Building Confidence By Trying Your Best


cross country skier

The 2010 Winter Olympics have ended. I have to say I have never been so touched, proud, amazed, awed, excited, and patriotic. The athletes exemplify everything that can remind us of trying our best, of perservering when the odds are against you, of giving it all you have to make a difference–in your life–and in the life of others. What did they show us?

Brian Keever is a cross-country skier who is visually impaired and was, for the first time, crossing the previously insurmountable barrier between the Olympics and Para- Olympics. The day before his 50 km race, the Canadian coaches decided to cut him from the team. I suppose you could argue that the coaches re-instated the barrier with that decision. But having been chosen for the Canadian team in the first place has shown us that it’s possible to perservere and be as good as, or better than others even when the odds are against you. Brian has raised awareness of differently-abled people and of what is possible when you work for it hard enough.

Another cross-country skier absolutely awed and amazed me with her grit and determination. Slovanian Petra Majdic won a bronze medal skiing with 5 broken ribs and a punctured lung. She said it best: “It was really worth it to show the people of the world never give up on your dreams and at least try to make your best.”

Sometimes trying your best might not get you the results you want. Chris del Bosco, a Canadian ski-cross racer, beat addiction and wanted one last chance to show the world what he was capable of. He was close to winning a bronze, pushed for silver–and fell. Did he make a mistake? Did he get greedy, or did he simply try his damned best?

What about Joannie Rochette, the Canadian figure skater whose mother died of a heart attack during the Olympics and prior to her competition? Many of us might have been too grief stricken to continue but she chose to compete in honour of her mom and won a bronze.

So what did they show us? For me, they showed perserverance. Perservere despite challenges, barriers, and seeminly insurmountable obstacles. They showed me that although I may not be successful every time, I know through perserverance, effort, and giving it my very best, I will be building my confidence. And as I put in my best effort, I’m reminded of the Olympic motto, “higher, stronger, faster”  and paraphrase it for my life into stronger, wiser, confident. How about you?

About the author:

Renée Meggs is a Registered Psychologist who works with adults and children to help them do what works, both in counselling and coaching. If you’d like to book an appointment or inquire about my services, please e-mail me at and/or go to my website at I can meet with you in person, on the phone, or on-line.