‘We Get Scarcity Because We Live It’

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By Dawn Onley

“I didn’t get enough sleep last night.”

As a mom of a young child, I have said this more times than I can count.

I didn’t realize that by saying it, I was reinforcing negative feelings of scarcity and lack – or even worse, that it was systemic of a larger pattern where defeatist words can pepper our thoughts, impact our attitudes and infiltrate our actions. If we’re not careful, this negative self-talk can pervade our lives.


Scholar, author and public speaker, Brene Brown, discusses scarcity in her book “Daring Greatly.” She says “we get scarcity because we live it.”

And it starts from the time we get out of bed in the morning.

“Our first waking thought of the day (is) I didn’t get enough sleep,” Brown says. “Whether true or not, the thought of scarcity hits us before we get our day started. We are already behind, already lacking.”

We have a choice of whether we will rise in a spirit of thankfulness or whether we allow scarcity to take over.

Scarcity is the “never enough” issue, Brown adds. We are never good enough, never successful enough, never thin enough, never smart enough, there is never enough time to get done all of the things that we have to get done, we don’t have enough money. The list goes on and on. It often begins innocently enough – with not enough sleep, as soon as we wake up in the morning.

While reading Brown’s book, a lightbulb went off in my head. I can see how easy it is to go downhill when we start off on the wrong foot. Suddenly, I see how lack begets more lack and how a steady chorus of complaints can overshadow the good that is occurring.

To have enough, we must not live in lack of anything.

I will pay closer attention to my thoughts and watch the words that I speak. There’s great power in our words. I will choose to live abundantly, knowing that I am more than enough. We are all more than enough.

That’s the truth at all hours of the day. No lack of anything changes that.


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