The boomerang effect of scarcity
Think about the people in your life who are always broke.
(Not the ones who live on less. The people who have a perfectly good paying jobs, but somehow never seem to have enough money.)
Chances are they make a lot of bad decisions around money.
I have some friends who eat almost all of their meals out. They are in a ton of debt and stress each month about covering their bills.
I don’t love them any less, but I wouldn’t lend them money because I know I’d basically be subsidizing Starbucks and a local sushi joint.
They are in what’s called a ‘scarcity mindset’.
This is a very bad place to be.
Because it triggers your brain to focus solely on what it thinks is lacking.
In the short run this is useful. It’s good to focus on how to pay the bills.
But this particular type of focus also gives people tunnel vision. All they think about is not having enough money, preventing them from seeing the big picture - i.e. “Maybe if I ate out less, I would have more money to pay my bills.”
This stress also causes people to rely more on their ‘bad habits’ to create temporary moments of relief from it - i.e. “I’m so stressed out, what I need is a nice meal at my favorite place.”
Let me repeat…
This is a bad place to be.
And yet it’s so easy to get there.
All you have to do is tell yourself repeatedly that you don’t have enough of something. (Whether you actually have enough or not is irrelevant because the sense of restriction kicks your brain into stress-mode.)
This same principle applies to time, love, attention and food.
If you don’t think you have enough of something (or can’t have something) some part of your brain is always occupied thinking about how it can get you that thing.
And all restriction-based eating puts people into this scarcity mindset.
If you tell yourself you can’t eat doughnuts. Your brain is going to think, “Scarcity of doughnuts!! Quick find the doughnuts. Wait, there’s a doughnut, I need to eat it.”
Whether you call it a life-style change, a sensitivity, a diet, or a way of eating, any time you tell your brain you can’t have something, it creates scarcity, and your brain will focus in on that thing like a hawk.
So, stop it.
Just eat the doughnut (or the pizza, or the gluten, or the carbs, or the soda).
Tell yourself you can have as many cookies, french fries, and Reese’s Peanut butter cups as you want.
Because, in reality, you can.
(I’m not joking, do it…it’ll help you more in a long-run than 99% of diet plans out there.)
Then join us here:
Kate (& Jason)