On Psychological Poverty

On Psychological Poverty

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?



  • http://womeninbusinessradio.com Michele Price

    Great post, great questions, love your writing. Now to answer your questions as this topic is up my alley ;)

    Over the years I have used many different modalities and activities to master my own thinking.

    One recent one that has been very helpful I learned from Dr. John Demartini ( called the Demartini method- hey if you are going to create an answer why wouldn’t you name it after yourself)

    At it’s most basic level it is a process that helps you to neutralize your charge on your thoughts ( that many times turns into beliefs). We give them those charges and only we can remove them. I did so on a VERY big one for me last weekend.

    I have been noticing for a while when my thinking would slide over into what I describe as not helpful- now instead of beating myself up for that, I ask what is this feedback wanting me to learn. I acknowledge it, learn from it and move on-voila no charge, better actions, driving aligned results.

    Thinking this year is gonna be stellar after a life long journey taking consistent daily actions propelling me forward in my purpose.

    Love to hear what you do Anthony.

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks for sharing, Michelle. My strategy is to pour into my mind only that which is positive, empowering, and beneficial.

  • Molly Cantrell-Kraig

    This is an elemental mindshift that must be made in order to live our lives at our highest level. What a great post!

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks, Molly!

  • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

    Great insights, Anthony. Truly insightful. Everyone in business should read this.


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  • http://twitter.com/jess_dewell Jessica Dewell

    To combat my inner critic? I say “There you are!” when I recognize it. It’s taken many years to be able to stay disconnected to it (most of the time).

    Sometimes I do get stuck in one of those patterns, when this happens I realize it is something for me to experience – so I acknowledge where I am, embrace the moment, and wait for it to pass. Sometimes that means sitting and eating cookies on the sofa. Sometimes that means doing even though there is no gumption.

    In abundance and in psycho-poverty I look toward where my energy comes from (some people it’s internally generated) which is outside -> reaching to the stars to fully experience and enjoy the moment knowing I have the resources all around me to move through it.

    Thought provoking article – it is a great read.

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jessica.

  • Aby

    I have suffered this scarcity syndrome for 3 years now, i was able to overcome and regain control by saying that i am master of my own undoing and am responsible for the results..it has worked, but fades off after some days and i am again pushed back to the abysmal misery and darkness. I do not want this negativity to reiterate, any suggestions???

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Negativity Fast: Don’t allow anything negative in. No news. Not negative people. No nothing.

      Abundance Feast: Listen and read only what is positive, empowering, and up-lifting.

      Try it for 30 days. Let me know how you do.


      • Aby

        Thanks Anthony! What if the negativity spiraling upwards from within me, as far as i see there is not negative influence from external sources/persons, or i do not care. But the bad things/failure i have seen in my past is rewinding and reminding me that i cannot achieve. I will try Abundance Feast :) I appreciate your suggestions.