I’ve written a few articles before on how state of mind affects success within paddling. This applies to life in general. If you can picture what your goal is, you are far more likely to achieve it. If your mental state is bent on fear and failure, the outcome is already defined.
However if you can picture your path, the necessary steps along the way present themselves.
As always a surfing metaphor helps tremendously. If you are perched on top of a wave as in the picture, and you visualize weighting the boat forward, paddling hard, and then dropping in to carve along the face, one would agree that it is much more likely to actually happen. I find if I picture wiping out and getting tossed from lip to trough, it’s generally going to happen. It sounds funny, but you have to believe you can do it to actually do it.
Often when instructing students in kayaking, the physical limitations aren’t nearly as big as the mental limitation.
If I could pass one thing along to my kids, and to kayaking students it would be to visualize your path of success, even after repeated failure.