Mental Strength (Part 4)

Written By: Heather
Heather Kempton Coquitlam Couples Counsellor


We can learn the most about ourselves through our failures and loses then through our accomplishments and winnings. In order to change our mindset and succeed we must be willing to experience discomfort and accept the possibility that we will likely fail more then once before we achieve our goal. Just before starting a workout or anything in life it is essential to not engage in self-doubt. It is at this point that we cannot change what we have or haven’t done to prepare, all we can do is focus on what we will do from now on in to get the job done. Whether you are preparing for an athletic competition or a job interview it is essential to put 100% into your mental and physical preparation so you can look back once you have completed it knowing that you did the very best that you could in that moment and that you were as prepared as you could have been. Focus on why you are there and what you need to do to accomplish the task. This is not the time to make excuses as to why you may not perform as well as you “should’ by providing self-handicaps. For instance, when I competed in my first crossfit competition four months after having a baby I had created a number of excuses in my head as to why I “should” not be competing in this event. By pushing through this self doubt and engaging in the competition was the first part of the battle. Forming excuses or having self-doubt like this is what we call a safety net that allows one to accept excuses for not performing their best. Wasting energy on thoughts such as “would have been better if” are draining and self defeating. Life is about creating balance and pushing ourselves to become better then are fears, to become who we want to be. By putting in the time to train to perform at your optimal level, never giving up and continuing to do what it takes to increase your self-awareness in order to enhance your overall performance builds resilience.

Suggested Exercise

Sports psychologists Solomon and Becker created a four-step process for athletes to use when dealing with performance errors. Step one is to acknowledge the performance error and the mental frustration and strain it has caused. Step two is to review the performance and determine how and why the error occurred, you may wish to receive feedback from your coach or team players to enhance this review. Step three is to strategize a plan in order to make the necessary corrections to prevent the same error from occurring in the future. Step four is to execute and prepare for the next performance. Learning this sequence will provide you with an effective tool for imagining your emotional response that comes with making performance errors and increase your resiliency to effectively perform. I encourage you to give this four-step process a try in order to continue on building your athletic resiliency.



Heather Kempton, MA, RCC

Optimal Life Therapy