Can Mindset Work Be Harmful?


Most of us coaches tend to bang on about how MINDSET IS THE KEY to the success you desire. Positive affirmations and mantras are essential tools of this practice, and basic psychology 'tricks' for rewiring our subconscious such as repetition, visualization and meditation are used to help create new habits of thinking that are designed to guide us toward our loftiest visions and goals.

We focus on what we desire and want, and not on our fears and blocks. Simple, right?


And not many people talk about it. In fact, there can be almost a blatant disregard for the real life experience that resulted in the negative patterns of thought and behavior we are trying to change. A 'glossing over' as it were. "You don't need to go into the dark stuff of your past... Simply focus on where you're going, because that's what's important now".

Look - fabulous sentiment. I use that approach too when either I or my client is slipping back into a habit of thinking that was or is toxic or keeps us stuck in 'victim mode'.

Having said that, I have never met a single soul who hadn't earned the right to be as stuck as they were. As in pain as they were. As confused, sad, lonely or self-bashing as they were.

And there is a difference between CHOOSING TO STAY STUCK and NOT KNOWING WHAT THE ISSUE REALLY IS. Yes, we always have a choice - but only if we know what our choices are. And because many of these roots are hidden in our subconscious, it can seem very much like there is no choice.

Applying mindset techniques without fully understanding what issue you are targeting is like applying a BandAid to a wound without realizing that the wound is infected or needs stitches - and then blaming the BandAid for not working.

And to add insult to injury, when we don't achieve the results we desire with mindset work alone, we begin to beat ourselves up even more. We tell ourselves that we obviously are more 'broken' than we thought. A loser. Blocked. Resisting.

And so we find ourselves on this awful rollercoaster of blame and shame that is very difficult to get away from. We've now poured salt on that wound.


So you see, be careful with mindset work. It is super powerful, but can do more harm than good if not used correctly.

what can you do?​

And THIS IS WHY a great mindset coach is a necessity. It's not because you couldn't apply mindset work effectively by yourself - it's because very VERY often, we apply it to the wrong things, we don't achieve the results we desire and end up feeling even worse about ourselves as a result!

Of course, you can certainly start working on your mindset yourself.  But don't be upset or frustrated with yourself if you don't achieve the results you want right away - this is tricky stuff sometimes.  

As always - start with kindness, forgiveness and acceptance FIRST.  

What have your experiences been with mindset? What has worked for you - and what has not??  Please comment below - I would LOVE to know!


About the Author

Tanya Tinney is a mom of three beautiful girls (including fraternal twins), wife of an amazing entrepreneurial man, nature lover, wrangler of two large dogs and chaser of three bad cats. She is equally good at baking banana bread and whipping up a killer margarita. Her passion is helping fabulous people get unstuck from their past so they can blast through current challenges and get really stuck into achieving their dreams. With three University degrees and 14 years experience working as a psychologist, most of the time she knows what she's talking about. The rest of the time she 'wings it' based on her own messy life experiences. Her approach is one of laser focus, empathy and intuition with a healthy dose of humor - along with a kick-in-the-you-know-what when necessary (and it often is!).

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