Living in a culture of not having enough can result in a self-defeating thought pattern which occurs when we compare our lives, our marriages, our families, our communities, our reality against our view of how great someone else has it. Brene Brown describes scarcity in “Daring Greatly” and suggests feeling of scarcity thrives in shame-prone cultures that are steeped in comparison. Brown suggests scarcity has three components and offers some questions that may be helpful to access your family, team, and company culture:
1. Shame: Is fear of ridicule and belittling used to keep people in line in your family or team? Is self-worth tied to achievement? Is blaming and finger pointing a part of your company culture? Do you engage in name calling?
2. Comparison: Healthy competition can be beneficial, but are you constantly comparing yourself to others? Do you acknowledge people for their unique gifts and contributions or are people held to one narrow standard? Is there one ideal way of being to measure everyone’s self worth?
3. Disengagement: Are people afraid to take risks and try new things? Is it easier to stay quiet than to share stories, experiences, and ideas? Does it feel like no one is listening? Are you struggling to be seen and heard?
The opposite of “never enough” is not abundance, but rather vulnerability and worthiness: facing uncertainty, taking emotional risks, and knowing that you are enough. Brown explains, “The greatest casualties of a scarcity culture are our willingness to own our vulnerabilities and our ability to engage from a place of worthiness.” Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.