Angela Scanlon: ‘What I loved about lockdown was the lack of comparison’

In an extract from her new book, the presenter admits she sometimes finds it hard to enjoy other people’s successes

Angela Scanlon: ‘Don’t equate someone else’s success to your downfall, instead see it as an opportunity for what you can accomplish.’

Angela Scanlon: ‘Don’t equate someone else’s success to your downfall, instead see it as an opportunity for what you can accomplish.’

 

Something happened during lockdown. When everything got quiet. Silence was everywhere and, instead of it being ominous, it was glorious.

I realised that what I loved wasn’t the mad rush on pasta or the endless Zoom quizzes or the lack of social interaction, but the lack of comparison: I may be off, work may be quiet, but it’s the same for everyone. I am not falling behind or failing, and if I am then so is everyone else!

There was immense comfort in that but it also highlighted just how much my mood, my happiness and sense of accomplishment is tied up with others. How often I can’t fully enjoy something I have if someone has something better. I’m using this language to illustrate the inner child, the baby brat, the little soul, who has learned that there is not enough to go around.

You’ll hear it referred to as “scarcity mindset”, a term coined by Stephen Covey in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Finite pie

Scarcity mentality refers to people seeing life as a finite pie, so that if one person takes a big chunk, that leaves less for the rest of us. It is basically the fear or belief that there is not enough for everyone.

If someone else has something good, there’s nothing left for you. They get the job, you lost it. They have a baby, now babies have run out. There is a struggle in really being able to enjoy another person’s success when you’re operating from a core belief that they’ve stolen an opportunity from you.

On a rational level you might know that’s not true, but deep down you can’t fully revel in their progress either because it feels like it’s highlighting your lack thereof. It’s a race and if you’re not winning, you’re losing.

We are taught that we must scramble and compete, we must be suspicious of those who have what we want. Operating from a place of survival rather than a place of creation.

The opposite of this mode is an “abundance” mindset, the belief that there is plenty out there for everybody. More than enough. And the more you can celebrate others and acknowledge the infinite resources and beauty and opportunities, the more they will start to appear.

As you acknowledge and enjoy someone else’s success, even if it’s what you long for, especially if it’s what you long for, you multiply your chances of bringing it into your life.

Marianne Williamson in A Return to Love says: “A person who succeeds in any area is only creating more of a possibility for others to do the same. Holding on to the thought of finite resources is a way of holding on to hell.”

I don’t necessarily believe that hell is a flaming sh**hole where we’re sent by God for being a**holes but it’s not altogether pleasant and probably somewhere you don’t want to be, fire or not.

Apart from the general stuck-ness you feel when operating from a lack mentality, it’s also a scary place to be. Maybe without even realising, if your belief is that abundance is gifted to only a special few and coveted or resented by the rest, on a subconscious level you may be playing small. Afraid to really step into your power and embody that sense of abundance because it’s quite a dangerous position to occupy.

The assumption is that if you believe this so must everyone else, which also means no one can enjoy your successes either. Others must feel awful that you stole the pie and therefore it’s safer to play it down or denigrate or sabotage.

If you step into yourself fully and live with an abundance mindset, if you believe that you are worthy of beautiful things and a satisfying career, if you properly believe that there is enough to go around and embody that, then you will start to awaken other people to that possibility too. Without trying you will open them up and help them believe. Win, win, win.

Accomplish

Don’t equate someone else’s success to your downfall, instead see it as an opportunity for what you can accomplish. Next time, see the person, feel the twist and thank them for showing you what’s possible. Pause, breathe and have a chat to yourself.

So, how can we make the shift from a scarcity to an abundance mindset?

– Focus on what you have, not on what you’re missing

– Get grateful-journal, “joyride”, or sit in thanks for what you already have

– Acknowledge how far you’ve come. “Remember when you dreamt about what you have right now?” Try to allow yourself to enjoy the journey!

– Switch off your phone and stop looking around. What you want is not “out there”

– Get into your body

– Exercise to feel strong and capable

– Walk in nature or water your plants!

– Meet a friend with an “abundance mindset” – someone who will see possibilities everywhere

– Make a list of what you have to offer

– Remind yourself that win-win is an option. The story that in order for one to succeed another must fail is based on a belief system that is not real.

– Train your mind to see possibilities rather than problems. When you catch yourself being negative or assuming the worst, make the choice to shift the narrative.

This is an extract from Joyrider: How Gratitude Can Get You the Life You Really Want by Angela Scanlon, published by Vermillion