Project Runway: A mindset study

business spiritual coaching Jan 24, 2024

I am SO late to the Project Runway game. 

The show has been out for a long time and I never really watched it until this year.

Have you watched the show? 

If not, it’s a reality TV show that brings together aspiring fashion designers, puts them through weekly design challenges under a stressful time limit and then parades their final creations in front of a panel of famous design judges. 

And just like every other reality competition show, one person wins for the week and one person is sent home. 


On this particular show there is a former winner designated as the “mentor” (I use quotes for a reason here) to the design contestants.

I assumed, with the title of mentor, that he would go around and encourage the contestants, make some helpful recommendations during the creation process and really bring out the absolute best in all the designers.



This guy is an inner critic on legs.

Here’s some of the things he said on the most recent episode:

“What are you doing here??” 

“That design looks old…”

“Um, okay… that’s making me nervous…” (in reference to a design)

“Yeah. I don’t know about that…”

“What’s the plan here guys because you’re running out of time.”


If you’ve never coached or taught anyone a new skill or helped anyone through a process, it’s helpful to know that expressing concern or instilling doubt is not the best tactic for success.

It can actually completely mess with someone’s process ESPECIALLY if they’re already doubting their design or abilities. 

In fact, this guy sounds exactly like the voice my business clients tell me they hear in their heads any time they start to make some progress.

It’s a critical, overthinking, doubtful voice that will start saying ALL kinds of things to take them off track. 

(Do you have this inner voice?)

Now, on the reality show, the “mentor” is hired to quietly make chaos and create a show that viewers keep tuning into (regardless of whether it’s hurtful to the contestants or not). 

(And honestly, he could be very positive to everyone most of the time, but the producers mostly show the negatives.)

When that critical voice shows up in your head, it’s most likely trying to keep things the same.

Even a miserable situation that’s known and understood can feel better than taking a risk. 

My clients have just as many fears about succeeding as they do about failing.

Success usually equals change. 

There’s more responsibility, more (perceived) pressure to deliver, more taxes to pay, more visibility, more time invested in clients, etc.

Success also feels fun and steadying (imo) but it’s an adjustment at first.

Failure usually—at least in the beginning before they start clearing some emotions—means things remain the same. 

Now, the Project Runway contestants who already have a strong mindset going into the show, really fare better overall.

They know their style. 

They know their strengths. 

They’re willing to listen to feedback and adjust.

They’re confident in their abilities.

The contestants who start the show already doubting and questioning everything are the first ones to dissolve into tears when things don’t go their way. 

(And then they really can’t recover.)

What’s the conclusion from this whole mindset study?

  1. A strong mindset is CRUCIAL to success.

  2. Keeping yourself steady and regulated despite outside stressors is key to meeting your goal.

  3. If your inner voice has a habit of doubting you, it’s time to train that voice to build you up and keep hyping you up regardless of what’s happening. 

  4. Sometimes confidence can trump excellence. 

  5. Make sure that you have a mentor or coach who builds you up, sees your potential and knows you can and will succeed. 

So, if you’re not actively being coached by me but you’d like to discuss that option because you need someone in your corner, book a call

I’d love to hear your particular challenges. I will tell you honestly if I think I can support you. 

Packages start at $5000 for six months of high-touch coaching, strategy and energy work  for the next two people who sign, then the prices will go up. 

If you’d like to get one of those slots, you can schedule a free call to see if we’re a fit.

Okay, I’m off to watch Project Runway… until next week lovey!


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