What exactly IS Mindset Work? A quick guide

In the doTERRA and coaching world, you hear the term Mindset Work all the time. All. The. Time. 

So, if you are not sure what Mindset Work actually is, this might be confusing. Let me share what mindset work is to me, and hopefully that will peak some curiosity to adopt your own mindset practice. 

To me the practice of mindset is crucial at three important moments when working towards a goal. The goal can be in business, health, love, anything.

  1. When you are taking action that you believe should be getting you the results you want, and it’s not working.
  2. When you know what is needed to get the results you want, but cannot bring yourself to do it.
  3. When you notice some sort of self-sabotage habit like avoidance, negative self-talk, or anxiety when thinking about the goal.

So, if you notice any of those things happening, you know mindset work is required. So what is mindset work? Mindset work is a consistent daily habit that is designed to change the unconscious mind. The result is that you are able to reach your goal more quickly with less effort. Usually mindset work involves exposing the brain to visual or audio content that suggests the exact desired results has been achieved (example vision board or affirmations). It can also involve changing a habit or a belief permanently through education (no longer using Gingerale as a cold remedy when learning about the negative effects of high-fructose corn syrup, and choosing a healthier alternative, like essential oils. Or unlearning that breakfast is the most important meal of the day when studying high performance athletes who skip breakfast.)

Mindset work is the combination of updating old beliefs through education, then instilling those updated beliefs by repeatedly relaxing the mind and exposing it to audio or visual content that expresses the new belief.

In summary, mindset work is two main things:

One, the understanding that many of our beliefs (about ourselves, money, love, success, rest, play, work, school, nutrition, relationships, etc.) were developed at a young age, are outdated and need an upgrade, then making time to “update changes” through education.

Two, to ensure beliefs change, creating a daily habit that lasts anywhere between 1 minute and 60 minutes where the brain relaxes, and is exposed to visual, audio or actionable content that communicates the new belief over and over. The goal is to form a new neural pathway so that a new approach to reaching the goal, or the new belief feels easy and natural.

A simple example: Someone has a belief that in order to have a PD doTERRA team, one needs to talk to/manage 25 people a day. There’s also a deeper belief that in general people are annoying, and “people are different than me, and don’t understand me, so talking to them is annoying and exhausting”. Also, there’s a belief that: “If I show who I really am and what I do, people will judge me, and that’s very scary for me.” Results: Only connecting with people within one’s comfort zone who you already feel safe with. Only noticing the highly annoying people, which emphasizes the old belief (self-fulfilling prophecy). Not doing things that makes the person visible for fear of being judged, which is a very scary thing.

Mindset Work: Step one: Design some new beliefs: My business on your own terms. I am closely working with six people who not only get me, they are fun to talk to and actually inspire me. Every time I talk to them, I feel energized and in a good mood. When people judge me, it’s their problem, not mine. Being judged is an indicator that I’m visible, and that’s positive! Step two: Make vision board that communicates this with both images and words. Put it in prominent place so you see it daily, and the brain gets excited and focused on this vision. The reticular activating system filters out information/people that is NOT this vision, so you barely notice it. Every night while falling asleep, visualize yourself receiving texts from these women they they are enrolling people everyday.

Result: Keen to speak to new people because everyone could potentially be your dream business partner. When people are annoying or judgmental, you barely notice because you’re already noticing another dream business partner, or so clear about your boundaries, that you express them with barely noticing. You know people who are judgmental towards you are operating out of their own outdated beliefs, and it is neither scary nor nor super noticeble. You either move on without wasting a single bit of energy, or you’re feeling excited to be the person to plant the seed of doing things in a different way that can truly help them.

You have only added 5 – 25 minutes to your daily activities to reach your goal, but it happens much more easily because you have updated beliefs, which updates your thoughts, words, actions, and therefor, results!

Here are some more aspects of understanding mindset work.

1) It’s more than being Confident

Mindset work is as multifaceted and complex as well, anything. Thinking Mindset work means “Be confident” is like thinking Law means arguing in court if someone is innocent or guilty. Yes, arguing in court is one small aspect of the vast, and dynamic practice of law. 

