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  • Writer's pictureGary Roth

The Power of Reframing Your Thoughts: How to Shift Your Poverty Mindset

Poverty is not just a lack of financial resources, but it can also be a state of mind. The poverty mindset is characterized by negative beliefs and attitudes about one's own abilities and potential, and it can be a major barrier to escaping poverty and achieving financial stability. Breaking the poverty mindset requires a combination of personal effort and external support, but it is possible with the right mindset and strategies.

Recognize and challenge negative beliefs

The first step in breaking the poverty mindset is to recognize and challenge the negative beliefs that are holding you back. These beliefs might include:

  • "I will always be poor."

  • "I don't have the skills or education to be successful."

  • "I don't deserve to be successful."

It's important to recognize that these beliefs are not necessarily true, and that they are holding you back from achieving your goals. One way to challenge these beliefs is to think about times when you have been successful in the past, and to remind yourself that you are capable of achieving success again.

Set goals and develop a plan

Once you have identified and challenged your negative beliefs, the next step is to set specific, achievable goals and develop a plan to reach them. This could include getting an education or additional training, finding a job or starting a business, or saving and budgeting to reach a financial goal. It's important to be realistic and to break your goals down into smaller, more manageable steps. This can help you stay motivated and on track.

Seek out supportive relationships and resources

Breaking the poverty mindset is not something you have to do alone. Surrounding yourself with supportive people and accessing resources that can help you reach your goals can make a big difference. This might include joining a support group, finding a mentor or coach, or seeking out government or community resources.

Practice gratitude

Focusing on the things you are grateful for can help shift your mindset and perspective. Taking time to reflect on the positive aspects of your life, no matter how small, can help you feel more hopeful and motivated.

Learn from your setbacks and failures

It's natural to experience setbacks and failures as you work towards your goals, but it's important to view these experiences as learning opportunities rather than signs of failure. When you encounter a challenge, try to identify what went wrong and what you can learn from the experience. This can help you build resilience and stay motivated to keep moving forward.

Take care of your physical and mental health

Your physical and mental health can have a big impact on your mindset and ability to achieve your goals. Taking care of yourself by eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising can help improve your energy and focus. It's also important to manage stress and seek support if you are struggling with mental health challenges.

Keep an open mind and be willing to learn

Breaking the poverty mindset requires a willingness to learn and grow. This might mean trying new things, learning new skills, or seeking out new opportunities. Keep an open mind and be willing to step outside your comfort zone. This can help you discover new strengths and resources you didn't know you had.


Breaking the poverty mindset is not easy, but it is possible with the right mindset and strategies. By recognizing and challenging negative beliefs, setting goals and developing a plan, seeking out supportive relationships and resources, practicing gratitude, learning from setbacks and failures, taking care of your physical and mental health, and keeping an open mind, you can begin to break the cycle of poverty and achieve financial stability.


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Financial stress and its impact on


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