According to A well-known study, conducted in 2013 by PEW Charitable Trusts, 70% of those born and raised in poverty, remain poor as adults. And this “cycle of poverty” continues, generation after generation.
Inferior education, absentee parents, toxic stress, poor nutrition, few, if any mentors, and a lack of opportunities are all blights inflicted upon the poor.
But you’re not a child forever.
You grow up. You become an adult. And as an adult, you have the power to lift yourself out of poverty.
As an adult you must unshackle yourself from all of the negative, limiting beliefs that you were subjected to as a child.
The way Poverty Thinking holds so many poor people back reminds me of The Story of the Elephant and the Rope.
My friend was passing a group of elephants one day and suddenly stopped. He was confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from the ropes they were tied to but for some reason, they did not. My friend saw a trainer nearby and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away.
“Well,” he said, “when they are very young and much smaller, we used the same size of rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” My friend was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Those growing up in poverty embrace a belief system which sets self-limitations that often extend out to many generations. And because your thinking and beliefs determine your destiny in life, Poverty Thinking becomes a blueprint for a life of poverty.
How Do You Know if You Have Poverty Thinking?
You Have a Closed-Mind
The self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study were open-minded. This is important because having an open mind enables you to accept new ideas and alternative approaches to solving problems. It also allows you to see opportunities.
What causes a Closed Mind?
- IDEOLOGY – Unwavering beliefs that have locked in your thinking enslaves you. Many of our beliefs we inherited from our upbringing and can hold us back.
- IGNORANCE – When you lack knowledge, you are unable to see opportunities or solve problems. This is why reading to learn every day is so important, especially for those raised in poverty. Reading to learn opens you eyes and your mind.
- LOW SELF-ESTEEM – When you have low self-esteem, you undervalue your own thoughts, ideas and personal power. Low self-esteem is like a self-manufactured braking system that stops you in your tracks, preventing you from moving forward.
- HATRED/ANGER – Hatred/Anger one two costly negative emotions that consumes your thinking and your actions. When you hate or when you are angry at someone, you ignore or dismiss what they have to say.
You Have an Entitlement Mindset
Those with an Entitlement Mindset believe they are owed something by society as a result of having to have suffered through poverty. An Entitlement Mindset is a slippery slope that leads to a negative mental outlook. Successful individuals do not have an Entitlement Mindset. Instead, they replace an Entitlement Mindset with Practiced Gratitude – making a daily habit of being grateful for everything you have. An Entitlement Mindset is a cancer that will program your mind for poverty and scarcity. Avoid it at all costs.
You Have a Victim Mindset
Those with a Victim ideology believe their poverty is outside their control – they are poor because they were born and raised poor and there’s nothing, other than winning the lottery, that will lift them out of poverty. That is, incidentally, why so many poor people play the lottery and gamble.
When you have a Victim Mindset you believe life screwed you, end of story. You see poverty as something inflicted upon you by your parents, society, rich people, Wall Street, banks, government policies, etc. This Victim Mindset acts like a virus, infecting one generation after another, creating a generational cycle of poverty.
You Only Associate with Other Poor People
Human beings are hardwired to associate with other link-minded individuals. This can be good or bad. It’s bad, when you’re poor because you will only feel comfortable associating with other poor people, who will be unable to help you escape poverty. If you’re poor, you must make an effort to seek out other successful or success-minded people and build strong relationships with them. Many of these types of people can be found running non-profits.
You Believe Your Life is Hopeless
Many poor people do nothing to change their life circumstances because they don’t believe they can. They don’t understand that they have the ability to design the life of their dreams. This is Slave Thinking – knowing your life is not what you intended, yet doing nothing to change it because your limiting beliefs enslave you. Too many believe they are not good enough, not smart enough, too lazy or lacking the right skills or knowledge. They believe that those who succeed do so because they were born into the right family, went to the right schools, had the right connections, etc. The fact is, success in life comes not in playing a good hand, but in playing the hand you were dealt, the best way you can.
You Are Selfish
It is an instinctual human trait to be selfish. Almost every person is focused on one thing – themselves. Most are too busy thinking about their own lives to be able to focus on the other person.
Except for the top 5%.
This top 5%, long before they became rich, forged the habit of putting others first. As a result they become magnets for others who want to work with them or do business with them.
Selfishness puts you in the 95% herd.
Selflessness puts you in the top 5% herd.
You Are Envious of Others
When you are perpetually envious about what others have, you send a directive to your subconscious that you want to be envious. Your subconscious takes the directive goes to work to give you what it thinks you want: less income, fewer possessions, less time, less savings, less happiness, less of everything you envy others for having. The subconscious is only doing what it is being told to do.
The solution is to be grateful for what you have: grateful for your income, the money in your bank account, your house, your car, the non-work time you have, etc.
This shifts your subconscious thinking from scarcity to abundance – the subconscious will then go to work, behind the scenes, to give you more of what you are grateful for: more income, more money, a nicer house, better car, more time, etc.