When it comes to a scarcity mindset, I’ve got a really embarrassing story to share with you.
Right after my divorce, I was in a shitshow of a relationship with a guy. Let’s call him Jared.
He was my boss’s boss.
His wife had recently moved out.
Oh, and he was a high-ranking military colonel at my place of work.
When I say this relationship was all wrong for me, it’s an understatement.
He wouldn’t call when he promised he would.
And show up late to my apartment drunk if he would show up at all.
But would quote Bible passages right after sex. Like, wtf?!
One day at work, Jared left his computer unattended with his Gmail up.
So, I just happened to pass by (that’s a lie—I was sleuthing) and saw an email he’d written to another woman.
“Baby I love you. I can’t wait to see you again.”
Immediately, I ran to the work bathroom, half sobbing, half vomiting my lunch.
I felt like a fucking fool.
But that shame and anger and hurt pride was what saved me from months of even more dysfunction.
I called Jared that night, saying it was the last we’d see of each other. He protested, made excuses, and sent flowers, begging me to let him explain.
Luckily that betrayal was the reality I needed.
It took months to heal from that blow.
And it took years to understand why I was in that relationship in the first place.
After coaching divorced women for the past five years and doing my own internal work, I finally have the answer.
I had a Scarcity Mindset.
The fear that I would be alone for the rest of my life, and that this was the best I was going to get, was why I talked myself into that shitty relationship.
A scarcity mindset was the mindfuck that told me that I was worthless without a partner.
It made no sense. I was thriving at my high-stress defense sector job. I had supportive friends and family.
So why was I so blind to Jared’s terrible behavior?
How did I end up being with that shitshow?
Scarcity does that to all of us women after divorce.
If you say things like, “I’m running out of time….I won’t have enough money…it’s too late for me…I’ll never be happy…” you have a scarcity mindset.
And it’s robbing you of your chance to heal quickly, move on, and get the post-divorce life of your dreams.
In today’s blog post, you are going to learn:
- What a scarcity mindset is
- How a scarcity mindset keeping your stuck
- What an abundance mindset really means
- How shifting to an abundance mindset will save you from bad decisions that will keep you stuck after divorce
What is a scarcity mindset?
The scarcity mindset is panic.
It is fear.
And scarcity is the thief of your recovery and dreams.
Most of us were raised with a scarcity mindset because that’s how our parents operated. If your parents said things like, “don’t get too big for your britches…just be happy for what you have…we can’t afford it (regardless of what “it” was), you grew up on scarcity.
It was the same in my household. I grew up in rural Wyoming, the third of four children. I’m not even sure if we were poor, but the scarcity mindset dictated everything. My mother made it seem like we were poor and if one of us wanted a new lunchbox or Trapper Keeper at the start of the school year, we’d get yelled at, saying there wasn’t enough money.
I remember wanting to go to college out of state, and my dad saying that was stupid and frivolous, when I could go to the state school instead (I went on a nearly full-ride, which made the logic even more ridiculous).
The scarcity mindset makes you think there is never enough.
If you were made to feel bad for wanting more, or scolded for spending money on things that weren’t bare necessities, you grew up with a scarcity mindset.
If you still head straight towards the clearance rack at Ann Taylor, and you agonize and feel guilty about getting the new blouse that you actually want because it’s not on sale, you’re still living with that scarcity mindset.
But don’t feel bad.
It’s messaging that women have received for decades. It’s also woven into our society because of our “work until you die, it’s sinful to have any fun, you’ll be rewarded when you get to heaven” mindset the f*cking Puritans poisoned the country when they came here.
Regardless of family upbringing or societal messages, you carry that scarcity mindset about money, relationships, and life with you, which is why you feel guilty and shameful and stuck after divorce.
But it’s time to pivot from the scarcity mindset to the abundance mindset.
What is abundance?
Abundance is confidence.
It is your guide to your dreams.
The abundance mindset is a mindset that is joyful. It is one where you know you have more than enough time, money, and resources for the things you truly love. You feel confident and hopeful about the future, because you know that life is not a dystopian Blade Runner movie where everyone is going to die tomorrow and we’ll all end up drinking our own piss.
