Why Self-Compassion is Key for Greatness with Anna Hennings

“Be curious, not furious.” That was something Anna Hennings’ mother used to tell her growing up. In essence, it means that it’s better to be curious about the mistakes you make, rather than just being angry that you made them. That’s because mistakes are a great way to learn and grow, if you see them as an opportunity, rather than a failure. This saying now serves as a cornerstone of Hennings’ understanding of building a growth mindset and is something she passes on to the people she works with on a daily basis.

Hennings is a mental performance coach who predominantly works with volleyball players and more specifically, those transitioning from indoor volleyball to beach volleyball. But while she has a focus area, the lessons she learned in sports and now uses in her practice are applicable throughout life and work, she says. For example, it can be helpful for players to practice self-compassion through self-kindness, understanding common humanity, and mindfulness. But those same skills are invaluable in the workplace and at home for finding ways to continue on the path of personal development and happiness.

Key Moments You Don’t Want to Miss:

  1. Under Pressure How an injury in high school led to missed potential and an unhappy team experience set the stage for Anna Hennings’ career
  2. Mindful Pursuit Why she turned to the realm of sports psychology after college
  3. A Positive Reframe How she learned to shift her mindset from self-criticism to self-compassion
  4. Be Curious, Not Furious Why mistakes provide the perfect time to reflect and grow, rather than be disappointed

What You’ll Learn:

  • Work on effective communication
  • Practice self-compassion
  • Reframe situations from loss to gain
  • See mistakes as a way of gaining feedback
  • Focus on team-building and common goals


“I love working with youth athletes because you try to instill in them some of these skills early on and then they build and develop over time, so that when they do become adults, the hope is they have the skills necessary to be even more incredible, successful human beings.” -Anna Hennings

“Self-compassion is a better avenue for actually working through your mistakes than self-criticism. … Self-criticism tends to undermine our self-confidence in whatever it is we’re doing and it often makes us fear failure. And when that happens, how do you think you’re going to perform?” -Anna Hennings


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Episode 223