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5 Signs You Have the Poverty Mentality (9 Ways to Overcome It)

This one is going to get serious (well, semi-serious)…


With any mentality a person has, whether it’s the poverty mentality, wealth mentality, or really any mentality, they all have one thing in common, and it’s this:

The current mentality a person has often believes it’s the best or even only option they have. While the wealthy mindset is one of the better mentalities to have, when it comes to the poor mindset I’d say those who have it just haven’t been conscious of the possibilities and potential out there for them.


The issue with the poor mentality is that people often times aren’t aware that they are most likely in the situation they are in financially simply because of their thoughts and mindset. While I’ll probably hear some backlash from this, I’m a true believer in what you think will come to you.


Please note before getting upset: Some situations, such as an oppressive country, it is literally near impossible to get out of poverty. This is not what I’m referring to. I’m referring to everyone out there that has all the opportunity in the world to rise out of poverty, but doesn’t. I’m also not saying this stuff is easy; nor will it happen overnight. But overtime, whether it be months or years, it is totally possible to rise out of any situation (just as it’s totally possible for the wealthy to become poor, it’s happened before!).


If you take away only one thing from this entire article, or simply don’t have the time or want to read the rest, remember this quote every single day…

Poverty is a state of mind. – Rahul Gandhi

Once you believe this is true, you will rise out of whatever position you are in life and you will grow into the one you think of in your mind.





Symptoms of The Poverty Mindset

Discovering if you possess the poor mentality can prove to be very difficult, and I mean very difficult. The following symptoms are not physical symptoms like you would find if you were sick, but rather mentality based symptoms that you’ll have to look within yourself to discover if you possess such things.

Pro tip: Don’t fucking lie to yourself. Be true, face your issues, and fix them. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.


  • There is no personal development in your life. While this doesn’t apply to everyone, a lot of people “suffering” from poverty don’t spend time to work and better themselves. Instead of investing their time on something that will give them a return, they spend money on things that will only make them feel better in the present moment.
  • You have no plan to get off of government funding. If you receive assistance from the government (e.g food stamps, welfare, etc), and have no short or long term goal to get off of it, you’re probably a high suspect of this negative mentality. Don’t fall for the government funding trap, and if you have already; there is hope. These systems that the government has put in place require you to make little amounts of money, and this often puts people off of working to make more. What if I said you could make 5x, 10x, or even 100x you ever will on government assistance? Well, that’s what this post is all about my friend.
  • You advocate for government (and private) programs that will benefit the poor. This list of public or private programs could be endless, such as welfare and food stamps. If you see yourself advocating or fighting for public or private programs to stay or come into effect that benefit you directly because of your badly shaped financial situations, you’d be better off if you stayed around and kept reading until the end. Remember: I show you how to overcome the poor mindset in this post! So don’t worry if you suffer from this welfare mentality now, I think we can work on it…
  • The goals in your life are non-existent or very, very small. A good friend of mine brought this one to my attention. Those who have been raised in a poor environment know nothing but said environment. This in turn makes those raised in such environment incapable of seeing a way out, thus they lack the capability of setting goals that will eventually lead to them bettering their life extramentally. I’ll talk about goal setting to achieve greatness in a minute.
  • Lots more. This list could probably go on and on. But if you see any relation to your thoughts and environment, you probably past the test regarding whether or not your possess the poverty mentality syndrome. No need to worry, I’ve got the rest of the post to bring you over to a mentality that will bring you wealth, fortune, or just happiness if that is all you so desire.



How to Get Out of Poverty Mentality: 9 Ways

The rest of this post is for those of you who identify, or even think you identify, with the poverty mindset symptoms I’ve listed above. If you don’t and are being 100% honest with yourself, the rest really isn’t for you. But I always suggest to read anyways! 🙂

Below we discuss the 9 ways you can start breaking out of the poverty mindset and begin acquiring a mindset that brings you wealth, health, and happiness (like that rhyme?). Once you’re realized and developed poverty consciousness through awareness (done by analyzing your life through the symptoms listed above), you will be able to start implementing these highly practical ways to break out of poverty and the mindset that leads to it. Let’s begin with the first on the list to help you start breaking the poverty mindset…



1. Study those who you wish to become

By studying, taking notes, and closely analyzing those who you admire and wish to become, it allows you to pick up their behaviors, values, and even their visible ethics.

If you want to become wealthy, study someone who has achieved wealth in the way that you wish to do the same (or similar). Study their habits, morning and night routines, and how they get things done on a daily basis. You can do this in a variety of different ways, all of which don’t include stalking:

  • Follow them on social media (mostly Twitter and LinkedIn)
  • Google articles written by or about them (search their name + tips)
  • Read their books
  • Find events that they attend and speak at; try going and listening to them

Just about anywhere that you can find a glimpse of their goals, mentality, and personality will enlighten you to become a better you. Just find out who inspires you most, and read up on them.



