Filling Your Mental Bucket: The Importance of Consistent Habits

By Jesse Engelbrecht

By Jesse Engelbrecht

Runner sitting down and sweating after training hard
A graphic with a blue neon frame with text in the middle discussing the key takeaway messages in the blog giving the high-level overview.

Cultivating good mental habits can be compared to steadily filling a leaky bucket with water, one drop at a time. Each drop represents a positive habit we incorporate into our daily lives, and though seemingly insignificant on its own, these drops collectively contribute to the rising water level in the bucket, symbolising the growth and progress we experience as we diligently practice these habits.

However, the bucket is not without its flaws, as it has small leaks that constantly release water. These leaks represent the natural setbacks and hurdles that life throws our way, gradually eroding our progress if left unchecked. The challenge, then, is to consistently add more drops to the bucket than the amount that leaks out, ensuring a net gain in our mental well-being and resilience.

Abandoning or neglecting these habits does not mean the water level remains constant. In reality, the leaks will persist, causing the water level to fall over time. Thus, maintaining and nurturing our good mental habits on a daily basis is crucial to not only counteract the effects of the leaks but also to promote growth and personal development.

In the end, the power of habits lies in the understanding that it’s not about achieving perfection, but rather about the persistent and consistent effort to add more drops to our bucket than we lose, steadily rising above the setbacks and continuously fostering a healthy and resilient mindset.

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”

Navy SEALs adage

This quote emphasizes the importance of consistent and thorough training in order to perform well under pressure. The idea is that when faced with challenges, we will instinctively rely on our habits and the skills we’ve developed through rigorous training, rather than attempting to meet lofty expectations without the necessary foundation.

This is your water in your bucket!

What level is it at, and are your drops being added daily?

Cartoon of a female athlete adding drops to a bucket illustrating healthy mental habits


Whenever you’re ready, here are 4 more ways you can consume SportMind content to help you train your mind:

  1. Check out the SportMind podcast. And this is my FAVOURITE episode to date
  2. Get your coach in your pocket by downloading the SportMind App on Apple or Android
  3. Ever wanted the tools to Unlock Flow? I have a workshop just for this
  4. Become a SportMind member and gain full access to mental training. Learn more here

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Tony Knapp

    What is really interesting is wrongly thinking you can bring good habits only to your squash game. This will not work you have to have the good habits all the time then they naturally come to your squash game!

    1. Jesse Engelbrecht

      Love it Tony! I whole-heartedly agree. Try to avoid adding “polluted” drops to your bucket! These add up also and come to muddy the water when enough of these bad habits are added

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Jesse Engelbrecht

SportMind Founder,
High Performance Coach,
& Squash Professional

A professional and dedicated coach full of enthusiasm and passion for helping and teaching.

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