You may have heard that we all have within us a superpower (or better say we all have more than one), and for many of us, that power remains untapped. We don’t have to go to a special school to learn how to use them, and there’s no Professor X, (if you’re an X-Men fan) to mentor us.
We’re using our powers all the time.
Maybe we can’t set fire to a car with our eyes, but just like the heroes we see in the movies, how we use these powers can change the world.
Literally—we can change the world with our powers.
We’ve all seen and felt the effect of this. One person does a small, kind thing for someone else, and sometimes that one small act can turn into hundreds, maybe thousands of other small, kind acts.
The thing that determines each person’s capacity for kindness is their mindset.
A person with a poverty mindset isn’t able to recognize kindness when it happens and stops the flow of love from coming into their life. They might feel suspicious of a nice gesture, or like they don’t deserve it. Someone who has a wealth mindset welcomes kindness and happily passes it on.
In this article, we’ll focus on the poverty mindset: what it is, how it affects your life, and how you can use your superpowers within you to change it.
What Is A Poverty Mindset?
“Keep quiet. Don’t make waves. Be a cog in the system… The thinking comes from a place of desperation. And that’s the thinking that’s handed down, generation to generation. The weird part is: it’s completely invisible to us. We hear this advice and we think it’s right. We think it’s completely normal.” (Douglas Kruger)
Many of us have heard the saying: ‘like attracts like‘. This is the basic idea behind the Law of Attraction, or LOA for short.
There are many common terms that describe the law of attraction and how we use it in our day-to-day lives. A ‘mindset’ is one of those terms—it’s another way to say that ‘we attract what we think about’.
A ‘poverty mindset’ is a way of viewing the world and a way of seeing yourself in a poor, sad and limited way.
Here are some traits:
A poverty mindset is based on low self-worth. Sometimes this is disguised in thinking that not having enough somehow makes a person ‘not worthy’. It’s believing the good life is for someone else.
A poverty mindset is thinking life is tough. Another term for this is ‘victim mentality’. Thinking and feeling like things aren’t fair, and that life is a constant struggle.
A poverty mindset is believing the world is scary. It’s where we experience shame, embarrassment, being a target, failure, disappointment, or making mistakes. Which leads to…
A poverty mindset is finding safety in staying inside a bubble. That scary world is exactly why the poverty mindset likes to create and stay inside a self-made shield, but…
A poverty mindset is also feeling trapped! That bubble created by a poverty mindset may seem like safety, but what usually ends up happening is it traps the person inside.
How A Poverty Mindset Affects Your Life
Have you ever heard the idea that there aren’t enough jobs, money, food, or love to go around? Have you ever met someone who is jealous of others and constantly comparing themselves to other people?
Lack, competition, constraint, fear and struggle. Do the same things as everyone else around you, keep the same habits, go the same places, watch the same shows, and you’re attracting the same things to yourself over and over again. This is how we control our worlds to make them seem more manageable and less scary.
A poverty mindset keeps many of us in our comfort zones, but can also lead to feeling depressed, demotivated, and disconnected from life.
Feeling trapped is one of the more obvious signs of a poverty mindset.
The good news is, the trapped feeling is just that: a feeling. It’s something that is created by thoughts, which creates moods.
This is the LOA, or ‘like attracts like’, at work. The more a person thinks thoughts like ‘I’ll never get out of this’, ‘I don’t know how to figure this out’, or ‘Things will never change’, the more they attract to themselves the feeling of being trapped.
This works the other way too. The more a person thinks thoughts like ‘I am free’, ‘I can do this’, ‘I have everything I need’, ‘Things are getting better and better every day’, the more they attract the feeling of freedom. (Plus a lot of other good things, like hope, enthusiasm and confidence.)
Using Your Superpower To Manage Your Mindset
So what do you do if you need to change how you think?
Recognizing a poverty mindset in your own thinking is a good thing for two reasons. First, by recognizing your own thinking, you are able to monitor your own thoughts. Second, you can see where you want to make changes in your life.
