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What Is “Mindset”? (A Mindset Definition That Makes Sense)

Tara in a yellow shirt and black shorts with arms out looking unsure, with a graffiti background.

What is “mindset”? I want to give you a definition that actually makes sense.

I want to clear up some myths around mindset that are causing a lot of problems and I want to explain what you need to know about this buzzword hopefully giving you some helpful direction.

What Is “Mindset”? (A Mindset Definition That Makes Sense) Click To Tweet

If you have felt at all confused or maybe even just a little bit annoyed around the topic of mindset, you’re so not alone. Even I am right there with you. Any time something important starts getting attention it turns into a buzzword and then it runs the risk of losing its meaning.

There are a lot of people out there who want to blame everything on mindset who like to diagnose yours and who like to make big promises of quick results or they just talk a lot of fluff, but either way, you’re left in the same place. So what I’m gonna hopefully do here is clear that up both throughout this blog and with a free tool that I have for you at the end if you’reinterested in working on your mindset and you want to know where to start.

Definition of Mindset

What is the definition of mindset?

The formal definition from the dictionary says this is: the established set of attitudes held by someone.

Wikipedia’s is a little bit better. They say it is a set of assumptions methods or notations held by one or more people or groups of people.

A little bit more of a plain-speak definition – this is how I like to explain it to clients – is that your mindset is a collection of all of the things that you believe that you assume or that you have been taught – whether any of those are conscious or not. And then how all of that influences how you meet your needs how you feel how you think or approach situations and then ultimately your actions and your outcomes

"Mindset is the collection of things you belief or assume, consciously or not, that influences how you meet your needs, how you feel, how you think and approach things, and ultimately your actions and outcomes." (Tara Wagner) Click To Tweet

So although mindset is really just those beliefs and those assumptions, I really like to teach that needs, emotions, and thoughts are all under the umbrella of mindset in order to help us remember that we need to be addressing them altogether. When you’re talking about your mindset you must also be looking at your needs, your emotions, your thoughts, and your behaviors with it.

Now when somebody is talking about a “core belief” they’re talking about one belief within your mindset. But your mindset is actually the collection of all of your beliefs and then how they’re interacting with each other and influencing you.

So you can have beliefs around money, health, relationships, work, people in general, yourself, life, or around anything, but how those interact is going to make up your unique mindset.

Making sense?

How Your Mindset is Formed

Let’s dive into how your mindset is formed.

It’s formed through 2 things.

Your experiences – these are things that happened, things that were taught to you – this could be cultural, this could be community and they can be positive or negative – combined with your personal interpretation of those experiences.

That interpretation is generally based around personality and even mood. If you’re in a bad mood when something happens it’s gonna impact you in a different way; you’re gonna take away a different meaning than if it happens when you’re in a good mood.

These experiences can be strong one-time experiences or just consistent, repetitive experiences that are driving home the same message. They’re normal, they’re natural, and they’re unavoidable. Your mindset is not just a buzzword this is not a new thing everyone has always been developing and living from their mindset. Most are just doing it really unconsciously. 4

So now what we’re talking about when we talk about mindset is making this a conscious effort.

Why does mindset matter?

Your mindset is going to influence and therefore ultimately determine what you do and what you don’t do, how you act, and how you react, which is going to determine your current opportunity and your future opportunities. It’s going to determine your relationships – it’s literally going to determine everything in your life.

Let me give you an example.

Let’s say you’re dealing with money mindset. You’re on one side of the spectrum where your money mindset is unhealthy in a negative way… so let’s say for instance that you think money is bad it’s dirty, It’s the root of all evil. How is that mindset going to influence what you do with money, how you earn money, how you feel about accepting money, and ultimately what your relationship with money and finances looks like throughout your life?

But then when you go on the other side of that spectrum and you have a money mindset of “money is amazing” it’s the only thing that’s important it’s the most important thing in the world how is that going to determine your experience with money, but also your experience with other things in life.

Either side of this spectrum is not only going to influence your relationship with money, but it’s going to influence your relationships with other things that are going to be touched by that money mindset.

For instance, your relationships with your loved ones. If you’re struggling with money or we’re over prioritizing money literally everything we do is going to be influenced by the mindsets that we have.

