We tend to think of happiness as something that only happens to us when certain conditions are met, but in reality, happiness is often a choice. When we simply allow ourselves to be happy regardless of our situation, we experience the unconditional joy of life and the Higher Self.” – Nanette V. Hucknall

We’ve all heard the popular saying, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Our lives are comprised of more conditions than simply attitude, but how we relate to those conditions can have a profound impact on the path our lives take.

For instance, in the education field, the concept of a “growth mindset” describes a condition where students believe in their capacity to gain knowledge, solve problems, and adopt new skills. Studies have shown that programs designed to move students from a “fixed mindset,” or a belief that skills are finite and unchanging, over to a “growth mindset” have yielded increased performance on national test scores. 

This phenomenon is carried into adulthood as we learn to make choices that are either based in “scarcity mentality” or “abundance mentality.” We’re all familiar with the feeling of scarcity in our lives, and that doesn’t simply mean financial troubles. When we feel isolated or undesirable, we often feel a sense of mental poverty permeating our social, cultural, and romantic worlds.

Similarly, we may be familiar with the sense of possibility that floods our lives when we feel flush with inspirations, breakthroughs, and solutions. This sense of wonder and openness can describe a life led through abundance mentality. These two opposing mindsets create the dichotomy of scarcity and abundance.

Self-Awareness as the First Step to Overcoming Scarcity Mindset  

When we understand what style of thinking drives our choices, it becomes easier to understand the hidden motivations behind our actions. Perhaps we have scarcity mentality in some aspects of our life but not others. Or maybe our mindset is volatile, shifting drastically as a result of only minor happenings. Regardless of how it permeates our life, scarcity mindset can guide our thinking in subtle, permeating ways that we may not even notice on a day-to-day level. 

This is why self-awareness is so central to the Higher Self Yoga tradition. It is not possible to overcome an attachment to a scarcity mentality without first understanding how it manifests uniquely within your own life. It is possible these attachments are so central to our thoughts and actions that we no longer observe them, even as they are actively occurring. 

Throughout her work, Higher Self Yoga founder Nanette V. Hucknall discusses how it is the spiritual practitioner’s job to bring self-awareness to fear. She suggests that it is very likely some form of fear that prevents one from evolving into the truest version of themselves. Whether it be fear of success, fear of failure, fear of being seen, or fear of not being seen, it is our spiritual work to identify and understand the fears that keep us tethered to our scarcity mentality. 

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Self-Discipline as a Path to Freedom from Scarcity Mentality 

Being disciplined gives you the power to control your thinking, complete any task, and study any teaching. It takes concentration and hard work, but in the end, discipline gives you freedom.” – Nanette V. Hucknall

Once we have awareness of the fears that are holding us back, we can use them as the focal point for our spiritual work. Through spiritual self-discipline, we have the opportunity to reflect on these fears, rest with them, and understand them in order to move past them. 

A person practicing this self-discipline has the capacity to consistently, objectively, and vigilantly relate to their own limitations. Culturally, we are trained to think of discipline as an oppressor. We view it as an unpleasant chore that locks us into an arduous lifestyle. In actuality, a person embodying self-awareness and self-discipline is quite liberated. Their practices free them from the patterns that were previously confiding them. 

For instance, imagine being so in command of your thoughts, emotions, actions, and behaviors, that all of your choices were executed with insight, care, and intention. A person of discipline is grounded, participating in their life fully at every moment. As we learn more and more to rest in this state of being, we see the ways in which we were limiting ourselves through fear. From this vantage point, we are able to liberate ourselves from the scarcity-based behaviors of our previous life. 

Self-Reliance and the Path of Abundance Mentality 

Once we begin to understand how our personal fears were limiting our sense of possibility, we become less interested in making choices from the vantage point of those fears. Whereas beforehand, our fears only presented us with terrifying scenarios, now, we move past them, learning to trust our newfound strength and perseverance. 

The consistency that comes from having regularly chosen to observe our patterns, sit with the fear that is causing the pattern, and call on the self-discipline needed to make a different choice will naturally give way to a powerful, newfound self-confidence. When we trust ourselves to care for our lives in this way, our willpower is awakened and new possibilities for life quickly emerge.

This sense of personal self-reliance will provide the solid ground on which we can survey our life and make intentional, thoughtful choices. When we practice the self-discipline of this spiritual work, we have the capacity to consistently and objectively examine and transform what we see as our limitations. Having learned to relate to and transcend our personal fears, we can now conduct our lives through the lens of our Higher Self, or the wise being within. Your Higher Self is eager for you to unlock your full potential and live the truest most fulfilling version of your life. In other words, your Higher Self, wants you to live in an abundance mindset. 

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