What Is Poverty Consciousness and How To Overcome It

what is poverty consciousness

What is poverty consciousness and how does it affect you? Poverty consciousness is a consciousness that is dominated by the belief that there is not enough, that you are not entitled to everything you want and that money is a very limited resource in your life.

It has nothing to do with how much or how little money you have. You can have a lot of money and still have a poverty consciousness.

Many millionaires do not believe that they have an abundant life. They look to their friends and see what they do not have and focus mostly on what is lacking in their lives.

Whether you feel rich or poor is almost entirely dependent on your money consciousness. If you have an abundant consciousness you will feel abundant no matter your financial circumstances.

A poverty consciousness keeps you trapped in the false belief that you do not have everything you need.

No matter how much you have you never have enough. It fuels an addiction to money and you end up with this incessant and vigorous pursuing of something that you don’t really need.

By definition you can never truly be happy if you have a poverty consciousness because you will always have this nagging belief that what you need is not available to you.

The Definition Of Poverty Consciousness

What is poverty consciousness, where does it come from and do you have it? Poverty consciousness has nothing to do with your bank balance.

Many millionaires have a poverty consciousness. The definition of poverty consciousness is simply a consciousness where you are more aware of your lack of money and resources than you are of your unlimited abundance.

The opposite of a poverty consciousness is an abundance consciousness. An abundance consciousness is where your awareness is dominated by the availability of all the resources you may need to thrive.

A poverty consciousness is dominated by fear, stress and worry. No matter how much or how little money you have, you are always worried.

You are worried about not having enough.

You are worried that you may lose what you have.

Your mind is fixated on the worse possible outcomes and ultimately you worry about not having any money at all.

Your prosperity consciousness is not dependent on money; your flow of money is dependent upon your prosperity consciousness.

– Louise Hay

There are many different levels of consciousness but a poverty consciousness usually resides in the subconscious level of awareness.

This is where our beliefs reside and it is your beliefs that dictate the way you feel and act towards money.

Here are some main differences between a poverty consciousness and a prosperity consciousness.

Poverty ConsciousnessProsperity Consciousness
Live in Fear and WorryLive in Love and Joy
Sense Of EntitlementSense of Gratitude
Horde, Save and AccumulateShare and Give Freely
Know It AllLove To Learn & Grow
Fear ChangeEmbrace Change
Pursue MoneyPursue Fulfilment
Hold GrudgesFreely Forgive
Have Money GoalsHave Life Goals
Ego DrivenDriven By Higher Self
There are limited resourcesLife is abundant & unlimited
Fight for what’s mineThere’s more than enough for everyone
Critical and ScepticalOpen minded

Where Does Your Poverty Consciousness Come From

Although a poverty consciousness develops quite early in life it can also develop or get reinforced through many stages of your life.

People who get born into welfare tend to stay in welfare and even pass that on their kids. Most welfare recipients are third and fourth generation welfare recipients.

This is a testament to how powerful your money consciousness can be. Lets briefly look at some of the main sources of a poverty consciousness.

Understanding where your poverty consciousness comes from can help you gain a better understanding to overcome it.

1. Childhood

Most of the time a poverty consciousness is inherited. It does not mean that you grew up in poverty though but it often is the case.

Many middle class families have a poverty consciousness. Their beliefs are that there’s not enough money, that they can not afford certain luxuries and that wealth and success is for “other people” who are somehow lucky.

As children we “inherit” our parents’ beliefs about money and this happens almost completely on a subconscious level.

If your parents were always fighting about money, stressed out about money and worried about it then you will most likely have the same money consciousness.

2. Traumatic Money Experiences

A traumatic money experience has the power to plunge you into poverty consciousness. If you lost a business, suffered from a market crash or had some other financial disaster it can have a lasting impact on your money consciousness.

The human mind is designed to avoid pain and seek pleasure. If money equals pain then you will have some deep wounds that can cause you to have a lot of fear and pain around money.

Losing a job or losing a business can really hurt you at the deepest level. It can cause you to quickly develop a series of beliefs and completely change your money consciousness.

A traumatic money experience is where your business or your job or an investment was very close to your heart and losing it due to forces outside your control can hurt you deeply.

