Poverty mentality is an attitude. It's a way of thinking that is said to perpetuate poverty because the focus is on what one doesn't have rather than what one does have. Thoughts and comments such as "I can't afford this..." and "I'll never have enough money for that..." may turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's not clear where this concept came from, but one of the earliest motivational speakers to discuss it was Zig Ziglar.
Zig Ziglar noted that focusing on the concern about what is missing in one's life rather than focusing on what is there can lead to further poverty. Ziglar and others believe the ones who break out of poverty and really succeed are those who use what they do have, are grateful for what they do have and most of all aren't jealous of what others have. Basically, it's an attitude of self-belief and empowerment rather than one of self-pity and jealousy that is thought to combat the destructive poverty mentality.
Being positive and building on what you do have can lead to developing a positive, workable plan that can lead to all types of successes even if you don't believe the so-called poverty mentality exists. The ideas of thinking positively and believing in our selves and our abilities often seem so cliche that many of us tend to ignore these concepts. Yet if we think about it, ignoring them may be quite self destructive.
If we don't want to live in poverty, no matter how much we may wish to be rich or richer it isn't enough. We have to have a workable plan and an attitude that brings money our way rather than repels it and keeps others from wanting to help us. The first step in overcoming poverty mentality is becoming aware that we have it. We can rethink the statements we make about money and stop focusing on being poor. Rather than concentrating on what we don't have compared to others, we need to focus on what we do have, what our purpose is and how we can positively get what we want.