How to Help Young People Develop a “Can Do” Attitude

How to Help Young People Develop a “Can Do” Attitude

Lisa Avery is a positive psychologist, coach and speaker, who uses the science of optimal human functioning in an array of settings. Her past projects have involved the design and/ or delivery of interventions to clients in Education, Government, the NHS, charities, and the corporate world. She holds a master’s degree in Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology and strives to enlighten, enliven and empower humans to exponential levels of happiness, meaning and success.

In episode #177 of the Demystifying Mental Toughness Podcast, Lisa Avery, a positive psychology practitioner talks to me about how to help young people flourish using a positive psychology approach.  In our conversation we focus on a measure of mental toughness, life control, which links to having a “can do” attitude towards life.  We discuss identifying and cultivating positive emotions, character strengths, and virtues that contribute towards a feel good factor and overcoming our negativity bias as well as a lot more.

Key Learning Points:

  • Arguably, here in the UK we are behind countries like the USA and Australia in our use of positive psychology approaches when supporting young people.
  • We all have a negativity bias in our brains where we are quick to notice the bad stuff not the good.
  • In order to get to the point of being comfortable in your own skin, and valuing yourself and your personality traits, you’ve got to know who you are.
  • In schools and colleges the starting point is always to work with the staff, usually the senior leadership team.
  • Dr. Susan David speaks about the fact that if you know what your values are, every time you need to make a decision.  You should simply ask yourself, “is what I’m about to say or do going to take me closer or further away from where I want to be?”.
  • The central framework to positive psychology comes from Dr Martin Seligman’s work. He says that in order to thrive, human beings need positive emotions, a sense of engagement in their work and life, great relationships, a sense of meaning or purpose, and a sense of accomplishment.
  • Abraham Maslow states “we either step forwards into growth or step back backwards into safety.”
  • Do you focus on the strengths of your kids or their weaknesses? This questionnaire will help you. –

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5 Relevant Podcast Episodes

Ep134: David Charlton – Observations: 3 Things That Stop You Achieving Your Goals

Ep106: Amy Rowlinson – Why is knowing my WHY important?

Ep098: Jon Bartlett – Do You Know Your Why? 

Ep075: Grant Phyphers – How to Rebuild Your Identity

Ep021: Steve Hackney – How to Reach Your Full Potential

5 Valuable resources that can help you build a “can do” attitude

Blog: Make Better Decisions to Help Your Sport Performance a Values List   

Conversations with Kids – Values

Children and Youth Motivation for Sport Quiz for Children

Child and Youth Motivation Quiz for Parents

Performance Profile for Goalkeepers



Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes, they’re extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show and we read every single one of them!

David Charlton

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Global Sports Psychologist who is located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and willing to travel Internationally.  David also uses online video conferencing software (Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp) on a regular basis and has clients who he has supported in USA, Canada, South America, UAE, Australian and New Zealand.  

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub.  With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, quickly.  

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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