The image features a smiling person on a teal background, with text stating "PROFITABLE WEB DESIGNER with Shannon Mattern." It's likely promotional material.

How To Makeover Your Mindtrash

Mindtrash Makeover

This week on the show I'm teaching you the exact strategy we teach our Web Designer Academy students to make over their mindtrash so that they can create the results they want in their business!

The premise is simple: thoughts lead to feelings, feelings drive actions, and actions yield results. We all have thoughts that create physiological responses – feelings in our bodies.

The key is to identify those thoughts that are producing unwanted results – that's what we call mindtrash.

Fear and Anxiety Responses

As humans, we have four common responses to fear and anxiety: fight, flight, freeze, or fawn. Here's how these show up in our web design businesses:

Fight Mode

When fear and anxiety crop up in my business, I go straight into fight mode. I overwork, fearing that I won't get enough clients because I think I'm too expensive. This sends me spiralling, working on the wrong things and overcomplicating everything.

Flight Mode

Flight mode can manifest as pivoting offers, changing your niche, abandoning strategies, rebranding, or even just starting over. Sound familiar? Don't worry, it's perfectly normal!

Freeze Mode

Then there's the freeze response: hiding, stopping marketing, avoiding calls, asking for support, or just pausing your business altogether.

Fawn Mode

Lastly, in fawn mode, we become people pleasers. We take on unfit clients, low-paying projects, and generally say yes to anything, even if it's not right for us.

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

When we respond to fear and anxiety this way, we end up with a self-fulfilling prophecy. We don't book new clients, we miss revenue goals, and we end up stressed, overwhelmed, and miserable.

Turning the Tables

Here's the kicker: when our brains are flooded with stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, our higher-level thinking shuts down. But we can turn this around. We can choose to think, feel, and believe things that create wanted results.

Focus, Fine, Flow, and Firm

When you think thoughts that create the opposite of the fear responses: focus, fine, flow, and firm – you'll be on track to creating a profitable, sustainable business by fostering a mindset of confidence, courage, and control.

Listen to this week's episode for a deep dive on how go from fight, flight, fear or fawn to focus, fine, flow and firm so that you can create the results you want in your business!

Episode Transcript

Shannon Mattern (00:00.418)

So something that I did in next level that your next level people might recognize is I created this tool for them and I was like, you know, this tool is something that I definitely want to teach to the main web designer academy to help you make over your mind trash. Now we used to have a, like a different tool called mind trash makeover and it didn't give the

results that I wanted kind of made you guys spiral more. So this is an updated version of the mind trash makeover tool, um, to like help you guys get aware of your mind trash and like kind of coach yourself through cleaning it up. So if you attended the, um, retreat that I did back in December, the, the planning retreat, I called this CEO mindset in that, and I talked about it briefly, but this is like,

how you would practically apply it to the work you're doing in your business and to the web designer academy. So the premise of this is that your thoughts create your feelings, your feelings drive you to act. And when you act, you get a result from that action. And so we think something. That thought is like a physiological.

Shannon Mattern (01:35.747)

And that's a feeling that we feel like in our body, like flushed or like, you can physically feel it when, when you have certain thoughts, those thoughts compel you to act in some kind of way. Um, and we'll talk about what that looks like in your specific business and.

that action results in something. And so when we have thoughts that are giving, like that it's only mind trash if it's creating an unwanted result for you. That's the only definition of mind trash. If it's creating a result that you don't want. So an example of how this works is you have, these are just like a,

laundry list of thoughts I've heard you guys say on these calls or, you know, over the years. I'm not good enough. It's not worth it. Let me just add I'm too expensive to this list. It's so easy. I shouldn't charge that much. I'm ripping people off. I'm bothering people. What if they hate it? What if I mess up? They'll leave a bad review. They won't refer me. I'm just going to add another one that I thought of. I'm not professional enough.

I haven't done this before, so I can't charge that much. They can't afford it. I wouldn't pay. I wouldn't pay that much. Like it's not worth it.

Shannon Mattern (03:06.058)

If I tell them, no, I'll lose them as a client. I'm not making enough money. I don't have my next client lined up. If I don't say yes, now they'll go somewhere else. I'll lose the relationship and referral. I don't know where to find dreaming investment minded clients. No one is responding to my outreach. These are all thoughts that you have. And when you think these things, they create feelings in your body. And like a lot of these thoughts,

And everybody's different. So the thought it's going to create for you is going to the feeling the thoughts are going to create for you going to just be different based on you, how you're raised, your body chemistry, like whatever. But most of these thoughts create fear and anxiety in. In the majority of people. And when our blame brain and body is flooded with the, the hormones that create like create the feelings of fear and anxiety, cortisol and adrenaline, we go into.

fear, like our fear, our conditioned fear response. And so I have some resources down here. One of my colleagues for lack of a better term, Lee Cordell of the Institute for Trauma and Psychological Safety has a whole training on trauma responses and fear responses for entrepreneurs and a couple of other research that she like gave to me. So we have four.

responses to fear and anxiety, fight, flight, freeze, or fawn. And so I was like, okay, well, how do these manifest in our web design business? When something for me personally, when I'm thinking something that causes fear and anxiety, I go straight into fight mode in business, not in life. I have a different fear response to like whatever in life, but in business.

