While I see them as works of art, squash blossom necklaces never seemed to fit with my personal style.
I thought they were eye-catching, gorgeous statement pieces that looked amazing on some people. Their grand scale and the sleeping beauty turquoise (used in some of them) appealed to me, but the design itself didn’t suit me.
Until one day when someone told me the best ones were somewhat difficult to find and that they could be pretty pricey…
Suddenly I wanted a squash blossom necklace!
Luckily, on most days, I can see this craving is about scarcity — not true desire.
But even knowing this, I occasionally find myself googling them. A reminder of scarcity’s powerful draw.
We Want What We Think We Can’t Have
The part of me that’s responding to the scarcity trigger wants the necklace because now I think it might be difficult to get. If I knew I could run down to the corner store and pick one up for pocket change – I’d never give them a second thought. It’s all about the scarcity.
Does any of this sound familiar?
This is the diet mentality.
The day I started dieting so many years ago, I began craving high calorie foods primarily because I perceived them as scarce. I told myself I couldn’t have much of them because they were off-limits. This perceived scarcity made me want them like my life depended on it.
A few years ago I stopped dieting and vowed to also stop judging myself over food choices. I made the commitment to just be fascinated by what and why I ate.
At first I felt like I was getting away with something. It felt scary, weird and wonderful – all at the same time.
But then something shifted.
Once I truly gave myself permission to eat anything, I actually started tasting my food again.
During all the years of dieting, eating “forbidden” foods felt so wrong that I now realize I wasn’t tasting the food at all. I was all up in my head – calculating calories, hating myself for being so “weak”, and vowing this was the last time I’d indulge.
What’s Now My NOT So Favorite Pizza
Imagine my surprise when my non-dieting new self practiced mindful eating and really tasted my favorite pizza for the first time.
It was vile!
The crust was so grease-soaked I had to eat it with a fork. As I thought back to all the previous times I’d eaten this pizza I realized I always had to eat it with a fork. This was the same pizza it had always been.
It wasn’t the pizza that changed. It was me.
After one bite, I put my fork down and have not craved that pizza even once since.
It doesn’t end there.
I have a jar of Nutella that’s been in the pantry for many months. Years ago I could not keep something like that in the house for more than a day before inhaling it. That’s no longer the case.
Now that nothing’s off limits, my scarcity button is no longer being pushed.
These days, instead of banishing foods from my life, I eat mindfully while listening to my body. When I’m hungry, I eat and when I’m satisfied, I stop. By primarily focusing on how foods feel in my body, each food is a customized choice – specific to my needs.
Think scarcity isn’t a real trigger?
Look at online marketing, online auction sites, television shopping and even local retailers. Scarcity is a popular tactic. How often do you see the following? ::
- Limited quantities
- For sale for only a limited time — and then it goes back “into the vault”
- Price is going up at midnight
These are all scarcity marketing techniques. When you look around, you’ll find you see it all over. It’s used by so many because it works.
Scarcity works in marketing. It obviously works (for me) with squash blossom necklaces. And it works in creating huge cravings for foods we may not even actually enjoy — if we took the time to really taste them.
What foods are you creating scarcity around?
And what would change if they no longer felt scarce?
All my best.