I grew up in poverty in Ukraine. There was never enough in our house. Not enough food, not enough drinks (soft drinks and juices), not enough clothes, not enough toys… It was tough growing up in a constant lack.
Our parents always taught my sister and I to save, to never waste anything and to always pay less, whenever there was a possibility. That was our way to survive.
I remember, it was a sin to throw away old and dry bread.
Such concepts as abundance and a better choice were not part of our reality. We had to be satisfied with what we had, which wasn’t much.
It was only during Christmas we could afford some fruit, like bananas or oranges. Chocolate and sweets were also reserved for some big dates…
I remember many days passing by the ice cream shop, imagining the delicious taste but not being able to buy it.
When you live in poverty, you develop poverty consciousness. You go about thinking there is never enough…
That was my story.
Then I moved to the land of opportunities and started working and making enough money to be able to buy enough food.
I remember my first visit to an American supermarket, Superfresh in Ocean City, NJ, I was amazed by the abundance, and variety, and the richness of choices. There were more than 10 kinds of apples of different colours… So many “exotic” fruits and vegetables, and berries I had no idea existed..
I was truly awe-inspired. Finally, I could grasp and understand the meaning of the concept of abundance.
I could finally buy food and have enough in my fridge…
Happiness is in little things.
However, even though I was surrounded by opportunities and abundance, I was struggling…
My poverty consciousness was deeply ingrained in me. And it was reflected in all of my decisions I was making.
For example, my decision to buy a cheap old car because I “thought” I couldn’t afford a newer car. So, I spent all my saved up cash on my first car, which was 7 years old at that time with more than 120 000 miles on the speedometer. And every month it was breaking up. And I was spending a lot of money on fixing it.
It would have been much cheaper to buy a new car and just pay instalments every month. And it was indeed. When I finally took a leap of faith and got myself a brand new Toyota from dealership, I was spending less.
It occurred to me at one point, cheap people pay twice.
When I was planning my first trip back to Ukraine 2 years after I moved to the USA, I bought the cheapest airplane ticket I could find from Miami to Kiev. And that ticket had 3 stops and almost 20 hours of layover.
I believed I was saving money (I could hear my dad’s advice, always save money when you can). What I didn’t anticipate was the fact that I had to give an additional payment for luggage upon check in (as many “cheap” airlines do) and I had to spent money on food at the airports during that extensive layover time…
I ended up paying much more for rubbish tickets with a ridiculously long journey than I would have paid for a much better option.
Cheap people pay twice… It is a fact. I was one of those cheap people.
Instead of spending extra 2 day with my parents, I spent them at the airports…
When you have poverty consciousness, you end up wasting time, money, energy and resources.
I kept falling into the same trap over and over again. When I was being cheap, trying to save money, I ended up paying much more in the end.
When it came to relationships, my poverty consciousness was showing up its ugly head as well. I couldn’t believe I could relish the abundance of love. I didn’t believe there were enough of good men out there. In fact, I believed all good men were married or taken. So, I was left to play around with scraps. And I didn’t believe I was worthy of high quality relationships
You attract what what you believe in.
My poverty consciousness in relationships would bring me suffering and heartbreaks.
Until finally the penny dropped. Abundance as well as poverty is a state of mind. It is never determined by the outside circumstances, it is determined by your belief. I was around abundance, when I came to the USA, but my inner state was the one of poverty.
What does abundance mean to you? I challenge you to look around at nature for inspiration. There is abundance everywhere.
Do you believe you are worthy of abundance in business and relationships?
I am telling you if you are struggling and frustrated, you don’t have the abundance mindset. I know from my own experience. The good thing is, you can change it.
Don’t shortchange your dream, whether it comes to your business or relationships. It requires investment. And the more you give (not just money, but your time, energy, resources), the more you will receive. That’s how life and universe works. The law of compensation is always at play.