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the abundance mindset is not a delusional Polly Anna situation where you deny things aren’t perfect. But the abundance mindset means you know there will always be enough, and you’ll always be okay.
Abundance is clear-headedness and joy.
When you go from scarcity to abundance, these incredible things will happen…they did for me and I know they will for you.
What happens when you go from scarcity to abundance?
Scarcity Mindset to Abundance Mindset #1. You realize that you have plenty of time.
Every single woman I have coached comes to me with the same fear.
It’s not clowns.
“Martha, I’m running out of time.”
“It’s too late for me.”
When I hear this, it’s heart-breaking. Divorced women think that because they are over 50, it means that they’re on a slow decline to the nursing home.
It couldn’t be further from the truth.
Because once you get crystal-clear on exactly what you want—whether it’s to quit your spiritually draining job, or finally travel to Ireland, or actually finally accept your incredible beautiful body—you can break those down into steps and dates to make that goal happen.
And once you get that, you’ll realize you have plenty of time to achieve your dreams. To get out of your divorce rut. And that the rest of your life is yours.
Still feel like the clock keeps ticking to your impending doom? Use this easy mindset shift.
Instead of “I’m running out of time.”
Try: I have all the time I need to make my post-divorce dreams a reality. I just need to get crystal-clear on what I actually want and work to make it happen.
Scarcity Mindset to Abundance Mindset #2. You no longer worry that you’ll be alone forever.
Holy shit, ladies. If I had a dollar for every time I heard one of my incredible clients—women like you who are divorced, at midlife, and though killin’ it in their careers, still felt worthless because they don’t have a partner.
This scarcity mindset is maddening. And completely untrue.
I remember being there. Look at the beginning of this post for more information. After my divorce, I put up with a lot of shitty guys—guys who flaked, guys sending d*ck pics, guys who didn’t call, guys who ended up still being married–because I didn’t want to be alone.
When you’re terrified you’ll be alone after divorce, you get desperate.
And desperation means you start compromising your values and standards.
Which means you let men walk all over you. Take advantage of you.
Didn’t you have enough of that shitty behavior in your marriage?
But that’s what a scarcity mindset does—it makes you think you need to go on a second date with the guy who kept talking over you and didn’t ask you any questions.
The scarcity mindset is what makes you convince yourself that although the guy you’re sleeping with says he doesn’t want to be in a relationship, if you wait just a little longer, he’ll change his mind. He won’t.
You deserve soooooo much better than that.
And you don’t have to talk yourself into being around people who mess with your head and cause you to question your self-worth because “it’s better than going home to an empty house.”
You’re better than being desperate and afraid.
You deserve abundance.
Instead of: I’m going to die alone.
Try: This is the first time in my life I have been able to do things for me. Not my husband, not my children, not my parents.
I choose to use this time to find what brings me joy, put myself first, and invest in myself. So when I am ready to date again (if that’s what I even want), I will be ready for a healthy relationship with a partner who cherishes me.
Scarcity Mindset to Abundance Mindset #3 You realize that you are enough.
When you operate on a scarcity mindset, you operate on a toxic narrative that says you are too old, too gray, too overweight, too nagging, too much of a harpy, and just too unworthy to ever be happy again.
That idea of scarcity is reinforced by how society has viewed divorced women for years–that we should be ashamed, that we should never ask for more, that we should just fade away into the background.
Abundance isn’t about just time or money. It’s about knowing your worth, loving yourself, and believing in yourself….regardless of the negative messaging you heard growing up, or during your marriage.
Abundance means you know that you’re aren’t your past. Or your marital status. You aren’t the voices in your head saying you’re no good or don’t deserve a great life after divorce.
But you are a warrior.
And you have chosen yourself.
Scarcity Mindset–Instead of: I will never be good enough.
Try: I am enough for being alive. I am enough for surviving divorce and everything else in my life. I do not have to justify myself to anyone. And I have the right to live boldly, fearlessly, and unapologetically as I damn well please.
So, how about you?
Do you suffer from a scarcity mindset after divorce?
What one powerful change will you make starting today to bring abundance into your post divorce life?