Similarly, Being Confident is one small aspect of mindset work. Here are some topics that all fit into the umbrella of mindset work:

  • Creating a vision board or writing out specific goals daily
  • Listening to audios / affirmations to re-write thought patterns
  • Understanding where you formed beliefs about money, intelligence, work, love, rejection, success, etc. so you can consciously decide if those beliefs still serve you, and if you want to upgrade those beliefs. 
  • Becoming very aware, and working with your deepest fears / repetitive negative thoughts:  (not enough time, no one understands me, I will have to suffer in order to achieve this goal)
  • Tracking how you spend your time, and observing if it’s how you THINK you spend your time. 
  • Knowing how to lift brain fog, and actually doing the thing that helps you (different for everyone)
  • Recognizing when you are starting to go into a pattern that does not serve anyone (over give, check out, get numb – with food, substances, scrolling, gossiping, etc.)
  • Having a very clear protocol of what to do when you are feeling fear (which comes up a lot in doTERRA because it asks 90% of us to change what we are used to doing)
  • Understanding how your brain and body work so that when certain thoughts or  emotions happen, you have a more informed way of responding. 
First Action Step: Unlearn the belief that Mindset work just about giving yourself a pep talk in the mirror. It is so much more!

2) Expect to feel a little curious and a lot of resistance at first

The best mindset work for me has involved walking the line of feeling uncomfortable, skeptical and resistant, and slightly intrigued. 

My first example is meditation and breathing exercises. Now, at 37 years old, I have not missed more than 2-3 consecutive days of sitting down and practicing 10 – 30 minutes breathing and meditation in the last few  years. It is a huge part of my life, and when I miss a day, I feel the negative effects within hours. 

However, the first time a professional suggested I do conscious breathing exercises when was I was 19, at University. The point is that it took me almost 18 years from the first time I was prescribed a breathing routine to when I made it a regular part of my life. Why? 

  • Because I was skeptical. 
  • Didn’t believe it would work. 
  • Didn’t think it was for me. 
  • Didn’t enjoy it. 
  • Didn’t think I was ‘good’ at it. 

And guess, what? I’m not special. Every single person I have met who has a daily mindset practice resisted it for months or years. Why? Because unless you were raised by Tony Robbins, chances are high you were not taught about the inner workings of the brain, the conscious vs. unconscious mind, or the power of vision boards etc. 

Mindset work is usually unfamiliar to people, and the brain resists what is unfamiliar. Especially if it is contrary to long held beliefs. No matter how much you want to do your mindset work because your friend or upline is having success with it, if your logical mind has not “bought in” you will not do it. Or you will try it once and decide it’s not for you. 

Or – get this – you might do it, and the logical mind (my teacher used to call it “mini-me”) will not be quiet for long enough to allow you to see any results. 

Expect resistance. Expect the logical mind to be chattering on about how it doesn’t make sense. It’s dumb. It’s a waste of time. That is all part of the process. Annoying right? But, now that you know this, when resistance comes up, you won’t let it trick you into stopping. Right! (I’m watching you!)

3) Learning how the Mind works is a key practice of Mindset Work (Obvious yet often missed!)

Here’s the good news, once you educate the logical mind about why your chosen Mindset practice works, it will relax, then the unconscious mind can be trained, and you will experience results. 

I see this all the time: Someone does zero research about the science behind a specific Mindset Practice, then decides it’s woo-woo and dumb. Well ya! Educate yourself! We are in the era of google. You can type in “the science of” and virtually any mindset practice I listed before and will get info. (And don’t waste time reading the skeptical hater articles. It’s so much easier, safer and comfortable to be cynical and negative. There’s plenty of opportunities to practice that, this is for expanding what you believe).

Why is this super important? Our willpower is finite. It runs out. In a study (haha see what I’m doing here!) two groups were each given two bowls. One was filled with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, the other was filled with celery. One drop was asked to not eat the cookies, and eat the celery instead. The other group was asked to not eat the celery. Throughout the next few hours one group was continuously asked to do things that required willpower, and the other group was not. At the end of a few hours both groups filled out forms to measure their energy and levels of irritability. Guess what, the group that had been using their willpower were exhausted and irritable by the end of the day. The group that was not using up their willpower had more energy and were in a better mood. 

Conclusion: Willpower is a terrible plan to reach big goals. Enter mindset work. Okay yes, it might actually take SOME willpower to make a vision board and look at it daily, but the point of any good mindset work, is that it TRAINS that deep, unconscious, emotional part of your brain that has 98% control over your actions. When you train this part of your brain, you can effortlessly do things that previously took a tonne of willpower. 

Result: You are doing things with tonnes of energy left over. 

And, specific Business Mindset training, like the ones offered by Deb Erickson, actually link Mindset work to very well documented income producing activities in your business. Guess what happens? You are doing the same amount of work, but feeling more relaxed, happy, energized and getting MORE RESULTS. 

