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The Danger of a Scarcity Mentality

November 2, 2016

A friend gets a promotion at work.  Your sister goes on her dream vacation.  A team member enrolls a record number of new Consultants in a month.  Your Sponsor advances in rank. 

How do you react to the above scenarios?  Do you harbor feelings of jealousy?  Anger?  Are you overwhelmed with feelings of, “Why not me?”  You could be stuck in a trap called the ‘Scarcity Mentality.’ 

The term ‘scarcity mentality’ was first coined by Stephen R. Covey in his popular book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:


Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the Scarcity Mentality. They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else.

The Scarcity Mentality is the zero-sum paradigm of life. People with a Scarcity Mentality have a very difficult time sharing recognition and credit, power or profit – even with those who help in the production. They also have a very hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people.


Many of us have adopted this mindset based on the messages we received about money and success while we were growing up.  Many of us heard regular arguments about money or were told on a regular basis that finances were too tight to do the things we wanted to do.  These messages can be deeply embedded and will often lead to