyone.
To the contrary, she used taking full-mouth x-rays on a patient that wasn’t due just because they got new insurance that will cover it as scarcity thinking. In that case, a scarcity thinker looks at the new insurance as a tool to get more production in their column this year and next year. The thinking is:
“I need to get this insurance coverage in my column now because someone else will get it if I don’t.”
In short, abundance thinking is being of the mindset that there is enough opportunity for everyone. Scarcity thinking is being of the mindset that there is a set amount of opportunity, and if someone else gets something, that’s less opportunity for you.
How to Tell if You Have a Scarcity Mindset
Common signs of scarcity mindsets are thinking temporary situations are permanent, there is never enough for you, or believing if someone else gets something, you will never get it.
Here are some signs you might have a scarcity mindset:
- You believe you do not deserve success.
- You constantly compare yourself to others.
- It’s hard for you to be happy for other people when they succeed.
- You always worry about something negative happening to offset the positive when something goes well for you.
- You believe success is a matter of luck or otherwise out of your control.
- Secretly, you feel happy or comforted when other people fail to accomplish their goals.
- You want to succeed but feel like there’s always a reason you can’t or won’t.
- It seems as if you need to do everything yourself to make sure it’s done well instead of training people to do things.
- You use language like “I could never,” “I’m not [good enough, smart enough, etc.],” or “S/he is [better, smarter, more experienced] than me so I have no chance.”
- You avoid investing in yourself (such as by investing in one of Elijah’s awesome dental cruises) because you believe it’s too much of a luxury.
The scarcity mindset takes many forms. In the end, they all circle back to negative thoughts about yourself or your situation such that you believe you are predisposed to fail.
How a Scarcity Mindset Holds You Back
Scarcity mindset holds people back in many ways. Most scarcity thinking ends up with people making excuses for not doing the things they need to do to succeed.
For example, if you think temporary situations are permanent, you are unlikely to work to improve your situation. This could take the form of not having the skills necessary to advance in your career.
An abundance thinker who doesn’t have the necessary skills to advance in their career would look to acquire the skills. If they don’t have a lot of money, they would go to the library to borrow books or look for free or low-cost resources to grow their skills.
A scarcity thinker approaches the same situation differently, feeling stuck and dejected. They wouldn’t even try to improve. If they do try, they won’t give their full effort.
Because a scarcity thinker convinces themselves to not even try to succeed, they often seal their own fate and fail. That reinforces their scarcity thinking when the reality is their failure is usually because they didn’t do what was necessary to succeed.
Are you held back by scarcity thinking?
One area of personal growth that can have the biggest impact on your business and personal lives is your mindset. Whether you have an abundance mindset or scarcity mindset will have a big impact on your ultimate success.
Let us know your thoughts about mindset by joining the discussion in the Trapped in the OP Facebook community.