Tell me a story…

It’s story time! There’s nothing like a good story. I love hearing stories, so when I discovered The Moth almost twenty years ago, I was instantly in love. The Moth was started by George Dawes Green, a man who has a passion for live storytelling.

It turns out that other people love live storytelling too because since 1997, it has grown from the gathering of friends in George’s living room, to the production of 500 live events every year!

One important thing I have learned in my career of helping the people become more confident, more resilient, and be the super-heroes of their own life stories, is that sometimes the biggest lessons in mental training don’t come from any kind of research or textbook; they come from stories. If you need some fun, heartwarming, and inspiring stories to listen to – check out some of my favorites from The Moth below.

(And if you like this post, you should definitely check out my Top 5 recommended Ted Talks and Top 10 Inspirational videos for athletes!)


Kirby Adams – Racing the Bus


When you are 9 years old, and you have the will and determination to become a faster runner, and a dream to win the silver medal (not gold!) in the Olympics – you have to get serious about your training. Kirby Adams got serious by racing the school bus. Check out this episode if you need some inspiration to go after your goals and get creative with your training (and to see if she ever won the silver!).


Chris Rasheed – The Finish Line


An unexperienced basketball coach of a team on a major losing streak, learns a valuable lesson from one of his players when he discovers that desire, drive, and determination can sometimes outweigh strength and talent. This is a great episode to listen to for courage to face your own fears and understanding the power of defining your own finish line.


 Charles Upshaw – Jesse Owens, Michael Phelps, & Me


When a man with Multiple Sclerosis was asked by his neurologist if he would be willing to try a new medication that could help him walk 20% faster, he said “sign me up”. When that man, Charles Upshaw, then didn’t qualify to be prescribed the medication –he took that disappointment and got to work. This episode has powerful lessons in the power of setting a specific goal, allowing people to support you in that goal, and how encountering obstacles can fuel you to blow past your expectations.


Cal Wilson – Swimmingly


Cal Wilson had come to accept that part of her adult identity was “an adult that never learned to swim”, until her son was born. When he started taking his own swimming lessons, she decided, that at the age of 43, it was time to face her fears of the water and learn how to swim. She teaches us that it’s never too late to learn, and it’s OK to be a beginner at something. This is a great episode to listen to if you are ready to face one of your fears and re-think your identity.


Annie Duke – The Things You Don’t Do


When you feel like everything is going against you, how do you bet on yourself? This is the position poker player Annie Duke found herself in. It was 2004, during The Tournament of Champions, and with 2 million dollars on the line, she was plagued with fears of making the wrong decision. If you have ever struggled with “impostor syndrome” or battled, or struggle with the fear of failure and the intense pressure of making the “right” decision, this story is for you.




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