How many times have we heard in sport or life, “I was robbed of that play “or “that game was stolen?” If we have said it or have been a part of it, then we know the thoughts and feelings that go along with it.

Well, literally, I was robbed!


During an early morning swim at the YMCA, the aquatics director was soon standing over me letting me know my car was broken into.


Now, my Mac Book, iPad, and video camera were all taken as part of this smash & grab job. BUT my thoughts immediately went to MY BOOK! Having worked on the book for the past year, it was quite a bit of time, effort, and money.

The Victim

I was upset, felt helpless, and even wanted to blame somebody for what happened. I went to all of these mental places the hours after this took place. But what really surprised me is the “feeling” that stuck inside my gut. I just felt “off.”

Since I help athletes, coaches, and teams perform better, I always want to be a product of my product. “The Variable is YOU.”

The easier part for me about the break-in was getting over it. I could do that!

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But, I actually wanted to use this obstacle as an opportunity…I don’t like feeling or acting like a victim. Winners don’t do that.

The only way I could have used this obstacle to improve was to be THANKFUL IT HAPPENED. Could I convince myself that this robbery actually was a blessing? Could I really turn my thoughts into  “why NOT me?”  Did having my car broken into actually save me from getting in a car accident later on? Was it a HINGE moment? 

How many of us get stuck, unable to get over what happened to us?  Yes, it sucks, but don’t stay in the “I was robbed” mentality. Instead, let it go, but more importantly use the experience to mentally get better.

When I was able to make this acceptance a part of my growth as a person, everything changed that day!! Oh yea, we have to practice it on a daily basis. It is easy to be positive when things are going well, but the true test is not where we stand in times of comfort, but during times of struggle.

Turn your obstacles into opportunities.

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent book on Mental Toughness- Don’t Should on Your Kids: Build Their Mental Toughness