“Mindset” has become somewhat of a clichéd buzzword in the realm of psychology and personal development over the past decade. But don’t let that fool you into thinking the concept isn’t backed by solid scientific evidence.
We all possess a unique mental framework—often referred to as mindset—that greatly influences our perception of the world and responses to different situations. So it’s not surprising that the qualities of a person’s mindset have been shown to impact outcomes in everything from academic achievement and career success, to relationships, mental health, sports performance, and even physical health.
Interestingly, mindset has a bidirectional impact on the areas it affects, meaning it’s equally important for both coaching and psychotherapy.
In other words, mindset work is a powerful tool for addressing problems and improving performance. So whether you’re a coach or therapist, it’s an essential skill to have.
In this article, we’ll explain how mindset coaching can allow individuals to unlock their potential and overcome barriers to their growth. We’ll also give you some resources and tools you can use with clients right away.
Many of the tools covered are available as ready-to-use Expansions in Quenza, a digital platform to help you increase client engagement, scale your practice, and provide automated care. To start using Quenza right away, sign up today for a full-access 1-month trial for only $1.
Now. Let’s start by explaining exactly what a mindset coach is.
What is a Mindset Coach?
A mindset coach is a specialized professional who utilizes their skills and knowledge to help individuals change limiting beliefs, self-defeating behaviors, and negative thought patterns. Mindset coaches work closely with their clients to foster a more positive and growth-oriented mindset that fuels personal and professional success.
The key difference between a mindset coach and other types of coaches lies in their area of focus.
While a life coach or a career coach might focus on external factors and outcomes, like career progress or life events—a mindset coach digs deeper. They work on the cognitive and psychological aspects that directly impact a person’s perception, responses, and actions.
Thus, a mindset coach’s role can be considered more holistic and fundamental, given their focus on mental change as a precursor to tangible, internal and external progress.
Breaking Mental Barriers to Progress
The prime responsibility of a mindset coach is to identify limiting beliefs or self-defeating behaviors that might be hindering their clients’ progress. Once these detrimental elements are recognized, the coach then works with the client to challenge and transform them.
Mindset coaches can use a variety of strategies to introduce and instill positive beliefs, foster constructive behaviors, and promote an adaptive, growth-oriented mindset.
Some common tools and techniques a mindset coach might use include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques
- Mindfulness exercises
- Empowerment coaching
- Neuro-linguistic programming
- Motivational interviewing
- Self-esteem work
- Inspiring quotes, affirmations, and mantras
- Domain-specific techniques (e.g., in sports or sales)
While there are shared themes in all mindset coaching, the goals of the client and setting will influence the work undertaken. For example, a mindset coach working with an athlete is likely to use somewhat different techniques to a coach working with a small business owner.
A Broad Scope of Practice
As mindset coaching has become more popular and well-known, it has expanded into a wide variety of personal and professional areas.
A mindset coach will often work with:
- Athletes and competitors of all types
- CEOs and business leaders
- Individuals trying to improve a particular area of life
- Small business owners and entrepreneurs
- People struggling with mental health or relationship issues
Mindset coaches truly can work with individuals from all walks of life and at different stages of personal development and career advancement. They adapt their strategies and approaches to suit their client’s unique needs, goals, and circumstances.
Topics Covered in Mindset Coaching
The topics addressed in mindset coaching can vary widely.
Some common themes include:
- Overcoming limiting beliefs
- Enhancing self-confidence
- Building resilience
- Developing a growth mindset
- Managing stress and anxiety
- Improving decision-making and problem-solving skills
The Transformational Power of Mindset Coaching
The benefits of mindset coaching are multi-faceted and far-reaching.
On an individual level – Mindset coaching can promote a growth mindset. This has the power to profoundly contribute to an individual’s personal development, making them more resilient, adaptable, and persistent.
On the professional front – Mindset coaching can transform a client’s approach to work, challenges, and goals. In turn, this can enhance job satisfaction, productivity, and overall career success
On a psychological level – Mindset coaching can boost mental well-being and emotional health. It does this by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, promoting a positive outlook and improving overall mental health.