Look at the example of people.

If you’re on one side of the extreme and you think people can’t be trusted, that people are stupid, that people make bad decisions, how is that going to influence how you respond to people? The relationships that you find yourself in? How you handle challenges with people?

If you’re on the other side of the spectrum and you believe that people can always be trusted and that everybody is good all the time, and you kind of have just a Pollyanna idea around people, how is that going to influence your experience with people? What might come out of that experience with people?

A healthy mindset doesn’t just mean a positive mindset, it means being able to have a balanced healthy mindset where you’re able to see the full picture, where you’re able to make smart decisions and not be influenced by beliefs that might actually be hurting you again.

You can play the same scenario out in terms of your bill, any of your beliefs, family, health, your work, life, spirituality, around anything at all. Look at where your unhealthy mindsets might be influencing you in one direction or the other.

Mindset strongly influences outcomes but it doesn’t 100% determine them because we’re also being influenced by 7 billion other mindsets out there. So your mindset is not responsible for what others do only how you handle it, or maybe what you’ve allowed up until now that may have gotten you to where you are.

Now all of this being said, it’s really important to understand that mindset is not about what’s true or untrue in your life right now.

If you’re struggling with money, if you can’t pay your bills, that’s very true – that’s not a mindset. However, your mindset will shape what you believe is possible about that situation and how you respond to it as well as whether or not you find yourself in that situation again, and again.

That’s what’s meant when somebody says they have a money mindset problem, it’s not that they don’t have money problems, it’s that their mindset is keeping them stuck in that problem.

So although you can’t 100% control the outcomes because your mindset is gonna influence the outcomes, this means that the more you develop your mindset, the more your choices are going to change, the more your lifestyle is going to change. The things that you say, the places that you go, literally everything will change. And as all that changes the less those 7 billion others are going to influence you simply because you’re gonna find yourself in fewer situations with the wrong ones.

Often times when people talk about Law of Attraction this is really what’s happening. It’s not that something magical is being attracted because you’ve changed your mindset, it’s that your behaviors, your actions, the things you do, the habits that you have are all shifting to match your mindset and naturally that means you’re gonna find yourself in new situations with new people and new opportunities coming along.

You’re naturally going to attract or be attracted to different things based on your viewpoints or the way that you’re approaching life.

Likewise, the people that have been attracted to you or that you have been attracting in the past are probably gonna change because they’re no longer gonna resonate with you. They’re not gonna click with your new mindset. Think about it like this: your mindset will put you on a trajectory towards either more of what you want or less of what you want, so really you just need to ask yourself what trajectory you’re currently on based on your current mindset. Is your current mindset going to create more of what you want or less of what you want?

You're naturally going to attract or be attracted to different things based on your viewpoints or the way that you're approaching life. (Tara Wagner) Click To Tweet
Where to start

The goal of mindset work is to be able to change your actions and reactions so that you can do, have, and create, or be what you want since ultimately it is your mindset that will either hold you back from those things or help you to create those things.

The very first step in being able to do this is understanding how the elements of your mindset are working together and how to start working with them.

I’ve been teaching my breakthrough formula for 10 years the past 2 years just to women in business and I’ve put together a free mindset training for you.

It breaks down how those elements we talked about: the Beliefs, the Needs, the Emotions of thoughts, the Behaviors are all talking to each other and what’s influencing what, and in what order so that it can help you to gain the insight into your own mindset. Because, remember, the collection of all of these things is unique to each of us.

People used to have to pay me for this, but I am giving this away for free and not only am I giving you this training, but it’s also gonna have some initial coaching exercises to help you start working with your mindset, so you can really learn how to change it and start reaching your goals you can learn more about that here or grab it by clicking the button below.

What about you, boss lady?

What is mindset to you? How would you define it or explain it to someone else?

Scroll down to leave your comments below.


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Tara Wagner

I’m Tara Wagner, creator of the Breakthrough Boss®. I help small biz owners overcome burnout and create part-time schedules with full-time profits. Not with some new marketing strategy, but with a holistic approach to how you operate. Click here to learn more.
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