The belief that you have no other options can keep you clinging on well after it is clear that your are only grasping a mere shadow of hope that was cast from the past.
Fear that if you walk away that you will be left with nothing.
The idea that if you say no there will be nothing to say yes to.
The notion that if you let go you will never have anything to hold onto.
There is nothing like that good ole scarcity mentality to leave us as hopeless as a penny with a hole it.
I know that feeling all to well.
It’s the feeling that I have to put up with my circumstances because I’m convinced I have no other options.
When I operate in a scarcity mentality, I feel like I have to take whatever is put before me.
In my past this has led to me working a job that I hated because I was afraid that if I left I wouldn’t find another place of employment.
And it has led to me staying in a toxic relationship because I believed that no one else would love me.
Neither of which were true, but because I had a scarcity mentality I had a hard time convincing myself otherwise.
In the work situation I found myself physically ill at the mere idea of going to my place of employment.
I would pull up to the parking lot at work with a back full of stress knots because I had so much anxiety about working at a place that I knew I should no longer be at.
But I had bills to pay, I had children to care for, mouths to feed and so I would clock in and do my job with a stomach full of anxiety.
But one day I chose me and I quit the job.
That’s right you read that correctly.
With no other job in hand, I quit the job.
Two weeks later I found employment somewhere else.
Now am I saying that if a person quits a job without having another job that they will find employment in two weeks time?
No, absolutely not.
But what I am saying is that I felt like I didn’t have any other options and I stayed at a place of employment that didn’t sit well with me because I assumed that it was my only choice.
I left with no other visible options because I decided that working in a place that was jeopardizing my health wasn’t worth the money.
I had developed a scarcity mentality in terms of employment because I had previously struggled to find the job I was so unhappy with and I also had a business fail in my past.
So all I keep thinking was that if it took such a long time to find the job that stressed me out then I would never find anything else.
For three months I had been applying for other places of employment and no one was even calling me back for an interview.
I perceived all of that as further confirmation that if I left that I would never find anywhere else to work.
My scarcity mentality had me convinced that I had no other options for work in a poor job market, however when I chose me other options opened up.
Had I not let go of the unhealthy work environment I most likely would have never pursued other places of employment with the determination that I did.
Another example of where I had to overcome the scarcity mentality in my life is in the area of love.
Much to my chagrin I stayed in and clung to unhealthy relationships because I had convinced myself that the person I was with was my only option.
I felt like if they didn’t love me no one would.
I didn’t believe I had any other options.
I failed to see what I had to offer.
I thought that because the people I interacted with at that time couldn’t see me that no one would and that I had to take the scraps that they gave me.
I had a false perception of who I was.
Thankfully, I learned from blogger Natalie Lue over at baggagereclaim.com that you have to stop looking at the men in your life as if they are the last chance saloon and she was so right.
If the person you are with isn’t treating you right you have to stop believing they are your only option.
I say this because as embarrassing as it is to confess, there was a point in my past where I have begged someone to love me.
Thankfully, I have reached a place where I don’t do that any more.
I’m happy to say that people who aren’t attracted to me are no longer attractive to me.
Asking someone to like me, love me, care about me, visit with me, spend time with me isn’t something I’m into.
I recognize that by the very definition the person for me – will actually like me!
And so when I find myself in situations where I recognize that I clearly care more than the other person I remove my energy from that interaction and refocus it towards people who give me reciprocity.
The first example of me intentionally doing this was when I separated from my ex-husband.
After accepting that my marriage was over I felt so unloved.
I felt like no one in the world loved me.
At the thought of how unlovable I felt I would get so emotionally cold and alone that I would actually physically experience goosebumps.
So one day I pulled out a dry erase marker and on my bathroom mirror I wrote the names of everyone who I knew loved me.
The list included my mother, children, aunts and uncles, close coworkers, dear friends and several of my cousins.
By the time I finished my mirror was filled with scores of people who loved me.
Everyday when I woke up I would read off the names of all the people who loved me and some days additional people would come to my remembrance and I would add them.
And then each day I would make a conscious effort to contact as many of those people as I possibly could.
Sometimes I sent text messages, other times it was a phone call, or I would drop a card in the mail. I would have lunch with coworkers who had become friends and go over to spend time with close friends after work.
But most importantly during that time I also reconnected with myself.
I started exercising, I pampered myself at the salon, I bought new clothes, I ate better, I worked on my spiritual life and I loved on me.
Refocusing my attention from the one person who didn’t love me to those who did and onto myself wasn’t easy because I had created a habit of observing evidence of me not being lovable. However, with time I stopped focusing on the person who didn’t love me and I was giving my time and energy to the people who did.
Sometimes we think that we have to replace romantic love with romantic love.
But I was able to successfully replace unrequited romantic love with requited platonic and familial love.
My point is I had convinced myself that no one would ever love me because my ex-husband didn’t and with some work I retrained my thoughts to recognize that I was overlooking all the people who do love me and that there would be more to come.
I know for some the concern is the desire to replace romantic love with romantic love.
But as for me, once I accepted that there was a plethora of people in my life who adored me and started loving on myself it helped me to retrain my thinking that if my ex-husband didn’t love me that no one else would.
And in time I started to meet men who were attracted to me.
However, I truly believe that if I would have kept holding on to the scraps of a marriage that was most certainly over I probably would have never had the opportunity to spend time with men who genuinely enjoyed having me in their company.
I would have stayed with someone who ignored me and called me names instead of having soulful conversations with someone who enjoyed me and called me beautiful.
So when I catch myself thinking that I have no other options, I recall those two situations where I let go of the fear of having no other options if I were to leave a job that I felt physically ill going to and the time when I left a marriage that beat me down emotionally and came out better on the other side.
I can truly say my life is so much richer now because I chose me.
I left those situations without a new love in sight or without a job in hand because I let go of my fear and my scarcity mentality.
© Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.