28 Mar Want abundance in your life? Be grateful for your privileges
Somebody gossips about you.
The elevator is down and so you have to walk the stairs.
Your loved one cheated on you.
We constantly talk about our struggles. We moan about them with our friends, our family gets drowned in the sea in complaints, we share discontentment with our co-workers about why things can’t get any better. We live in a society where we all need to have a struggle and in some cases, it’s almost like a competition amongst ourselves who struggles the most.
But do we actively acknowledge our privileges?
Privilege even though we may not realise it, is not only reserved for the light-skinned people or the rich amongst us. By the very definition of the word, it can reside with each and every one of us.
Privilege: a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.
When most people speak of privileges they refer to materialistic gains, but privileges are far more encompassing than that. And the acknowledgment of our said privileges can help us build empathy and bridge gaps between us and other human beings.
Your privileges can be born from the institutional and systemic hierarchies that make you dominant in a particular group. So when someone calls you privileged, don’t take it as a personal attack, it may not be your fault but you do benefit from the privileges whether you want to be honest with yourself or not.
The other important aspect of being self-aware of your privileges is that they allow you to act out of an abundance mindset instead of one out of scarcity.
Stephen Covey first coined the term ‘scarcity mindset’ in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and described it as the zero-sum paradigm of life.
People who adopt this perspective don’t take responsibility for their lives.They are dabblers; short-term thinkers who stay at the surface, give up at the first sign of a challenge, and never fully commit to anything. They complain about not having enough time, money, energy, or resources to achieve their goals.
On the other hand, people with an abundance mindset focus on possibilities and what is working. They view failure as an opportunity to grow and learn about themselves and the world. They are masters; they focus on the long-term, are committed to everything that they do.
Most importantly, they are humble. They believe that sharing knowledge, providing value, and supporting others’ growth is important to living a life of service.
I wanted to manifest a mindset of abundance which in turn hoped manifested a sense of optimism and confidence about my life. Instead of sitting down and feeling lost in my circumstances, I wanted to build resilience, resourcefulness and a proactive stance towards life. Most importantly I wanted to see for myself if this shift in mindset would change the way I interact with my environment and in turn how it responds to me.
How to feel blessed despite the bumps in the road, the potholes, the dangerous curves really is the true measure of an abundance mindset. You can understand that yes, life throws you curveballs but look at the all of the brilliant advantages that work in your favour. Being appreciative of your life and grateful, also allows you to want to give back to your community and to the world without feeling as though you are losing. When you are privileged, it serves to make your voice louder and more credible than others who are not. You can then use that voice to battle injustices or you can deny it and return to your regularly schedule programmed life.
It helps to remove envy and jealousy from your relationships as well. So many different things need to happen for us to shift the way we love each other, the way we love ourselves.
I have never thought about acknowledging my privilege. I didn’t think I had any but I did know for certain that I had many struggles. And boy did I complain and sulk about them!
This year I got serious about focusing on my blessings and to cut out the magnitude of complaining I do on a daily basis. I wanted to manifest a mindset of abundance which in turn hoped manifested a sense of optimism and confidence about my life. Instead of sitting down and feeling lost in my circumstances, I wanted to build resilience, resourcefulness and a proactive stance towards life. Most importantly I wanted to see for myself if this shift in mindset would change the way I interact with my environment and in turn how it responds to me.
A few of the privileges I’ve noted so far:
- It is a privilege to have lived my life in 2 countries which openly celebrate all of its citizens.
- It is a privilege for me to have the finances to be independent and to travel.
- It is a privilege for me to have received an education both formally and the school of hard knocks.
- It is a privilege for me to witness lives for people from all walks of income brackets and ethnicities.
- It is a privilege for me to be a mixed-race person of different heritages in the Caribbean.
- It is a privilege for me to know and understand what it means to be truly loved by people who are not my family.
- It is a privilege for me to have had parents who believe in education for girls and women.
- It is a privilege for me to be a cis-gender woman.
- It is a privilege for me to know kickass females who are brilliant, caring and socially-conscious.
- It is a privilege for me to have amassed the work experience I have at my age.
- It is a privilege for me to openly voice my opinion without fear of retaliation.
- It is a privilege that I can read.
And the list goes on…
How will you honour your privileges today?