Here’s Why No Amount of Riches Will Compensate for Inner Poverty

Craig Stanland
3 min readMar 9, 2023

“Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Inner Poverty.

A state of being marked by the feeling of not trusting yourself, not being enough, not being worthy, not loving yourself, and not accepting yourself.

It’s a state of being that lacks mission, meaning, or fulfillment.

It’s a place of emptiness and pain, one with which I was all too familiar.

Inner poverty is the antithesis of freedom, joy, trust, and peace.

When you suffer from inner poverty, you seek things outside of yourself to fill the success-sized hole in your life.

It’s constantly chasing this elusive thing outside of you, in view and always just out of reach.

So you chase, if only I could have this thing, this job title, this partner, etc. — if only I could have all of these things — then I’ll feel whole.

Then I’ll be enough.

How’s that work out for you?

I’ll tell you how it worked out for me:

Arrested by the FBI, sentenced to 2 years of federal prison, losing everything, divorce, rock bottom, and suicide ideation.

No amount of riches or things outside of yourself will compensate for inner poverty.

It will never happen.

But it doesn’t feel that way, does it? That job promotion comes with a rush; the new car comes with a rush.

It’s a temporary high that fools you into thinking that something outside yourself will make you feel better.

You’re on the Golden Treadmill — working so damn hard and not getting anywhere — and eventually, the wheel spins so fast — you can’t keep up — visualize a hamster on a wheel.

I’m all for promotions and shiny objects — but not as a means to define who you are.

Not as a means to fill yourself.

When you’re continually chasing and pursuing things “out there,” you’re inherently telling yourself that you are not enough or worthy as is.

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Craig Stanland

I write about my journey from corporate success to federal prison and finding joy, mission, meaning, and fulfillment beyond professional and financial success.