Empirical evidence supports the benefits of mindset coaching. For instance, a 2014 study found that mindset coaching resulted in increased productivity, improved job satisfaction, and reduced stress levels.
Mindset coaching not only brings about immediate changes, but also deep-seated, long-term transformation, which can have a ripple effect on all aspects of an individual’s life.
What About a Growth Mindset?
The concept of a “growth mindset” was introduced by the renowned psychologist Carol Dweck. It has since been the subject of many studies and research papers, earning it a place in mainstream psychology and coaching.
A growth mindset is a belief that abilities, intelligence, and talents can be developed and enhanced through persistent effort, effective strategies, and input from others.
This concept is opposed to a fixed mindset, where individuals believe that their abilities are static and unchangeable.
Key Fundamentals of a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is a powerful tool in the quest for personal and professional growth. It cultivates a love for learning, resilience in the face of challenges, and the tenacity to achieve long-term goals.
A growth mindset transforms the way individuals perceive challenges, setbacks, and criticism. It encourages people to view:
- Challenges as opportunities for learning
- Setbacks as temporary hurdles
- Criticism as useful feedback for improvement.
Growth Mindset Coaching
Growth mindset coaching is arguably the most universal skill for mindset coaches.
This isn’t because other techniques aren’t as important. It’s due to the fact that there literally isn’t any goal, coaching specialty, or area of life where a growth mindset isn’t beneficial.
Other approaches can still be combined with growth mindset coaching. But the belief that one can improve and get better with intentional focus and effort—the foundational concept of growth mindset—is a necessary precursor to all personal and professional growth
Key coaching skills involved in helping clients develop a growth mindset include:
- Shifting the client’s perspective toward their abilities and potential, helping them understand that they can grow, learn, and improve
- Working with the client to change their perception of challenges, effort, and failure.
- Helping clients see challenges as opportunities for growth, effort as a path to mastery, and failure as a valuable learning experience
This transformation in perspective paves the way for the individual to achieve their goals, overcome obstacles, and continually strive for improvement.
Growth mindset coaching can have a significant impact on an individual’s overall well-being, performance, and success. It fosters goal-oriented action, self-efficacy, and a commitment to lifelong learning—all of which have a range of long-lasting positive effects.
Becoming a mindset coach involves a blend of formal education, professional experience, and the development of specific skills and competencies.
Typically, successful mindset coaches come from a background in psychology, counseling, coaching, or a related field. They’ll also usually hold certifications from recognized coaching organizations, like the International Coaching Federation (ICF). These certifications ensure that the coach is equipped with the knowledge, skills, and ethical guidelines necessary to provide effective coaching.
However, professional credentials aren’t the only qualities required to be an effective mindset coach.
A mindset coach needs to have excellent communication skills, deep empathy, and the ability to actively listen and understand their client’s needs and challenges. They also need to have a firm understanding of cognitive-behavioral techniques, neuroscience, mindfulness, motivational strategies, and other relevant psychological concepts.
While not an essential requirement, many mindset coaches have lived experience in the area they specialize in. And it’s common for such professionals to “package” mindset coaching with other services.
- A coach with a background as a successful digital entrepreneur might combine 1:1 mindset coaching, an online training package, and a group coaching program to help clients launch their own online businesses.
- An ex-professional athlete turned coach could undertake training in mindset coaching, with a view to offering this as an “add-on” to their regular sports coaching services.
- A therapist with lived experience of depression recovery might incorporate mindset coaching as part of a treatment plan for depression, to deliver more holistic care.
There is an abundance of resources available for aspiring mindset coaches. To get you started on your journey to becoming a mindset coach, here are a few beginner recommendations.
Recommended books include:
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck
- Coaching for Performance, by John Whitmore
- The Mindful Athlete, by George Mumford
There is no shortage of online courses to upskill as a mindset coach.
Many influential mindset coaches put out a ton of free content that you can use to expand your skills and knowledge.
Try searching your preferred platform for a coach you are interested in. Or alternatively, look for general mindset coaching content. If you want to expand your search, look under topics like coaching, performance, psychology, and personal development.
