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Poverty Mindset: Part 1

Poverty mindset...ever heard of it or the impact it has on our brain and psyche? The poverty mindset comes from having lived in poverty or being raised in a home where your parents were raised in or experienced poverty. This mindset develops out of a need for survival and enduring the trauma of not having enough for basic life necessities. Think of how post traumatic stress works, our brain went into survival mode of the deepest kind. The after effects of experiencing trauma are long lasting and include: having flashbacks and reliving the trauma, dissociating, living in a way to survive instead of to thrive. Healing is possible; however, it does take time and the willingness to walk that journey. If we apply that understanding to how a poverty mindset works, it can make sense that people who experience poverty can often experience trauma in more extreme and abusive situations.  

Think of your own experience of life, or perhaps your parents. For those who have had the privilege to not experience poverty, it may seem hard to understand. Can you understand why living in poverty can develop a mindset hardwired to panic at the thought or reality of not having enough? Not having enough money is the root worry; and much panic stems from all the things we need that require money. Here is another interesting thing about this mindset; even when you have enough money, and perhaps tons of money, there is still a gnawing inside that you do not have enough. Our brains love to create cycles of negative thoughts; they are hardwired to create shortcuts in thinking… and of course, it is the stuff that triggers our ancestral need to survive. That means we shift into fight or flight in our thought process, so instead of being able to realize what our brain is doing, most of us don’t catch the pattern. Our minds worry and panic and it’s hard to feel ok with what we have. 

So what does catching the pattern mean? It means that with some hard work on our part, and being open to a healing experience, you can tackle your poverty mindset and win! I have been doing healing work in this area for a long time, and it has been in these past months that I can see my own growth in this area. It’s exciting to know that if I do my own work and keep at it, that my own poverty mindset (from both the mindsets of my parents and my own lived experiences) can shift and eventually heal. 

In part two our focus will be on the healing process in more detail! 

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