3. Unexpected Success of Failure

It is estimated that as much as 80% of all lottery winners lose all their money within 5 years. Unexpected success can take you out of your comfort zone and plunge you into an unknown world.

These lottery winners who go broke, all attest to how much money changed their life in a negative way. Many lost all their friends, had their marriages break down and some even dive into addictive behaviour.

The principle is that your inner world always creates your outer world. This is also true for your finances and for money.

It is your money consciousness that acts as a thermostat that determines your level of financial success.

Changing the outside world rarely changes your inner world. Unless you change your consciousness from a poverty consciousness to a prosperity consciousness things will soon level out again.

People who somehow acquire a lot of money that they do not feel they are worthy of will soon lose it. They often end up “hating money” for what it did to them.

Unexpected failure can be a bit like a traumatic experience but it tends to be less emotional and more egotistical.

A sudden setback in your career or your business can make you overly cautious and instill a lot of fear in how you approach money and business.

4. Imposed Beliefs

We live in a society where wealth and success is idolized. The idea of being rich and famous is infesting all areas of our lives and you can hardly switch on your phone without being bombarded with some sort of celebrity flaunting their “rich life”.

The idea that being rich equates to having a lot of fancy stuff is a disease. It creates this false belief that more money equals more happiness.

These imposed beliefs create a money addiction. People become addicted to money because they believe that money will bring them what they really want in life.

Life becomes a pursuit of money for the sake of money and what you (falsely) believe it will bring to your life.

By definition an addiction can never be satisfied.

5. Past Lives

This is where things get a bit crazy. I know this sounds whack and if you told me just 6 months ago that I would be writing about past lives I would have laughed in your face.

If the idea of past lives intimates or challenges your beliefs then you probably need to hear this even more. The work of Dr. Brian Weiss and his thousands of patients will quickly change your mind.

What happens is that we often hold “memories” of past life traumas in this life and it often still resides in our consciousness. It acts as very deep-seeded beliefs that can have a profound effect on your life.

Many people have money wounds from past lives that affect them in this life and past life regression therapy is now a recognized discipline that can help us gain a better understanding of past life traumas.

How To Overcome a Poverty Consciousness

Having gone down the rabbit hole of entrepreneurship, I know all too well how money and success can consume your consciousness.

Before you know it everything is about money. Not so much for the sake of being rich and having fancy stuff but because financial success becomes part of your identity.

To be conscious of being poor while praying for riches is to be rewarded with that which you are conscious of being, namely, poverty. Prayers to be successful must be claimed and appropriated. Assume the positive consciousness of the thing desired.

– Neville Goddard

Not “making it” and having failures can really hurt you at the deepest level. The same goes for people who work themselves to the bone to climb a corporate ladder.

The main source of a poverty consciousness however is still coming from the beliefs we model and inherit from our parents.

These beliefs get firmly rooted before we are even old enough to make any conscious decisions ourselves.

Regardless of where your poverty consciousness comes from, changing it is all that really matters.

Changing your consciousness is much easier than it may seem. It often just requires you to see a different perspective, understand some universal truth and “see” your own erroneous thinking.

Overcoming a poverty consciousness is not a one off miracle trick but rather a process of breaking down the ideas that prop up your subconscious beliefs.

Here are 5 powerful ideas to help you change your poverty consciousness to a prosperity consciousness.

1. Understand The Universal Truth

Realize that abundance has nothing to do with how much money you have. An abundance consciousness is an understanding that you live in an abundant universe.

There is more than enough of everything you need to stay alive and top thrive.

There is a universal Source of supply from which all things emanate.

You are a divine being and you are not only an offspring of this Universal Intelligence but you are entitled to all the abundance this universe has to offer.

Prosperity is not just having things. It is the consciousness that attracts the things. Prosperity is a way of living and thinking, and not just having money or things. Poverty is a way of living and thinking, and not just a lack of money or things.

– Eric Butterworth

When you open your eyes and you start seeing all the abundance and prosperity that is already in your life, you start tapping into true abundance.

This may sound idealistic and like spiritual talk but one fact is for sure and that is the fact that whatever you place your energy and your attention on is what expands and grows in your life.

With a prosperity consciousness your energy and attention is on the abundance you already have and in turn that expands and grows in your life.