Are you feeling it yet? Is your logical mind on board enough to actually get quiet for long enough for you to complete 20 mins of mindset work?

4. Calming the mind is also a foundational part of mindset work

I know it’s hard to stop that little chatterbox in your head from talking, arguing for why you should not try something new. That’s what it is designed to do. Did you know the average person has 60K thoughts per day and 80% of them are THE SAME THOUGHT. Or at least the same category of thought. And guess what? Practice makes permanent, so the more you think, say, and do something, the more you want to think, say, and do it. So thinking is not a great strategy if you want a new result. Instead, you gotta calm that critical thinking mind so that it can allow the deeper recesses of your brain get re-wired. 

This is why most mindset work involves some sort of practice that invites you to slow down your thoughts enough so that some deep transformation can occur. Remember, 80% of our thoughts are the same, so if you are not regularly doing mindset practices, you will be the same person day after day, year after year. And that’s great if you’re happy with the results you’re getting in your health, wealth and joy. However, if you are working towards goals and not getting the results you are wanting, that’s the top indicator that some mindset work is necessary. 

So sit back, and resist the thinking addiction for 20 minutes, and instead, replace it with some mindset work. I will list three simple practices below, but first:

5) Eventually, it will get fun. If not, it’s not for you.

Now, I’ve just told you that resistance shows you are on the right track, and now I’m telling you it needs to be fun. Confused again? I’ll explain.

Resistance, feeling uncomfortable, and experiencing occasionally negative reactions is different than completely hating it and feeling uninspired, bored and unhappy consistently. 

This is where I’ll introduce another part of Mindset Work: Self-Trust. It is one of the amazing bonuses outcomes of doing mindset practices. 

Everyone is different, so it’s normal that you might not love the same mindset work as your friend. 

If you went to a recipe blog, and you saw a dish that you didn’t like on the menu, would you never search for a recipe again and decide you hate cooking? Of course not, you would just try a different recipe that has ingredients that appeal to you. Even if you didn’t love the dish you made, you still wouldn’t stop cooking altogether. 

You would simply keep seeking a recipe that had the perfect amount of tastiness, nutrition, and level of effort you’re willing to put in. Once you found that fave recipe, you would likely make it often.  Occasionally branching out. Mindset work is the same. It may take some time for you to find the practice you like, and once you do, you can do it often and start to see those amazing results. 

And we all started eating food the minute we were born, so we have had a lot of experience with eating. Again, most of us were not taught mindset work as children, so we are catching up and beginning our exploration as adults. 

Part of your journey will be developing the self-awareness of when you are resisting because it’s your place to grow, and when you are resisting because it’s just not for you, or you have already learned that lesson. Be open. Curious. Not reactionary, yet honest at the same time. 

6. Be willing to change it up!

Remember, you could not pay me to meditate until I was about 28 years old, then I gradually grew to love it, and now I cannot live without it.  

Also, for years I adore restorative yoga. I did it often. It truly changed my brain chemistry. Made me more calm, more receptive, happier. Then, a got to a point where I had a learned a lot of the lessons it offered me, and I wanted more fire, silliness, light, fun and challenge, so I started boxing. Now I’m in a boxing phase, and I know that when I start to really dislike it, I may want to change. Or, it will be a forever part of my life like oils or meditation. I am open and non-judging or controlling of what my path will be. 

This example is to show you that although you want to lean into resistance, you also have to trust yourself enough to know when you are absolutely done with something. OR absolutely not ready for it. 

How do you develop this self-trust and knowing? You need to pay attention to your emotional guidance system. AKA your emotions. When you finish meditating, do you feel mostly relaxed or mostly aggravated? Want to be more scientific? Do something for 10 days in a row and write a couple sentences about how you feel afterwards. 

Feelings are for feeling because they are telling you where to put your energy. It might take a couple experiences to get a clear answer whether that is the mindset practice that’s for you. Keep exploring. Keep trying. There is something that will make a huge shift in your life. 

For me, there are mindset teachers that I go towards when I am ready for mega change (Joe Dispenza, Deb Erickson, Elena Brower, Brad Yates) and then when I had created a lot of change, I pause for a month or two to integrate. 

Whereas other practices are non-negotiable parts of who I am and I will never stop them: Example: Meditation, Sudarshin Kriya, essential oils, sobriety, eating vegetables, drinking lots of water. 

Want to know my My current top Three Mindset Practices and Why They Work for Me? Part 2 coming soon!

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