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July for me this year has been dominated by one thing - Wimbledon.

From cheering on the likes of Andy Murray and Heather Watson to over indulging in Pimms and strawberries and cream I have definitely embraced the Wimbledon spirit. But what struck me most during my tennis binge (well, before the Pimms had set in too much), was the constant presence of motivational writing.

Murray’s quarter final opponent, Vasek Pospisil was seen reading motivational notes between points from a notebook. This is a technique Murray himself has been known to use. A photograph of a piece of paper used by Murray during a match was tweeted earlier this year. It showed Murray’s handwritten prompts to himself such as ‘be good to yourself’ and ‘try your best’. Additionally, Murray’s coach Amelie Mauresmo spent this year’s Wimbledon in Murray’s player’s box, with messages such as ‘make your own luck’ emblazoned on her T- shirts. It therefore, doesn’t seem a massive leap to suggest a correlation between confidence boosting words and tennis success.

This correlation is not just limited to the tennis sphere. It seems, throughout the sporting world, motivational words are always supplementing sporting success. World Champion Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton’s 2015 helmet design has the phrase ‘Still I Rise’ printed on the back.  The player’s tunnel at Twickenham, the English home of Rugby Union, has recently undergone a make-over. The words ‘hundreds before you, thousands around you, millions behind you’ now don the wall in an attempt to spur our national team to success during the upcoming Autumn World Cup.

Now I am not usually one for motivational or self-help books. In the past I have to admit to having scorned at them, giving questioning looks to any fellow tube riders who are desperately trying to read a self-help book whilst squeezed between two sweaty commuters during rush hour. However, I am now beginning to change my tune. If motivational words have inspired and continue to inspire our national sporting heroes then why can’t they have a positive effect on me? If it’s good enough for Andy Murray, it’s good enough for me! So who knows - in a couple of years’ time you might see me lifting the trophy at Wimbledon with a sweatband printed with the words, ‘anything is possible’. However, a lack of tennis ability and a continued strawberry and cream addiction might limit this dream. There is no reason why it can’t be channelled elsewhere though.

Here is a list of some motivational books I am going to start with. So why don’t you join me in my self-confidence boosting mission…


1.       ‘You are a Badass: How to stop doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life’

Jen Sincero


2. ‘Achieve the Impossible’

Professor Greg Whyte

3.       ‘Self Confidence- 52 Proven Ways to Gain Self Confidence, Boost your Self Esteem and End Self Doubt’

Andy C.E Brown


4. ‘It’s Not How Good you are, it’s How Good You Want to be’

Paul Arden

5. The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness’

Professor Steve Peters


And of course, last but not least, The Self Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs & WTFs?!! by Grace Barrett, Natasha Devon and Nadia Mendoza, which is available to pre-order here

Posted in Blog by Lorna Mackinnon