How To Overcome The Mental Illness of Poverty

How To Overcome The Mental Illness of Poverty


I grew up in the Mississippi Delta Region, which is one of the most poverty stricken areas in the country. I know firsthand how living in poverty can feel and how it affects a person’s state of mind. Poverty is an illness and while many people do not want to be poor, they do not have the proper mindset in order to overcome this debilitating disease.

In my book, Book of Revelations: 10 Steps of Transforming Poverty into Prosperity, I share what I thought and felt while living in poverty and how it destroyed my potential and outlook on life. The environment that I lived in did not help either. It made me feel like I did not have any choices and I never felt good about myself or what I could be capable of.  

People living in poverty often believe that they are bound by the parameters set by their immediate environment or set of circumstances. There is a mental block to envisioning a life that is positive, prosperous or productive. This is what poverty can do to a person. They do not feel like they are worth anything and they do not see their potential in life. These are a couple of the reasons why I believe that poverty needs to be considered a mental health disease. Whenever a person does not believe in themselves their attitude is quite similar to depression.  

A person who lives in poverty can actually become addicted to that way of life. They learn how to live with the little that they have, because they have never known anything else. They do not want to change, because they do not know what to expect and they do not believe in themselves.  

When a person reads my book, they will be taken through 10 steps that they can do in order to overcome poverty addiction. These 10 steps are very similar to the steps that anyone overcoming addiction would complete.  

One of my favorite techniques is called 3R. The 3R acronym means reflect, release and renew.  A person needs to reflect on their life and everything that has happened in the past and release it. Once you release the past you will be able to renew your mind. There are many ways that a person can attain this transformation. They can seek a higher power, find a mentor, forgive forward, adopt a winning attitude and focus on growth.  

When a person seeks a higher power or a mentor, they are essentially giving themselves an opportunity to talk to an unbiased person. They should find someone who will listen and will not judge them for their past. When a person forgives forward, they are going to be more forgiving towards themselves and others much sooner than in the past. They should not be holding a grudge, because that will not allow them to renew their mind.  

People living in poverty should not expect people to give them everything they need or want in life. They need to make a change on their own. Everyone needs to have a winning attitude and focus on their own personal growth.  This is the only way that they can change their future. The changes will not be easy, but all of the work will be worth it when the person can finally say that they believe in themselves. It took me 27 years to overcome the mental illness of poverty. If I can do it, so can you. Stop making excuses and make it happen. I look forward to hearing your story of transformation.


Gabriel Wallace

The John Maxwell Team
“Helping People Turn Inspiration Into Implementation”

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