2. Expand your vision through higher goals and standards

Let me ask you one simple question, and please be honest with yourself…

When was the last time you set a goal so high; that everyone around you (sometimes yourself too) thoughts it was a crazy idea and “impossible?”

If you can’t remember when, or if you can remember but you never went for it with all you’ve got, you might want to reanalyze your goals.

If you don’t have the right goals setup that are big enough to get you taking massive action, you are doing it wrong. And of course you will have smaller goals that will slowly help you achieve the larger one, but the main thing you must have is that larger goal in place and set in stone.

Stop living life blindly; setup goals for every aspect of your life such as personal development, finances, and relationships. Discover where you want to be in one, five, ten, and twenty years. This my friend, will give you all the guidance you will ever need (well that and this blog post of course).



3. Distance yourself from financial assistance programs

To truly give yourself some motivation to conquer poverty, you need to cut off your reliance on financial assistance programs. Now I completely can agree with you when you may be thinking, “no way! I have people to feed.” I get this, and I’m not saying cut it all off right away.

Instead, stop trying to depend on your monthly check for welfare. Or your EBT card to be refilled. Try having leftovers at the end of the month (and no, I don’t mean food). This way you can be saving, also while proving to yourself that you don’t truly need all of that assistance.

This will allow you to start building your own income other ways, which will eventually free you from poverty entirely.



4. Comprehend that it’s all on YOU

Boo fucking hoo, it’s all on you. – Me

Realizing that (whether you like it or not), the option to be in a negative state of mind regarding your situation is all on you. If you want to get out of the situation you are in, it’s all on you. It’s up to you to change your ways of thinking, it’s up to you to take the steps necessary to get out of the bad neighborhood you live in, it’s all on you.

Stop believing that their is someone, or something, out there that will magically guide you out of bad financial times into good ones. No one is going to bring you up out of it, other than some good advice. If you don’t take advice given to you seriously (like this post), you’ll never change, you’ll never become great, and you’ll never achieve greatness (harsh eh?).

It’s all on your to start taking action towards a better life for you and your family. Now start taking action, because no one will do it for you; everyone else is too busy trying to work on their own lives.



5. Realize that nothing is owed to you

An often unconscious knowing that thinking something is owed to you is completely out of the question. Thinking that because of your situation that you’ve practically put yourself in (or kept yourself in), that you are owed money, housing, or even a car is painstakingly not true.

You are owed NOTHING, just being alive and being a part of society does not mean you are owed something. This is especially true if their is considerably low or no contribution from you to society for the benefits being received.

Once you understand that nothing is owed to you, you might just comprehend that it’s all on you now. Nothing is guaranteed in life, especially when nothing at all is owed to you.

Think about this for a second…

What if tomorrow all of your assistance was stripped from you? What would you do?

If your answer is to protest said decision or be angry about it, there you have found the issue you must resolve; and it’s in your mind. This thinking that the systems in place right now that are helping us are a requirement of the society we live in, is simply the poverty way of thinking.

Be able to sustain yourself without the aid of anyone else, because if the day ever comes where this scenario does come true, you surely don’t want to be the one stuck in a situation feeling like you are owed money for doing nothing. Because let me tell you, it’s not going to come back for you if it ever does go away.



6. Cultivate an environment for success

I can’t stress this fact enough, you become who you are around. If you spend a lot of time with people consumed with meaningless things, you will get meaningless results.

On the contrary, if you surround yourself with successful people (even mildy successful, like a local business owner), you will become like them if not better. Surrounding yourself with people and things that will turn you into a success is what you need, not negative environments.

A very powerful thing I learned somewhere in some content is this: find someone who is 5 times more successful than where you want to be. This way they can easily guide you there from their own experience. If you want to make a million, you must find someone who makes five. Just remember though; this isn’t my idea or thoughts, I read it somewhere and I can’t remember where!



7. Act as if you are already where you want to be (fake it ’till you make it)

This one can be done in a few different ways.

A very popular way is called visualization. To sum up visualization; you sit down for 10-15 minutes and deeply envision yourself where you want to be. You envision it so deeply that you eventually start to believe it’s real, it’s sort of like extreme day dreaming with a purpose.

Another way is to simply talk, act, and pretend as if you are where you want to be. Of course if you want to be wealthy you can’t go buy expensive items, but you can surely fake it ’till you make it in regards to other areas of wealth. Wealth isn’t just about money, but also happiness and practically good in every part of your life.

Start with fixing what you can, and start working on what you want.



8. Save your money; stop spending it all

A big reason that contributes to why the poor stay poor is that they were never taught how to save, thus whenever some kind of financial gain comes it never lasts. This is not only a fundamental of overcoming the poor person mentality, but just life in general.

