Do you ever feel financially stuck, do you ever go through the store looking at things you know you will never be able to afford, thinking how nice it would be if you could just catch a break? Do spend more time than you should figuring out how you will pay each bill every month when there just isn't enough money to go around? Are the people around you in similar situations, especially those in your own family? Do you feel like the rich have just been dealt better cards in life? If so, you may be suffering from poverty mentality.

What is poverty mentality?
Poverty mentality is an attitude, a negative outlook regarding ones financial situation. People who have a poverty mentality often focus on what they do not have, or can't afford. They concentrate on the hardship, feel stuck, and cant seem to find a way out. Most think the only way they could get rich is by winning the lottery. This attitude becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, and they indeed, stay financially stuck. Poverty mentality is learned, many people have a poverty mentality and do not even see themselves as having a negative attitude... its just life. But it doesn't have to be!

How to change a poverty mentality:

Focus on what you CAN do!- People with a poverty mentality usually focus on the hardship, often neglecting the fact that there IS a way out. If you are suffering from poverty mentality, ask yourself what you CAN do. Write a list, this act alone lets you focus on the possible solutions, not the problem. For example, if you have a dead end minimum wage job, can barely afford your bills, your list might include some of the following: Ask for a raise, ask what you need to do to get a promotion, put out job applications, conserve electricity, look for a side gig, find a roommate, look into getting financial aid for school, etc. Each day, have a goal to do a few things to work toward your goal, take charge! Focusing on what you can do, instead of what you cant helps put you into action, you will feel more empowered and hopeful.

Change your attitude- Think that you can! You know from experience that feeling stuck and focusing on that doesn't help, so tell yourself that you are going to get somewhere, that things are going to change for you! This is so powerful, because if you think you can, you will take action to make it happen. That negative self fulfilling prophecy just did a 180, now you are in success mentality! Start with small goals, like filling out those job applications, or honing a marketable skill you possess. Each little thing you do leads to increased chances of success. Keep yourself motivated, speak to yourself nicely, tell yourself you are amazing, that you are capable, smart, and will make things happen. This will show through to others, and in time, you will receive more opportunities. Most importantly, do not give up! Keep trying everyday, keep up the positive outlook and positive self talk while you are pursuing your goals. It will happen for you, if you believe it can and do the work!

Change your relationship with money- Money should not be a source of stress, it also shouldn't bring up negative emotions like fear. Money is necessary for our lives, to buy all the things that we need, it is important, but stressing about it, hoping for it, feeling the strain of not having it, all of that is wasteful. It doesn't change the situation at hand. Be logical. If you need more, think of ways to make more. If you want to spend less, think of ways to decrease your budget. If you really want something, don't say, "I can't afford it", instead, tell yourself, "If I really want this, I will come up with a plan to save for it." This lets you be in control, you are saying I can, not I can't. You might have to sacrifice to get there, but you chose that, and you are in control.

Pass it on!- Teach your family, (especially children) to have a success mentality as well. Teach them that they can be in charge of their financial future. Make sure they have a positive attitude, believe in their abilities, work hard, and have a healthy relationship with money. These things are learned behaviors, just like a poverty mentality is learned.

Author's Bio: 

A. Helen is a freelance writer, and a mother of four. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her children, and doing crafts.