I go into fight mode, I go into overwork. I go, so if I'm thinking, we're gonna open up enrollment for the Web Designer Academy and it's too expensive and no one's going to join, I go into fear and anxiety. And then I thought spiral and I'm like, no one's gonna join, I'm not gonna be able to pay Ali and Erica, I'm gonna have to fire them, they're gonna lose their house, their kids won't be able to eat and they're all gonna be homeless.

Shannon Mattern (05:28.95)

because I won't get enough enrollments because I'm too expensive. That's where my mind goes. And that sends me into fear and anxiety. And then I overwork and I do too many things and I overcomplicate and I thought spiral and I work on the wrong things and I try to do everything. So that's what my fear response is, is fight. Flight, I see this a lot.

where you'll pivot offers, you'll change your niche, you'll abandon the package matrix, you'll rebrand, you'll rewrite copy, you'll start the Web Designer Academy program over. Kate's laughing and nodding, right? We see people do this all the time. So this is like, I want you guys to know like you are so normal. Like when you think things that create fear and anxiety and you go into one of these responses, it is so normal.

The other one is freeze. So another fear response is freeze. Hide, stop marketing, stop coming to calls, stop asking for support. Like you just pause, you take a break from your business. And Caitlin said, what if I do all four? And I know like you're joking, but like if you wanna get into the nitty gritty, you have some thoughts that cause you fight, some thoughts that cause flight. Like it just depends on what one it is.

So you have freeze and then you have fun, which I didn't even know this was a fear response, but when Dr. Lee talked about it, I was like, oh, so you mean when kids were making fun of me in middle school and I would play along with them and laugh along with their jokes, making fun of me, because that was easier than like running away and crying or fighting with them, arguing with them. I'd be like, ha ha, yeah, I am a nerd. Like, you know, even though my feelings were hurt and I was like, I was nervous and whatever.

So when you fawn, you release all boundaries, take on bad fit clients and low paying projects, you say yes to anything that comes your way, even if you don't like it or do it, you just, you become a people pleaser and you play along and you say yes to everything. So when you think these types of things, you create a fear response in your body that causes you to do one of these things. And when you're doing these things, the result you get is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Shannon Mattern (07:56.19)

You don't book new clients. You're not hitting your revenue goals. You're stressed, you're overwhelmed and miserable. And so because you can see how if you're thinking, I'm too expensive. Now, some people, and I think Kate, you're an example of this, you can power through those feelings a lot. You can think I'm too expensive, but I'm going to do it anyway. But the problem is now you're stressed and overwhelmed.

you're spending a lot of like mental energy on it and you're like powering through other people like powering through just isn't one of their skills and there's no right or wrong way but it's still like you're creating the result but it's not the full result that you want. The result that you want is it's you feel good about it and it's working right. So

When your brain is flooded with cortisol and adrenaline, you actually shut down your higher level of thinking. I did not know this until recently when I was like researching this and looking through every through, um, Dr. Lee's training, but it literally physically. Dolls your higher level thinking, because you need all of that energy to be able to react to the situation in front of you, whether that's fight, flight, freeze, or fawn. And so when you guys come to these calls and you're like,

Logically, I know that this isn't true, but I don't believe it yet. It's because you're like still kind of amped up about it and you can't like get yourself to the place where you can create the really empowering thoughts. So this is like how mind trash actually creates unwanted results. Like it's like a formula. If you think things that make you feel this way, this is what you will do.

and you will slow down your results. You might still, it's not like you're never going to get results, but you'll, it's going to be harder and you're going to, it's going to go slower. And there's, you know, um, it's just, it's going to be a challenge. So we have, we, we want to think, feel, and believe things that create wanted results and how we need to feel to create wanted results is like confident in control.

Shannon Mattern (10:29.877)

I have a profitable, sustainable business. Um, so we need to, we need to think things that are going to create the chemical cocktail in our brain of confidence, courage, and in control. And a variety of a million other things that we need to think about. And I think that's a great way to think about it.

