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Disruption and the scarcity mindset
Disruption and the scarcity mindset

When disruption showed up on my doorstep I wasn’t ready. I found myself in this unenviable position for one very simple reason, I had stopped being selective about the work I was taking on.  As budgets tightened and deadlines shortened the quality of work I was being offered became less and less appealing.  When we are selective we give ourselves the gift of choice. Having choice gives us the ability to improve our quality of life. When we give up that ability we lose control becoming reactive, which is exactly where I found myself early in my career as I weighed the mountain of deadlines in front of me. I knew the only way to climb out of this mess was to begin practicing better choice. 

When you find yourself in feast or famine mode it breeds a scarcity mindset. The scarcity mindset often leads to poor decision making. In my case doubling down rather than pivoting. I eventually did pivot but not before a lot of long miserable hours and a lot of gut-wrenching heartache. My problem was not unique, I faced the same thing millions of others face every day. Disruption is now a part of our daily lives and there is no escaping it. The challenge we face is to not fall prey to the idea that any opportunity however meager and unappealing it might be is the last. Clinging to poor opportunity is a race to the bottom. When the scarcity mindset begins to assert itself I try to recognize it and remind myself where it lead me in the past. Then I ask myself what is the cost of following this train of thought. Is this an opportunity to improve or an anchor that will drag me down further and limit my ability to make change. Will following this path upset the balance of the work I am already committed to? If the answer is yes then I know I must not commit myself. I must be selective about where I place my priorities. Recognizing when I’m being reactive is hard. Those roots run deep and being selective often feels counterintuitive but I also know when I practice being selective the quality of my work and the quality of my life are the rewards that hang in the balance.