I used to live life from a scarcity mindset. Whilst this infiltrated into many aspects of how I lived my life, the biggest part was my relationship with money. It was something I feared, felt I didn’t have enough of, something I rationed and hoarded, in a way that impacted greatly how openly and fully I was living. 

The thing was, the mindset made me feel like I didn’t have enough, but more so was a mask of the true underlying feeling, that I wasn’t enough. I didn’t want to spend any money on myself and disguised it by the rational thoughts and beliefs that I needed to save money, or that something wasn’t worth it - but in reality, I was reinforcing a hidden subconscious belief that I wasn’t worth it. I wasn’t deserving of these things that my mind deemed unnecessary; too indulgent - I only allowed myself the bare minimum to survive. And that’s exactly where it put me. In a place where I was surviving, yes, but thriving?

Operating from this mindset gave me the illusion of success, and through discipline and rigidity, I was able to assert control over my life and feel like everything was going to be okay. Because saving money, and spending the least possible amount can only be a good thing, right?

Whilst there is no denying that being sensible about your finances is a good trait to have - everything at extremes can be detrimental. Being so money-conscious meant that I was living within very strict means, with not a lot of room for spontaneity, and honestly, not a lot of room for fun. I didn’t realise it at the time, but it took a lot of joy out of my life. Whether that was me avoiding any form of clothes shopping (previously being someone who loved fashion and expressing myself through it) or stopping to buy grapes because I deemed the £2.50 as ‘too expensive’ - I was losing myself, denying myself those little things that added to my life. 

The strangest thing was, it wasn’t even like I was that strapped for cash. I had a student loan which gave me more than enough to pay my bills and have some left over; I could most definitely afford to buy drinks on a night out or let myself take the bus when it was snowing instead of cycling. 

It didn’t make sense on paper, but the reality is, we are all brought up and conditioned to live in fear of money. Fear of not being successful enough, fear of not being able to afford a house and to live the life that we were so lucky to have. We doubt ourselves, we doubt our abilities and learn that we must be cautious, careful, and sometimes even selfish with what we have - in fear that there is not enough to go round, in fear that we might lose it all.

Learning to adopt an abundant mindset is difficult, when you’ve acted from feelings of scarcity for most of your life. For me, it began with treating myself again. Not being frivolous or over-zealous, still being mindful about what really brings value to my life and what is me engaging in materialism and filling the void - but yes, treating myself. Letting myself spend that $15 on the açai bowl I was craving. Letting myself buy those vintage dungarees I fell in love with and that fitted like they were made for me. Spending money on experiences and opportunities that made me feel like I was living my best life, whether that be going with a friend for an (admittedly overpriced) latte or sky-diving or the splurging on that train-fare to meet up with people I hadn’t seen in years. All things I didn’t need, but things I wanted. 

But abundance doesn’t just stop within yourself - it starts there, but is really evident when you can take it externally, into the outside world and to other people. I’ve been sent lots of tests of my abundance and how truly and deeply I believe and feel it; everything from giving change to a busker I really liked, buying an expensive piece of handmade jewellery I loved (but almost didn’t buy) which supported an amazing artists work, giving my time and energy to work somewhere for free, splitting a speeding fine which wasn’t because of my actions. 

An ancient proverb teaches: “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, yet ends up impoverished.” 

None of us, as young adults, as students, have a lot of money. But we do have a lot. We have more than enough money when we can afford a roof over our heads and food to eat. It’s funny how those in places of the most privilege often feel like they don’t have enough - whereas the poorest people in the most underdeveloped countries are often the most kind, generous and giving to others. 

We have as much as we believe we have. And I know how incredibly privileged I am to be able to live the life I am - but that doesn’t mean I need to live in fear of losing it, of one day not having enough. Having an abundant mindset will attract abundance into your life, in so many different ways. What goes around comes around; if you give freely, you will receive. Realising that money is simply a currency of energy, of love - of the hard work you put out into a craft, your work, a piece of art you create, transformed the way I started spending and giving.

And the moment you start to believe that, is the moment you start to be liberated from the fear that you don’t have enough, that you’re not enough. You have. You ARE.