Shannon Mattern (10:56.846)

And so the opposite of fight, flight, freeze, and fawn, I made these, these up. I made up like, what would the opposite of fight, flight, the fear response be? And I came up with focus, fine flow and firm. So with focus, you'll follow the

web designer Academy processes when you feel confident and in control, you'll follow our processes. You'll follow the processes that you've seen. Other people follow in this program and that have created results. Of course, you'll ask questions. You'll get clarification. You'll, you'll tweak nuances to work for you and your business, but generally, you'll be like, I'm doing, I'm doing it. You'll do the outreach. There's going to be no pressure on you to, um,

Shannon Mattern (11:51.515)

You'll follow the time blocks that you set for yourself on your development calendar. You'll do my trash makeover. So instead of being in an overwork, you're just in work. Like you're just in a normal level of work, not like an overdrive. Instead of flight fleeing, you're fine.

You can be patient. You can slow down. You can stay the course. You're going to follow up with potential clients. There's no pressure to get it right. The first time we have everything be perfect. Get an a you'll plant new seeds without expectation of them growing into anything, knowing that just planting the seed is the important thing. You'll maintain your current pricing. You won't revert back into lower prices. You'll use the package matrix and you're fine to hear. No.

Like no does not scare you. You don't make no mean my prices are too high. You make no mean something different.

Instead of freezing, you're in flow. You're doing outreach, creating new relationships, making offers often. Again, you're still okay to hear no. You show up, you ask for support along the way. And instead of fawning your firm, you maintain boundaries, maintain client standards, like who you will and won't work with in terms of client standards. You take deposits now to schedule projects later instead of having to like do it now, do it for everyone now.

You raise your prices as needed. You're unattached to people saying no, unattached to the choices that they make via the boundaries that you give them. And when you're able to take these actions from a place of feeling confident and in control, you create clients, money, time, and happiness. And happiness doesn't necessarily mean like I got what I wanted. Happiness means I'm okay to let other people make their own decisions, and I don't make it mean anything about me. And moving on, I'm gonna keep doing the thing.

Shannon Mattern (13:48.926)

Right. So what do I need to think to feel confident and control? These are just some examples, but I always figure it out. It's worth doing, whether I get the result I want or not. I choose who I work with. Clients aren't choosing me. That is something that one of our Angela said this morning on our global call. She also had three inquiries that she said no to.

And I was like, amazing. Why did you decline to work with these people? She's like, I decide who I work with and I didn't want to work with them. I didn't like the project. Like I just didn't like the person. I didn't get a good vibe and it wasn't, it wasn't coming from a place of I'm not good enough, so I don't want to take on this project. She's just like, I decide who I work with and it's not you. And it was so empowering. Um, it should be easy for me. That's why I get to charge so much.

like those of you that are Squarespace or page builders or have like a really simple process that you use on the back end, it should be easy for you. I know how to get a new client anytime I want one. That doesn't necessarily mean you just go pluck one off the tree. You have to plant the seed first, but you know what to do.

And you trust the process. You know, I know exactly what to do to create more money. The experience and result of working with me is in demand. This one really helped me with the last web designer Academy launch. Um, my best clients will happily pay a deposit. Wait for me. I'm willing to oversell to fill my project calendar. You don't have that sense of urgency of like, I have to work with everyone right now, like they'll wait to work with me. I'm willing to let clients leave. There are always more on the way.

I know how to build new relationships. I'm always planting seeds. I know how to make money. I may not control the timeline, but I always control my actions. So these are just a few of some, really some thoughts that may or may not sound empowering to you. You have to come up with your own. But then there's like this messy middle, right? Because a lot of times you guys are like, I really want to believe. That this is that this is true.

Shannon Mattern (16:07.37)

I want to believe this thought is true because I do want to take these actions and I do want to get this result, but I'm not, I just don't believe it's true yet. I just, I'm not there. And that's this messy middle step where. If you can't go all the way from your mind trash to the, to the made over thoughts, there's this middle ground that is going to calm your fear and anxiety brain down enough so that you can access your highest level of thinking and calm yourself down.

So that you can create new beliefs. You can practice them and start to integrate them and then they become your new paradigm over time. And so you might need a stepping stone. And so when you identify your mind trash and you wanna believe something new, but you just, you're not feeling it. Thinking this doesn't make you feel confident and in control, it makes you feel like a fraud or whatever.

you're gonna need a messy middle step. And so what evidence do you have that your mind trash is false? Maybe you're in some like black and white thinking. Like this morning, Sez was saying, January has been really slow for me, so I need to work on my mind trash about that. And I'm like, the mind trash is, January has been really slow. The only fact there is January. You have a judgment about January.

that it's been slow, that's causing you to feel fear and anxiety. So what do you want to believe about January? Right. Like, so that's, there's, there's this messy middle piece where what evidence, like I'm going to question my mind trash. What evidence do I have that it's false or what do I want to believe is true? Who am I as a person? Like, what do I know about myself as a person?

