Mindset seems to be the current buzz word for success in business. Actually, the concept of our thoughts leading to what happens in our lives goes back to biblical times. In a more contemporary application, we’re being encouraged to use our mindset to access the lifestyle we want.

For many massage therapists, earning a sustainable income is a struggle. The nature of our industry can lend itself to some perceived roadblocks like trading time for money and the physical demands of our work. But what if these limitations didn’t really exist? What if they’re just in our minds?

Two options to earn more money from your massage practice are to raise your prices or book more clients. Each provides us with the opportunity to broaden our view of what is possible. Having a mindset that supports the outcome you want is essential to making what you envision come true.


Mindset is defined as the collection of our established thoughts and beliefs. It’s these thoughts and beliefs that lead to the way we operate in the world, which in turn creates our reality. Our mindset is formed through repetition. It defies logic and is rooted in the emotional centers of the brain, which is why our responses to situations may not make sense or reflect what we really want.

Like any habit, our mindset can be changed. The catch is that changing habits (especially thought patterns we’ve been using for most of our lives) requires diligence and consistency over time. Any daunting aspiration becomes more manageable when it’s broken down into smaller tasks. The first step to transformation is being clear about what it is you want to be different.


When there’s a mismatch between what we say we want and how we respond to opportunities, it creates a chaotic vibration that makes it impossible for the universe to deliver our requests. For example, if we say we want to make more money but refuse to raise our prices, making more money is going to be much harder. We’ll continue to struggle in our attempts to make the living we need to, because it’s what we’re used to, and we’ll blame it on the economy, the competition, or the demographic we serve rather than reach for more.

There are countless beliefs that limit us. We’ll use the excuse that charging more will send clients packing, but often there’s an underlying thought pattern that tells us we’re not good enough or we don’t deserve more. I’m not a psychologist (although some clients confuse me for one), so I’m not going into where those thoughts and beliefs may have come from. What I will tell you is that it doesn’t matter.

Knowing how an injury came about can give us clues as to which muscles are affected so we can make an appropriate treatment plan, but it doesn’t change the way we treat them. The same goes for our mindset. Rehashing childhood memories may have value but isn’t necessary to rewire our thought patterns. What’s important is recognizing them so we can change them. This makes the process much more straight forward and accessible.


The idea of observing individual thoughts can seem impossible since we literally have an estimated 12,000 to 70,000 daily. Since most of them are repeated every single day, the odds of us identifying those that are holding us back are in our favor. Plus, here’s an awesome hack: every thought is connected to an emotion.

It’s much easier to notice our feelings than our thoughts. By reverse engineering when we’re aware of our feelings, we can hone in on the repetitive, automatic mindset patterns we have and begin to dismantle them. Anger, annoyance, and frustration are particularly easy to notice.

When you find yourself experiencing one of those emotions, notice what you’re thinking in that moment. Initially, it will be blame toward someone else. Dig deeper to the underlying thought pattern. You’ll likely find it contains the word “not” or the contraction “n’t”. Now we have something to work with.

Let’s say after using this technique consistently, you discover the thought pattern I’m not good enough. Now it’s time to challenge that. Think about all the times in your life you HAVE been good enough to accomplish what you wanted to (write them down if you need to). What’s the common thread between those events? Was it athletic ability, academic achievement, creativity, or compassion for others? Depending on your unique experience, you may be strong, capable, caring, lucky, or any other quality that completely debunks the notion that you aren’t good enough. Create a simple, opposing statement (such as I am competent) that you can use to replace the limiting thought every time you notice it. Over time with repetition, the new thought pattern will override the old one. That’s just how our brains function.

Needless to say, this takes time. In the same way a muscle that’s been problematic for years may not change much in only one session, we need to challenge our limiting mindset on a regular basis for it to change. That muscle will respond differently to intensive treatment than it will to less specific or sporadic attention, and so will the mind. As your thoughts and beliefs begin to shift, so will your experience. Be kind to yourself and trust in the process.


Obviously, we don’t just live our lives in our heads. What makes our mindset so powerful is that it guides our actions. The things we do (or don’t) are driven by how aligned they are with our thoughts and beliefs. They determine every choice we make, including what we buy, who we vote for, and how we run our practices. As we start seeing ourselves in a new light, the opportunities we’re presented with to act on may look different as well.

When we choose to raise our prices so we can stay in business, we’re serving our clients, too. Denying ourselves the income required to pay our bills, prepare for emergencies, have some fun, and take time off to restore ourselves is not selfish or greedy. It’s necessary so we can continue providing care to the clients who depend on us. There’s no need to explain WHY we’re increasing our fees. Decide what you need to earn, set your new price list, and give your clients a month’s notice without apologizing. There may be some clients who move on to make room for new clients who will gladly pay your new rates. How will your mindset help those new clients find you? We’ll investigate that in part two.

Cath Cox has been a licensed massage therapist in Colorado since 1999 and is the creator of the Booked and Busy in 90 Days System™. Her mission is to heal the world by inspiring independent massage therapists to build thriving practices of their own so they can work authentically for as long as they desire. She currently provides ashiatsu barefoot deep tissue massage exclusively in her private practice. You can learn more about Cath and her journey at her Booked and Busy site.