Olympian Speaks on Mental Health for High-Achieving Children

Olympian Speaks on Mental Health for High-Achieving Children
Bolles Upper School San Jose Campus counselor Katie Cussen with Olympic gold medalist Samantha Livingstone and fellow counselor Lauren Genduso

Olympic gold medalist Samantha Arsenault Livingstone visited the Bolles Upper School San Jose Campus Jan. 24-25 for a series of presentations centered on mental health, the dangers of perfectionism and finding balance for high-achieving kids. The world-renowned swimmer is a high-performance consultant, speaker and mental health activist.

Livingstone founded Livingstone High Performance (LHP) in response to the mental health crisis impacting young people across the globe, disrupting the old-school model of mental toughness as the path to high achievement. She spoke to school advisors about the mental toll that striving for success can take on students. She then presented parents with “Healthy High Achieving Kids – Perfectionism, Success at What Cost?” and had a similar discussion later that day with athletic liaisons and upper school students.

She shared her journey to the top of the Olympic podium, opening up about the stress of high achievement, the pressure to be perfect and how she rose above challenges through a shift from a performance-based identity to a purpose-based identity. She encouraged listeners to embrace humanness, use the power of pause, lead with curiosity, and practice self-kindness as opposed to self-judgment.

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