Here are eight ways to manage your mindset so that it works for you:
1. Do something different! Right now!
One of the quickest and easiest ways to break out of a poverty mindset is to pop your bubble. Here’s where you can use one of your other superpowers: creativity. Read an author you’ve never read before, start learning a new language, start a YouTube channel. Breaking out of your routine will help you to see that the world outside of your bubble isn’t a scary place. It will also show you that you aren’t trapped, regardless of your circumstances.
2. Use mantras and affirmations
‘I am free’, ‘I am a money magnet’, ‘Every day, life gets easier and easier’, ‘Life is easy’, ‘Everything works out for me’. A mindset is just made up of things you tell yourself every day. Start to give yourself positive messages about life and your world. It might feel odd if you’ve never done this before but see #1. The more you tell yourself positive things, the less weird it will feel, and the more your mindset will change bit by bit.
3. Treat yourself very, very well!
Make yourself nice cups of tea or coffee. Give yourself gifts! That new suit, smartphone or watch you want—why aren’t you buying it? Is it because you don’t think you’re the ‘type’ to wear that item? If that’s the case, treating yourself is super easy. If you can afford it, buy it. Take yourself out on dates, schedule your own spa day and take a long bath, do your nails, use that special lotion. You can’t have low self-worth if you treat yourself well. Actually, extremely well.
4. Calm your mind down
We hear a lot about meditation. The one thing about a poverty mindset is that it relies on thinking, and it happens very fast. In split seconds. It can seem impossible if you try to monitor each of your thoughts so you can avoid the poverty mindset. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your thoughts, the best thing to do is to just… Stop. Get very still and focus on your body, your breath, the life around you. If you notice you feel stressed, confused and having a hard time focusing on positive thoughts then you should consider eliminating the negative energy that may exist in your house.
5. Find different stories
Along with repeating the same statements over and over again, a poverty mindset is maintained by going over the same stories again and again. It might not be those you tell yourself. It could be a movie or television show you watch again and again, or a certain type of story you see on your social media feeds repeatedly. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram know what you like to see, so make an effort to find stories that are different, driving you away from the poverty mindset.
6. Go neutral
Positive thinking is tricky. It’s too easy to “fall off the wagon” and get negative just because you have one or two “bad” thoughts. Instead, you can try going neutral. I do this by telling myself “I’m not taking this too seriously”, or “Don’t take it personally”, “I am getting better and better every day”. Positive thinking is always a cure for a poverty mindset.
7. Practice deep, goosebumpy gratitude
We hear a lot about this one too, so much that it can be easy to overlook the simple but powerful practice of gratitude. Here’s where you use another one of your superpowers: persistence. Think of the things you do every day: brushing your teeth, washing dishes, feeding the bird, cat, or dog, watching TV. Each time you do one of these things, you can use it as a cue to practice a little gratitude. Touch your remote or your pet’s fur and say a quick ‘thank you’ for the love in your life, the electricity that powers your devices, even the creator of your favorite show.
8. Own your abundance
Here are two things I know about you: you are incredibly lucky and you have some wealth. Just by being able to have the tools to find this article and read it on whatever device you’re using proves that. This isn’t quite the same as being grateful, though it’s very closely related. Owning your abundance means being honest with yourself about how much you have. Don’t forget—you have superpowers!
Before you know it, the abundance mindset will take over and you won’t even have to think about being grateful, or treating yourself. Your mind will be calm, which will lead to clearer thinking and a happier experience.
You accept kindness and love with ease and send it back out into the universe with big gratitude.
Look at your life right now as just an indicator, the results of an experiment you didn’t know you were conducting. Now that you know what a poverty mindset is, you have the results of your experiment. You have a measure of how trapped you feel, and you can see how the principle “like attracts like“ is working for you or against you.
Now you can use your superpowers and bit-by-bit, create the formula for your perfect life.