Some people live in poverty. Real, physical poverty. They can’t meet life’s basic fundamental needs, like food, water, shelter, and clothing. Too many people are truly impoverished, and they deserve our help.

But there is another kind of poverty. This kind of poverty is far more common, far more wide spread, and far more pernicious. It’s a psychological form of poverty. Even though a person suffering from a psychological poverty may have enough food, water, shelter, and clothing, their life isn’t what it might be. They aren’t the very best version of themselves.

You can recognize someone suffering from psychological poverty by their scarcity mindset. They believe that there isn’t enough; if someone has more than enough than someone necessarily too little. They don’t believe that the Universe is infinitely abundant or that they can have any more than they have right now. They believe things are hard, and so they are.

Another telltale sign of an impoverished personal psychology is the victim mentality. Those who suffer from the victim mindset believe that their lives are ruled by outside forces (they are, but no so much the forces they imagine) and that they are powerless to change their lives. They believe they can’t change because their parents were divorced, the decision-makers in admissions at “the right school” rejected them, the boss passed them over for a promotion, or the wrong political party is conspiring against them.

One of the most dangerous varieties of psychological poverty is holding oneself in low regard, or low self-esteem. You can recognize this form of poverty in the words people use when they talk about themselves. They say, “I can’t do that,” or “I’ve never been any good at … ,” or “I’m not good enough.”

It’s not easy to help people suffering from a psychological poverty.

It’s difficult to convince someone who believes that the Universe is scarcity that it’s really abundance; they struggle to believe that money is abundant because it takes so much work to acquire. It’s difficult to convince someone that there is no outside force in the world that has a greater control over their destiny then what’s inside them (especially what’s inside their mind). It’s not easy to help people that believe that they are unworthy that they are valuable, that most people feel like they are impostors or wearing someone else’s clothes—until they don’t feel that way anymore.

It’s sometimes to difficult to help yourself.


What forms of psychological do you recognize as being most common?

How do you overcome your (occasional or more than occasional) scarcity mindset?

What do you to regain control when you sometimes feel that you are a victim of outside forces?

How do you combat the voice of your inner critic? What voice do you replace it with?

Post by Anthony Iannarino on April 13, 2013
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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