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The Scarcity Mindset is Sabotaging your IT Career

I was listening to a podcast the other day, and the hosts were talking about the scarcity mindset and how it sabotages people’s success. 

Stephen Covey wrote in The Seven 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 everyone else.”  

It occurred to me that we can think this way about our tech skills. I bet you’ve worked with someone that rarely shares vital information (and maybe you do this too!)

Thinking that our knowledge is extremely precious and that there is a finite amount of know-how out there, we keep some (or all!) of the best to ourselves. In the Information Age, our expertise is what gives our position and status – so if someone has a scarcity mindset, they tend to be reluctant to give that away. 

The thinking is, “if I give away all of the most valuable knowledge, then I will lose my advantage.”

But this equation is wrong. Giving knowledge away is not reducing your advantage. By sharing, you’ve established yourself as their expert – and it increases your stature with them! 

The scarcity mindset is a self-limiting behavior. 

The scarcity mindset ensures that you’ll get less from those around you. Your thoughts are keeping them from giving as freely to you because they know you’re holding back. 

If you’re generous with your time and your knowledge, people will reciprocate. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. 

Sharing is contagious – and having generosity embedded in your team’s culture boosts your effectiveness. 

The flip side of scarcity is abundance.

Stephen continues, 

The Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.” 
An abundance mentality is what we should be striving for – there is more than enough for us all to have what we need! 

Why should you share? Because THE ACT OF TEACHING strengthens your understanding, so you have even MORE knowledge than when you started!

I challenge you to share your knowledge this week. I know you’ll see dividends yourself as you build up those around you.



_P.S. Please let me know what you think of this article! Have you seen evidence of this in your own life? Did I get it wrong? Email me and let me know.