5 Ways to Recognize and Break Out of a Poverty Mindset
We hear the stories all the time. Someone goes from being poor/homeless/in debt, you name it, to having it all – money, fame, big houses, fast cars. And it seems to happen overnight and often by sheer luck. Many of these same people then offer their advice or develop programs to help you do the same. They always make it seem so simple, like anyone could easily do it. “Just follow these steps and you’ll make millions in no time.” It’s like winning the lottery. Have you ever imagined being one of those people? Most of us have at some point.
There’s a major flaw with this thinking, though.
Yes, “rags to riches” does happen. It’s not a lie. It’s the story of our most recent podcast guest, Brant Phillips. But we need to realize that before rags to riches happens in our bank accounts, it has to happen in our head.
That’s right, that’s the biggest thing standing in the way of you and wealth – the mind.
How we think, both consciously and unconsciously, determines how we handle money, and how money handles us.
Gaining wealth can seem elusive to many. Poverty is everywhere. I’m not just talking about people who meet the requirements given by government or society to be considered poor. Poverty affects a lot more people than that. In fact, there are plenty of people with lots of money even who struggle with poverty.
How? Because poverty is not a result of a lack of money. It’s a result of a way of thinking.
There are several things that can cause a poverty mindset, and for the sake of time I won’t delve into that today. (I recommend reading Kris Vallotton’s book, The Supernatural Ways of Royalty for that.) But I will give you some practical ways to recognize some of the symptoms of poverty and the solution.
Gaining wealth is not impossible, but it’s biggest opponent is the poverty mindset.
So, here are 5 keys to gaining wealth, and how the poverty mentality works against it.
- Gaining wealth takes hard work and continuous effort…often referred to as “hustle”. You may have a poverty mindset if you avoid any work that takes time to accomplish or requires you learning a new skill that takes time to learn.
- Gaining wealth is a process. Process means growth. On the road to wealth, you will grow into someone different than who you are right now. You may have a poverty mindset if you never do anything to improve yourself. (Learning, reading, training, personal development, etc.)
- Wealth comes as the result of pursuing specific, attainable…and big goals. You may have a poverty mindset if you have no goals in your life, or if they are very small.
- Wealthy people handle money differently. Their first instinct is not to spend it. It’s to invest it. They are willing to delay gratification now for something better in the future. You may have a poverty mindset if you always seek instant gratification and have trouble saving money.
- Wealthy people also realize that nothing is owed to them. Everything is worked for and earned as a result of actions taken. Personal responsibility is embraced above all. You are in control of your life and the choices you make, no one else. You may have a poverty mindset if you feel entitled to anything that you didn’t work for or earn in some capacity or if you feel like someone else is in control of your life. (You feel that others are responsible for taking care of you.)
This list could go on and on.
Remember, money is simply a means of exchange. It’s the means of creating the physical manifestation of the values inside of you. This means money will amplify who you really are. Breaking out of a poverty mindset will mean changing how you think – not just about money, but about how you see yourself. It will mean growth. It will mean process. It will mean becoming the kind of person you want to be amplified to the world.
If you’re hoping for rags to riches, just remember: it is possible. But the path to wealth starts between the ears.