Do you have a poverty mentality

A Poverty mentality is a mindset driven by fear and usually one that people develop over time based on a strong belief that they will never have enough.

Are you suffering from a poverty mentality?

If so it’s holding you back from living a full and happy life.
When you’ve got a poverty mentality your mindset is fixed on a strong belief that everything is hard to get, i.e. it’s difficult to get ahead, it’s difficult to make money, get ahead in a career, make friends and so on. Everything in life is a struggle or an uphill battle.
But guess what? You can change your mindset. You are in control, and with know-how and practice, you can re-engineer how you think.


Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

With a mindset driven by fear, there can be no comfort nor contentment in your life, and this is no way to live. Life is not a rehearsal is it, so there isn’t a second to lose. Let’s look at the traits of a poverty mindset and how to train yourself to think differently about life and what you really want from it.

Poverty Traits

Do you have some of these common characteristics of a poverty mentality?

  • Feeling guilty as soon as you buy something.
  • Being constantly worried about money or thinking about it often.
  • Having a strong dislike of ‘blessed’ people, yet wanting to be just like them.
  • Making decisions based on fear.
  • Thinking small rather than thinking big.
With a poverty mentality, you set yourself up to fail. Your decision-making is poor, so the outcomes are limiting. For example, fear will instil a lack of confidence, and with it, your goals will be inadequate if you even set goals. We are all conditioned and learn our behaviour from people close to us.

When we are young, we are very impressionable, and we believe what we learn from our family, educators, and friends but as Christians we are called to be influenced by the Scriptures.

Over time we tend to form our own opinions and seek input from more extensive sources, including the workplace, social and sporting activities as well as from other cultures when we travel abroad but we often fail to remember what the Bible says.

A poverty mentality is also commonly found in people who have experienced poverty in childhood. We know it is a barrier to enjoying happiness and financial security, but fear stops us from reaching out to learn new behaviour.

Abundance Mindset

Being consciously aware that you need to change how you think is the starting point, so well done! Now you can take steps to turn your negative thoughts around, so you can set far-reaching yet achievable goals, have confidence in your decision making and enjoy life.

According to a 2009 study[1] published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit, so remember, if you are going to develop new habits you will need to give yourself time. On average, you’ll need a couple of months of daily practice to make your new habit second-nature to you.

So let’s go to the Scriptures and begin the process of changing our mindset.


Things to Remember:

Recognising and changing a mindset is NOT something that we should allow to “worry us” Remember God is in the business of transformation.

Phillippians 4:6 (NiV)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

When you start out, you’ll be consciously aware you’re thinking differently about having enough, about making friends, about success, about fear, and then in time the habit will be formed insofar as you’ll be unconsciously aware you’re thinking and acting in a new way. Your life will no longer be fear driven:

Isaiah 41:13 (NiV)

13 For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NiV)

7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

You will begin to think in accordance with the Scriptures which remind us:

2 Corinthians 9:8 (NiV)

8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

An abundance mindset is a belief that not only does God provide, He is also able to get that provision to you.

Luke 12:24 (NiV)

24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!

Matthew 6:31-32 (NiV)

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

Romans 8:32 (NiV)

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

As we allow the Scriptures to transform the way that we think and guide our decisions, so our abilities to make money, invest wisely, empower and support others  increases, and we begin to develop an abundance mentality. To maintain an abundance mentality, learn from people who have the mindset you want. Mix with likeminded people. Continue reading the Scriptures and praying through the promises of God … and remember, He is with you in it all and through it all ..

Avoid Going Back

Once you have gotten your abundance mindset, there will be ongoing challenges in life that will attempt to pull you back down to your old way of thinking. Acknowledge to yourself every time fear creeps in and attempts to sway your positive attitude. Stop negative thoughts immediately and reframe them with your abundance mindset. Go back to the Scriptures and remind yourself of God’s ability to provide.
God bless.


[1] European Journal of Social Psychology Eur. J. Soc. Psychol. 40, 998–1009 (2010) Published online 16 July 2009 in Wiley Online Library ( DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.674