Hello, again friends! Today, I’m going to talk about the scarcity mindset, how it weighed me down, and the work I put into overcoming it. Whether you have heard this idea or not, I believe that most, if not all, people slip in and out of this state at one point in their lives. It is the belief that life is a competition and that opportunities and resources are scarce.
Ever heard the expression “it’s a dog eat dog world”? I remember being told that once as a form of motivation to train hard and hustle. Instead it just gave me anxiety. This scarcity mindset ignores the positive aspects of healthy competition that leads to the elevation of performance, opportunity and understanding of sport as an entity, and the individuals involved. It’s basically like telling me there’s only one pie in the whole world and only the handful who fight hard enough will be able to have a slice. At the time, on a subconscious level, this mindset told me that when someone snags a big sponsor deal or catches a good wave, there’s going to be less money or fewer opportunities for me.
Now though, I know that we can just bake more pies. The way the scarcity mindset manifested itself in my life was different than how it might manifest for you – but the mentality is still the same. My hope is that by highlighting these inner parts of myself maybe others can see the parallels in their life and make positive change.
The mentality of scarcity developed in me so young that it became my driving force in competitive surfing. While in some ways it has pushed me to work harder, it wasn’t rooted in the love for the sport. It was not a stable place to be while trying to be on the World Qualifying Series. I was constantly anxious about my performance and focusing on my competition rather than trying to better myself and my skills. So, I took a much-needed break from competitive surfing in late 2019.
In that time, I did quite a bit of personal growth work. I realized how I was constantly focused on others and things I had no control over, instead of focusing on what I could control – myself. Committed to positive change, I finally began to focus on myself. I started training my mind through meditation and gratitude, and my body through breathwork and training with Mark St. Peter. Beginning at square one, I filled in the gaps in my strength and agility. Along the way, I stopped caring what anyone else thought or was doing because I believed and was proud of the work I had been putting in. I developed an understanding of abundance through working on myself because I experienced how much more productive I became. I was baking my own pies.
I applied my newfound confidence and abundance mindset in early June 2022 when I entered the WSL Priority destination Pro at my home break of Ala Moana bowls. It was my first time competing in almost 3 years. Not going to lie, the days leading up to the event brought up a lot of old emotions of insecurity and angst. Nevertheless, I arrived on the first day of the event with my head held high because I knew I did everything I could do in the days leading up to the competition. If we flashed back to pre-2019 Brittany, she’d nervously watch her competitors as they took off on waves, crumbling to the thought of them getting an excellent range score. This time, I didn’t watch anyone’s waves; what they did was out of my control. I just kept my eyes on the horizon. My job was simple: catch a wave and surf to the best of my ability. In the end, I made it all the way to the semi-finals maintaining that composure. I may not have won the event but I celebrated like I did. After that event, I finally grasped for the first time that my single greatest opponent in life is myself. While you’re distracted trying to fight the things outside of you, your mind is kicking your butt!
After reading this, my hope is that you turn all that energy you’ve been sending outward back in and watch the change that happens. I challenge you to ask yourself this question when you wake up: “Who am I becoming, and are my actions making me a better person than I was yesterday?” Take the appropriate action based on what the answer is.
That’s all for now, friends. I believe in YOU!