Step 6: Poverty mindset vs. Growth mindset. How being a traveler and expat can grow you or bury you.


Good afternoon beautiful souls, we are well into week three of 2019! It’s 2:05 pm right now, 21 January 2019. Today we will take a look at STEP 6: Poverty mindset vs. Growth mindset. If you have read my ” Dear future self ” post, you might have noticed that  I had mentioned that even though I was already abroad for about five years, I was still operating under a poverty mindset. In case you have missed it, you can catch up here:

“Dear future self” two years later. What have we learnt, improved upon and mastered so far?

At the time, during 2015-2017, I was dealing with a personal battle. I had achieved so much for myself , from working part – time  as a waitress during the weekends while studying full time at university and saving up enough money in order to pay for my TEFL course way back in 2012. This all happened after I had graduated and obtained my BA degree in Language and Culture.

I come from a small town where most people had ( and might still have) what we call klein dorpie mentaliteit-  roughly translated to a concept similar to being narrow-minded or small- mindedness. ( I will write a post about this to further explain things ).

That said, most of our community members  (hailing from Kylemore and Pniel respectively) are extremely talented and gifted in sports, the arts, floriculture, horticulture, dressmaking, catering, cosmetology, photography, modeling and the list goes on. ( I will also dedicate a few posts to this in future writings. All in good time)

I am proud of who I am and what I am becoming right now. I have no shame and I stand in my truth about my heritage and upbringing, but one thing I could never accept from where I came from was that I had to stay where I was for the rest of my life. It was insinuated and expected of me from my family and my community.

I did not want that for myself and I believe I was born in an era that made it possible for me as a female to do more than just be like everyone else. For one thing, I have always been different and inquisitive about the world. That is where I would find my purpose. The opportunities for me were too extraordinary to just vicariously live through others. I could now live through my experiences and my journey mattered, once I had my ticket to the world. I would be a trailblazer for others like me.

So this is were our mindsets play a role in our journeys. I have heard of many stories of people who are millionaires. They have everything, but would still act and behave as if they were financially challenged. Their behaviours and mindsets were still stuck in past -mode. Maybe these people never realized that their belief systems needed adjustment as their lives changed.

My mindset has digressed in the past when I was riddled with illness and stress. I was unable to think rationally or use what resources I had to think of solving problems instead of adding fuel to my fires. So now I am able to share some knowledge with you on what I have learnt from having a poverty mindset to a now developing growth mindset.

Lets take a look at our micro steps of STEP 6: Poverty mindset vs. Growth mindset:

  • I think before everything else, we must be kind and gentle with ourselves once we suss out what we need to do in order to change our mindsets. It will take time. It might take years. It is all up to you.


  • If we have a poverty mindset we will act as if we are poor and people will treat us as if we are poor. We will be treated poorly at work, in our relationships, in our friendships and within the expat communities. By poor I mean lack of self -confidence, lack of self -belief and lack of self-sustainability. So in order for us to glow up in as we are traveling or working abroad, we must broaden our horizons mentally. Example: What you have is already enough. You possess the skills, determination, drive, talent and flexibility to excel at your new job. You have the capacity to teach others things that they don’t know yet and you can grow within yourself.


  • If we adapt to or transition to a growth mindset, we start looking at things from different angles. We start to solve problems for ourselves and others instead of constantly panicking and complaining about our situations and circumstances. Someone once told me : ” There are many solutions to your problems“. She was right. She could not solve my problems for me, but she helped me to help myself by sparking a new way of thinking when I am in distress.


  • Fuck up, but make sure you fail forward and make double sure that you do not use this micro step as a crutch or a cop – out for not wanting to move into greater steps. Every time you fuck up, or when I fuck up the old, first response is negative self -talk. I have converted that negative self -talk into constructive praise. I have learnt this through my self- development workshops. So instead of calling myself a disappointment I now say ” You are doing extremely well, its ok that you made that mistake, take a breather, come back to yourself and now do better.”


  •  A poverty mindset will drive us to look for external praise,external affection,external and often toxic love and false acceptance from our social groups. The moment these people drop us like hot potatoes,we will drop to the floor too. This is not good for us if we are working abroad and our bosses or co- workers start to exploit our sense of selves and disgrace our dignities. A poverty mindset could also lead us to being people-pleasers. Although in the beginning it could serve us if this is our first job, it could help us climb the corporate ladder, but for long term this will lead to burn out and loss of motivation for going to work anymore. We must adapt the ritual of self- soothing and self-sustaining our beings. If bad things happen at work or in life as they do, we must affirm to ourselves that all is well. That whatever happened was not our fault or our punishment but simply a bad occurrence. If we do however mess up by being disrespectful toward someone or accidentally doing something to upset someone,we take that responsibly and stay accountable for our actions and do better next time, by being better, not bitter.


  •  This micro step came as a big shock to me, because I thought I was moving into growth mindset, but this was the step that has held me back from a multitude of ventures for decades. My lack of taking action. I thought it was the thought that counted. Didn’t you feel the same way too? Nope, action speaks louder than words my beauties. My over-thinking and anxieties about the outcomes. Without this step we can not fully shift into growth gear. This step has been      my biggest challenge and my biggest saviour too. I will tell you why. It brought about this blog and from this blog it has brought about an international loving series, which will bring forth other branches of writing as writing is who I am what I wish to pursue life time, it is my gift and a gift can not be given with out acting on it. It must be handed over. So gift yourself this step by starting to take action. DO IT, because you already know you can. Do you want to live and work abroad? Do that, don’t think that thinking about it will make it happen. Being about it will make your dreams come true.

That about covers our STEP 6 for us. Lets see how much we can glow from transitioning from poverty mindsets into growth mindsets.

I hope everyone is well and having an amazing weekend. Do share this with anyone who you think might find this helpful. Remember,stay glowing!

With Love and Light

from Skylar


* Please don’t be shy to give feedback or let me know if you spot any errors in my posts, as writers we sometimes write in our heads and then some words never even get to the screen. Keep glowing!



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