A scarcity mindset develops from a feeling of lack. You think there is a scarcity of what you need or think you need. It stems from believing that everything is limited—so you cling to everything from possessions to toxic relationships.

As a child, were your basic needs for food, shelter and love never met? And now that you’re an adult, are you afraid you won’t get these needs met? If so, you may have grown up with a scarcity mindset.

Living with a scarcity mindset is dangerous because, as Proverbs 24:34 says, it will “attack you like an armed robber.” This mindset threatens to destroy everything you hold dear — we become greedy and not generous when feeling like we don’t have all that we need.

We all struggle with negative thinking from time to time. Even the apostle Paul, who lacked basic needs and suffered tremendously for his faith, had to learn gratitude. Philippians 4:12 says, “I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.”

How is it possible to find freedom from a scarcity mindset? Awareness is the first step. Do you react negatively when someone receives a gift, feeling like you are left out? Do you concern yourself with minor details that overlook the bigger picture, such as someone getting waited on before you? These are just a couple of signs that you may be living in a scarcity mindset.

Experiencing a full and free life – not a less than and restricted life — will require an attitude of gratitude!

Here are three steps you can take to shift your thinking from scarcity to gratitude:

Step 1 — Forgiveness.  Unforgiveness makes us feel empty, stuck and disappointed. These and other toxic emotions will keep you from a life of gratitude. Even if the other person doesn’t deserve it, forgive them anyway because it will benefit you. Recognize that because we have been forgiven, we can forgive.

Step 2 — Appreciation.  You may be tempted to focus on what you don’t have. Instead, focus on what you do have. One way to incorporate more gratitude into your daily life is to begin a gratitude journal and write down three things you are thankful for every day. Write thank you notes to people who have blessed your life. Notice beauty in your life, nature, art, family memories and be grateful for the blessing God has provided for you!

Step 3 — Generosity.  Living a generous life is what we are called to do. Give back in response for all God has given you! You can do this by making a donation to a charity, provide a meal for a friend in need, serve at your local church, lead a Life Recovery group, or becoming a sponsor and many other ways! God wants to encourage someone through your acts of generosity.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth about the call to generous giving — or generous living! He said “They are filled with abundant joy which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.” 2 Corinthians 8:2-3 NLT.

Ridding yourself of a scarcity mindset means you will be filled with joy and gratitude! What a great way to live your life! Begin today!