A good starting point is Angela Duckworth’s TED Talk on Grit, which so far has over 30 million views!
The right software solution can substantially streamline the process of delivering mindset coaching.
Through a combination of digital communication tools, ready-made exercises and activities, and a secure way to store client notes and information, platforms like Quenza enable savvy coaches to impact more clients and generate more income.
We’ll explain how Quenza works in the following section. But if you want to try it out right now, sign up today for a full-access 1-month trial for only $1.
The Quenza app is a full-featured, easy-to-use digital platform that helps you increase client engagement, scale your practice, and provide automated care.
To support you in seamlessly delivering mindset coaching online, our Expansions library is packed full of 250+ ready-to-use evidence-based exercises. And the best part is, Quenza Expansions are fully customizable. You can use them exactly as they are, or tailor each Activity to suit an individual client or your practice area.
Sharing activities and exercises with clients is as easy as clicking a button. And you can even create Pathways for clients—a group of Expansions (like a mini online course) designed to focus on a particular issue.
To give you a better idea of how Quenza works, we’ll detail 3 mindset coaching Expansions below.
In the Quenza app, our resilience Expansion begins by defining the concept, then asking the client to imagine the most resilient version of themself.
The client is then taken through a 5-step process, designed to help them explore a challenge they are facing through a resiliency framework:
1- Describe a challenging situation
2- Visualize your best possible resilient self
3- Describe your best possible resilient self
4- Interview your most resilient self
Increasing a Growth Mindset Through Writing
Like resilience, a growth mindset has a positive impact on virtually every area of life satisfaction, performance, and well-being.
After explaining the concept of a growth mindset to your client, you can give them our 6-step sequence of writing prompts as a practical exercise to solidify and expand their learning.
It starts with a reminder of what a growth mindset is.
Then walks through a 6-step reflective cycle to apply this learning to a real-life situation.
Each step has a series of prompts.
Finishing with the all-important action plan.
Unhelpful Thinking Styles – Magnification and Minimization
While mindset coaching often focuses on magnifying strengths, sometimes it’s necessary to also address negative patterns of thought.
This CBT exercise, focused on magnification and minimization is a powerful way to help clients overcome unhelpful thought patterns that can keep them stuck.
We begin by explaining unhelpful thinking styles (often referred to as “cognitive distortions” in CBT).
Next, the concepts of magnification and minimization are discussed.
Followed by practical exercises, mindset coaches can use in-session with clients (or can be given as a homework exercise).
Whether you’re planning on becoming a specialist mindset coach or looking for a new way to level up your general coaching or counseling skills, mindset coaching is a highly valuable skill for all therapists and coaches to have.
By working on an individual’s mental frameworks and belief systems, a mindset coach can bring about deep-seated, long-lasting changes. These changes can improve the individual’s personal and professional life, productivity, mental health, physical health, life satisfaction, and overall quality of life.
Once viewed as more of a fringe skill and approach, mindset coaching is now firmly in the mainstream personal development and psychology vocabulary. And as a result, clients expect all practitioners to have at least a basic level of skill as a mindset coach. So to ensure you don’t get left behind, be sure to start incorporating mindset coaching into your practice if you aren’t already.
One of the easiest ways to get started as a mindset coach is with Quenza, through our huge library of ready-to-use Expansions and Activities. To check it out today, sign up for a full-access 1-month trial for only $1.
- ^ Tao, W., et al. (2022). The influence of growth mindset on the mental health and life events of college students. Frontiers in Psychology, 13. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2022.821206.
- ^ Grant, A. M. (2013). Autonomy support, relationship satisfaction and goal focus in the coach–coachee relationship: Which best predicts coaching success? Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 7(1), 18–38. doi:10.1080/17521882.2013.850106.
- ^ Dweck, C. (2016). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Random House.
- ^ Shatté, A., et al. (2017). The positive effect of resilience on stress and business outcomes in difficult work environments. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 59(2), 135–140. doi:10.1097/jom.0000000000000914.
- ^ Hiebel, N., et al. (2021). Resilience in adult health science revisited—A narrative review synthesis of process-oriented approaches. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.659395.