Getting to the Root of Scarcity Thinking

Steve August
November 9, 2020
Real-Life Leadership
5 Rules for Rocket Ships

Believe it or not, one of my consistent personal themes has been a sense of scarcity.

Now, the reality is that I’ve been very, very fortunate to have never experienced true scarcity. I’ve always had a roof over my head. I’ve never gone hungry.

But it seems that no matter what kind of abundance shows up, I can find my way to a feeling of scarcity.

Even after a successful exit a few years back.

Even after being on track to 3x my business this year.

Recently, I’ve been taking an online course called Decisions By Design. There was an exercise from the class this past week in which you take a session and focus entirely on problems and challenges - without trying to solve them. (That’s reserved for a later session.)

It’s really interesting when you are free to just focus on the challenges you want to solve. I wrote down every problem or challenge I could think of.

I started by writing about wanting to feel more abundant.

Then I wrote about wanting to feel more free.

Then I wrote about wanting to get better at time management.

Then it hit me. Time management and scheduling has always been challenging for me. I mean, I really, really HATE scheduling.

It began to dawn on me that at the heart of my feelings of scarcity was my uneasy relationship with scheduling and time.

I realized that I often added things on top of my pile without figuring out when they slotted in to my schedule. New business ideas. New offerings. New marketing efforts. Without figuring out where (or if) they fit in my schedule, I’d consistently create a scarcity of time. Which then fed my sense of scarcity about money and freedom.

The root problem of scarcity wasn’t actual scarcity. It was that I wasn’t truly owning my calendar.

And our calendars are our lives. So what I really wasn’t owning was my life. Boom.

It was really mind blowing after all these years to crack the code. So now I’m revisiting how I manage my time. It’s still painful to manage my schedule, but now I realize why that is. It’s because it’s where I make decisions about what’s truly important. It’s where I have to say no (and I hate saying no).

As a follow up to this session, I’ve set aside some time to just think through solutions.  I’m already seeing a profound impact on how I am approaching everything.

You probably have a number of challenges you are facing. I highly recommend dedicating a session to just defining challenges, without going to solution. You’ll probably find a number of symptom level problems. You may be able to fix those and make them better.

But I promise if you take some time to dive into the root problem, you’ll see your world in a whole new way.

Until next time,


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