I have come across a few examples recently of people confusing mindfulness and mindset. Both words are very “in” at the moment, both start with mind… but they are different concepts.

Mindfulness and mindset are both really valuable concepts and actually can complement each other quite effectively, so you can work on one or both or neither. But to clear up any confusion here are simple explanations of both:

Mindfulness is a way of thinking which focusses awareness wholly on the present. When you are mindful you accept your current feelings, sensations and emotions as you become aware of them. It can be and often is incorporated into a form of meditation and can often be used therapeutically – to relieve stress or to aid positive thinking. Kabat-Zinn talks of it as “paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”

Mindset is different. It is the set of beliefs we have about ourselves and our potential. If we have a fixed mindset we believe our potential is limited, fixed even. We are intelligent or we are not. We can do something or we can’t. If we shift towards a growth mindset we don’t limit ourselves – we believe our potential, skills, choices and intelligence are expandable, stretchable, unlimited even. Rather than recognise and accept our emotions we can choose how to react. With a growth mindset we are looking at the present and the future.

I am not a mindfulness expert – my expertise is focussed on mindset – but as I said above, the two can be complementary. Having a growth mindset and being capable of mindfulness can open up all kinds of opportunities you may not have been aware of before.

If you would like to read more about mindset, please see the following posts:

Mindset Fundamentals

When mindset isn’t everything

If you would like to see what mindset coaching can do for you please get in touch to set up a free 30 minute mindset strategy call. And don’t forget my fere Facebook Group, The Mindset Hub, where we talk about everything related to mindset and more.

For more resources on mindfulness this site would be a good starting point, and Julia Jenkins in the UK comes highly recommended.


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