Listen to me very, very closely (and don’t put this one off, I’m so serious)…

You will never become rich if you don’t know how to save. Whether you make $20,000 a year or $5,000,000; if you can’t save you’ll never become wealthy. Think about it.

If you spend every dollar you make, whether it’s that 20 grand or 5 million, what will you have left to show for it? Not much, especially if you don’t buy appreciating assets (instead of depreciating assets like cars).

Learning how to save is one of the most crucial and mandatory things you need to acquire to become at least mildly successful in regards to finances. Ask any wealthy person how they retain all of their wealth, and I guarantee it’s because they know how to save.



9. Motivate and inspire others

I know for me personally is motivates me to become better just by spreading it to others. By spreading compassion inspiration to others, we talk as if we are already where we want to be (whether we are or not). In return, this allows us to gain new personal development skills and mentalities.

If you want to become inspired, go inspire someone.

If you want to become wealthy, go help someone else become wealthy.

It’s all about spreading it to others, because as an old saying goes, what you send out will always come back (well, something like that anyways). So go send out some motivation, inspiration, and see how it flings right back and hits you square in the face (motivation that is… anything else and I’d be worried).




Whoa, I think we all deserve an award for this one.

If you made it to the end, I know you are well on your way to overcoming the poverty mentality and building something great for yourself.

If you’ve taken away anything at all from this entire article, I want you to share it with someone. Whether that be with other readers by commenting it, with a friend or family member, or heck; even your poor stricken neighbor. Just spread it, and don’t forget to share this one with everyone whom you wish to become better too.

7 Responses
  • ido barnoam
    September 20, 2016

    Great piece Dustyn, really.
    I connected to what you wrote on so many levels.

    I especially like bullet 6. This fact always keeps me thinking 2 things:
    1. Since I have full responsibility for my results, no one else is to “blame” for what I’m getting. Whether its good or bad, I brought it into my life. I earn both the good and the bad (which I make sure don’t usually come)
    2. Full responsibility means I can do WHATEVER I want with my life. This is a thought that gives tremendous freedom to oneself.

    One thing I want to add to the list, and one of the quickest ways that shows results, in my opinion, is to concentrate on wealth, health and goodness, if that’s what you want to create in your life. Since we create what we give most of our energy to, if we concentrate on getting out of lack, we are still concentrating on lack. However, if we concentrate on creating wealth, we suddenly shift our mindset to wealth.

    Think about that for a sec. If you’re cold, you don’t think about how to minimize the cold. You focus on creating more heat, which in turn makes the cold (which is just lack of heat) to vanish.

    • Dustyn
      September 20, 2016

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Ido!

      I totally agree with your adding statement about concentrating on where you want to go specifically; rather than focusing on not wanting to be somewhere as this type of thinking is still focusing on where you are and will keep you there.

      Cultivating a mindset where you focus on the future goals in mind is a surefire (well, pretty much surefire) way to get there.

      Thanks again for the epic and value adding comment! Hope to see you around 🙂

  • Elisa
    September 27, 2016

    Great post! I believe as well that what you think will come to you. But also enjoyed the action steps you listed to go along with the mindset shifts.
    I’m in the moment of doing a drawing/poem piece about having money be your friend, reading this was great timing!

    • Dustyn
      September 27, 2016

      Hey Elisa! Glad you liked the read.

      I hope it comes of some use to your piece, be sure to share it with me when it’s all said and done! I personally love the topic of “making money your friend” because often times people say money is evil, bad, and or no good, when in reality all this is doing is pushing money father away from entering their life.

      You need to do the opposite of that and love money, love what it can do, and you’ll manifest it (with a little bit of hard work and dedication of course)!

  • Ms. Montana
    November 4, 2016

    The mindset is so much more of a barrier than the circumstances. With the internet, the barrier to entry is almost gone. But we have to pick ourselves, instead of waiting and hoping someone else will pick us.

    • Dustyn
      November 5, 2016

      Love this and couldn’t agree any more.

      People complain these days its “impossible” to get out of poverty because of x, x, and x. BUT, x is actually just there misguided thoughts to believing this is true and they are where they are because of external forces instead of themselves. My tip for all of those people out there; start questioning those thoughts!

      But again, thanks for your thought provoking comment. I hope yours and my reply helps someone looking for help out there find there way.

      PS: Awesome site, keep at it! See you around (hopefully)! 🙂

  • MELI88A
    March 18, 2017

    I totally agree with this article! What a liberating state of mind to decide to no longer live in a poverty mindset. looking outside yourself for x,y,z is oftentimes so limiting and soul crushing. These are life lessons that I’m currently learning. It’s tough, but well worth the struggle!

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