How to Overcome Your Scarcity Mindset

The scarcity mindset, a psychological phenomenon often developed by individuals who grew up in poverty, can hinder personal growth and financial success. Breaking this mindset is essential for improving decision-making, fostering healthy financial habits, and achieving long-term goals. If you’re ready to overcome your own scarcity mindset, here are some strategies and practices to expplore.

  1. Develop a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication, hard work, and learning from experiences (Dweck, 2006). Shifting from a scarcity mindset to a growth mindset can help individuals recognize opportunities and develop resilience in the face of challenges. By focusing on growth and improvement, individuals can break the cycle of negative thinking patterns associated with scarcity.

  1. Cultivate Gratitude

Practicing gratitude can help reduce the effects of a scarcity mindset by fostering a greater appreciation for what one already has (Emmons & McCullough, 2003). Regularly expressing gratitude through journaling or mindful reflection can help shift the focus from perceived lack to abundance. This practice can promote increased life satisfaction and improved mental well-being.

  1. Set Realistic Goals

Setting achievable, long-term goals helps build confidence and a sense of accomplishment (Locke & Latham, 2006). Breaking large goals into smaller, manageable steps can reduce feelings of overwhelm and facilitate progress. By focusing on attainable objectives, individuals can gradually build resilience and overcome the scarcity mindset.

  1. Seek Financial Education

Improving financial literacy is crucial in breaking the scarcity mindset. Financial education can empower individuals with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions and develop sound financial habits (Lusardi & Mitchell, 2014). Accessing free resources, attending workshops, and seeking advice from financial professionals can help individuals gain control over their finances and develop a healthier money mindset.

  1. Build a Support Network

Creating a network of supportive, like-minded individuals can provide encouragement and guidance in overcoming the scarcity mindset (Cohen & Wills, 1985). Sharing experiences, learning from others, and seeking mentorship can help individuals develop new perspectives, strategies, and coping mechanisms for dealing with financial challenges.

  1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness practice can help individuals become more aware of their thoughts and emotions, allowing them to identify and challenge scarcity-driven thinking patterns (Kabat-Zinn, 1990). By developing greater self-awareness, individuals can learn to respond more adaptively to financial stressors and cultivate a healthier relationship with money.


Breaking the scarcity mindset is a challenging but essential process for individuals who grew up in poverty. By adopting a growth mindset, cultivating gratitude, setting realistic goals, seeking financial education, building a support network, and practicing mindfulness, individuals can develop healthier financial habits and improve their overall well-being.


  1. Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. Random House.
  2. Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 377-389.
  3. Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2006). New directions in goal-setting theory. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(5), 265-268.