Um, how can I interrupt old thought patterns? So thoughts that you might create to feel calm and willing so that you can make over your mind trash or take some small actions could be, I've gotten this far. I'm willing to believe I might be worth it. I'm willing to believe someone will pay that much. Like.

Shannon Mattern (18:31.062)

I'm willing to try it and see what happens. Maybe it's okay that it's easy for me. The client gets the same result either way. I've gotten new clients in the past. I've increased my prices and gotten yeses. The clients who said no were not my best clients. I don't think like that anymore. That's a simple one. If you are just like stuck in some mind trash, like I say the example of Allie and Erica and their family being homeless in a van down by the river. And I only say it as an example, but like this was...

literally a thought that was happening for me. And I had to tell myself like, I don't think like that anymore. I just literally had to nip that and like shut it down over and over because I'm not gonna develop a new better thought about that. Like I don't need to make that over. I just need to stop, right? I'm willing to believe new things about myself before I have evidence. I'm the kind of person who figures things out no matter what. How I make money is always my choice.

Shannon Mattern (19:31.818)

So kind of back to the January was a slow month says is slow. January could have been someone else's like best month ever. Right. So we know that that's not true. She's just judging it. And how is that making her feel? What results is that creating? How could she think about it in a way that's going to make her act this way? So when you create the messy middle, you create belief in yourself.

you are able to start letting go and creating that new paradigm and creating those new results. So your actions don't create your results, your thoughts do. And it's really hard to create great results from crappy, mind trashy thoughts. It's possible, but I've experienced this and I'm sure some of you have, it doesn't feel good. Like when you get there, you're like, that wasn't worth it.

And you can get the same result and have it be worth it by really cultivating new thought patterns. So I'm giving this to you guys. I'm going to pop this in the chat so that you have it, but it's also already on the website. So hang on.

Shannon Mattern (20:46.494)

Um, wrong one. Client success.

Shannon Mattern (20:56.415)

This is one link for you guys. Where's my chat.

I'm going to stop. Nope. I'm not going to stop screen sharing, but I am going to find my chat. Um, there's that one. Yep. They're on the tools page. Thanks, Glenn. Erica put pop those in and here's the other one. I made you guys basically like a mind trash makeover workbook. And so the way this works is really cool because you can either word vomit your current mind trash.

If you're really aware of your mind trash, you might be the kind of person that's feeling, like you're more in touch with how you're feeling, but you're not sure what thoughts are driving it. And you might know like, oh, I'm feeling anxious and scared, I'm stressed, I'm overwhelmed. You might be able to start with the feeling. You might be able to start with your action or inaction. Right? You know that like, I want to invite people to my presentation, but I'm not.

like action, not inviting people to my presentation, the results that are happening, right? Not booking clients, whatever that could be. You can start anywhere on this grid. So you might not really know how you're feeling, but you might know how you wanna feel. And then you try to identify, okay, well, what would I need to think to feel that way?

And if I felt that way, what would I do or stop doing? And how would that, what would result with that create for me? So you have like full freedom to start wherever on this grid to make over your mind trash, you don't have to start with your mind trashy thoughts and then identify the feelings and actions. If that's easiest for you to go in order, cool, but you get to start with where, whatever you can identify and then like reverse engineer.

Shannon Mattern (22:56.462)

Um, and what you really want to figure out is like, what am I thinking? What, how is that causing me to act and what results am I getting or not getting? And what do I need to think to feel a certain way to create the, to take the actions, to create the results I want. And do I need a bridge? You know, because you're like, Oh, in a perfect world, I would think that, but I don't, I'm not quite there yet. Do I need a bridge?

thought for that.

Shannon Mattern (23:30.718)

What I, what you're going to see for me going forward is when there are mind trashy questions submitted for the live strategy call, I'll probably pull this tool out and I'll ask you some questions. Like when you think that, how are you feeling? What are you doing or not doing? And we'll analyze that together. You can also use this to coach yourself and you can also use this to coach yourself to the point where you're like, okay, now I'm going to split this for a live strategy call. Let's talk about it or.

Shannon Mattern (24:04.562)

And it's a tool that we get to use here in our live strategy calls as needed to help you work through and start making over some of your mind trash.


A smiling person with a tooth showing on their chin is looking indoors.

Shannon Mattern
Web Designer Academy


I help ambitious women web designers reclaim their time, book web design projects they love, and make more as a freelance web designer than they ever thought possible.

I created the Web Designer Academy to give you everything I wished I would have had when I started freelancing:  step-by-step processes and fill-in-the-blank templates for your messaging, marketing, packages, consultations, sales and project management combined with next-level support so that you have everything you need to create a consistently profitable web design business doing work you love for clients you love.