With a poverty consciousness you are always focussed on what is lacking, what you do not have and on your limitations. Consequently, that is what expands in your life.

2. Let Go Of Your Money Addiction

Money addiction is rive in our society. Most people who are addicted to money don’t even know they are.

Money addiction has nothing to do with having a little or having a lot. Many millionaires are addicted to money and many broke families are addicted to money.

If you are thinking about money all the time then you are probably addicted to money.

Addiction works with your brain’s “reward system” and when it comes to money addiction we tend to crave it for the rewards we believe it will bring us.

Most people crave freedom and believe that money will bring them that freedom. Money becomes the drug and it leads to a pursuit of money at all costs.

Money can plug a lot of holes and fix a lot of problems but ultimately it can never give you freedom. What we all truly crave is to live life to the fullest, to pursue our deepest desires and to fully realize our potential.

Most people have learned to mismatch this pursuit with having a lot of money. This is what gives birth to the addiction and drives the pursuit – often at the cost of your physical and emotional health.

Let go of the addiction. Never make money the goal. Setting financial goals has its place but not if you are addicted.

Start living your life and stop worrying about money all the time. Set goals beyond money. Set your goals for achieving things that will bring you joy and fulfillment.

Making money is almost always a byproduct of pursuing that which you love.

3. Generosity and Giving

One of the most powerful ways to overcome your money addiction is through generosity. People with a poverty consciousness are often obsessed with protecting their money.

They are often also the people who will quickly point fingers are those who get “handouts” or freebies from the government.

They want to make sure that nobody gets any more than they do. They lock up their money and protect it vigorously.

The purpose is to be in gratitude forever. Live with applied consciousness, prosperity will break through the walls, flood you with it. You do prayer when you are in difficulty. Pray when you are not in difficulty! That is the attitude of gratitude.

– Harbhajan Singh Yogi

I love Ken Honda’s analogy with money being like water. He says that if money does not flow through your life it gets blocked up and it leads to all sorts of money problems.

The idea of giving away money and being generous allows money to flow in your life. It also frees you of this painful fear of trying to hold on to every cent you have.

You can never give away money with a sincere heart without it coming back to you multiplied.

Find a way to give and make sure that you give to some cause you really value. That way you can overcome the need to get a return on your investment and just give for the sake of really wanting to make a difference.

4. Find Your Passion

The best way to snap out of this constant pursuit of money is to find your passion in life. Not only does it take your energy and attention off money but it leads you to a more meaningful life.

Most people want to make a lot of money so that they can do the things they love.

Why not do the things you love anyway?

A poverty consciousness often keeps you locked up in a job for the sake of security and the need to make money.

Yes, you have financial responsibilities but don’t let that stop you from persuing your passions. Don’t let a job keep you from living the life you came here to live.

You did not come into this life to work a nine to five, five days a week and have a 2 week holiday every year only to be broke by the age of 60.

When you find and pursue your passions and the things you love your consciousness changes. Money may even become irrelevant to you.

Your life will be filled with joy and excitement and this in itself is part of an abundant life and an abundance consciousness.

5. Spirituality

It is hard to think about abundance and prosperity without a spiritual understanding of life. Spirituality is simply ideas that transcend the mere physical plane of existence.

Spirituality is the key to helping you see beyond scarcity and limitations. When you understand that you are a soul and that you are merely having a physical experience in this life then you understand that material possessions are not as important as society may have you believe.

Spirituality does not negate the desires for an abundant life. In fact, spirituality encourages an abundant life.

Poverty is not just a lack of money; it is not having the capability to realize one’s full potential as a human being.

– Amartya Sen

When you understand that the true source of supply is not the bank or your job you start to understand that there is an endless well of abundance for you to draw from.

Understanding more about your Self, your true nature and this indescribably force that many call God will gently nudge you into understanding that you do indeed live in an abundant universe.

You are never separate from your Source and your Source supply is ultimately where everything in your life comes from.

It is your consciousness that ultimately dictates how much or how little of this supply flows to you and through your life.


With a passion for spirituality, self discovery, and understanding this life, Neod spends his time musing about what is, what could be and what might come about. After writing for 20 years he's still growing, learning, exploring and sharing with love, joy and compassion.

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