Fear-Free Failure: How to Shape a Resilient Performer

March 05, 2018

Ryerson University Mattamy Athletics Centre, Alumni Lounge, 50 Carlton St, Toronto, M5B 1J2

This event is part of our Research for Practice (R4P) Talk Series.

Click here to download the event poster.

As young performers, we are taught to not make mistakes, not take risks and to fear failure. In this talk, performance coach Dr. Beth McCharles proposes that we must encourage risk as a part of a deliberate practice and restructure how we think about mistakes and setbacks.

This talk is an invitation to reflect on how instructors react to mistakes or failure and how these attitudes are transmitted to students through body language and tone as well as through explicit reproach. Discover how we can teach performers to master their craft and become their best selves by embracing a growth mindset which sees failure as key to learning.

Key Takeaways

  • Why failure is good for artistic development and how to see it as the acquisition of a skill
  • Growth mindset vs fixed mindset
  • Why believing in yourself is crucial for resilience and, in the end, success


Dr. Beth McCharles is a performance coach and professional speaker. Her philosophy is to embrace challenges and harness one’s unique abilities in order to reach one’s full potential. Beth combines her experience as a high-performance athlete, coach and consultant to bring diverse concepts and practical application to her clients.

Dr. McCharles has worked with organizations such as Nike Inc, OneXOne, Canadian University Sport and Canadian Armed Forces, among others, and was the Mental Performance Coach for the U19 Canadian Men’s Basketball Team that won the first World Championship for Canada. She has participated in eight international games as an athlete, coach or sport psychologist and has over 15 years experience with top-rated universities as a lecturer, coach, consultant, and manager.

Dr. McCharles has a private practice in Toronto, ON. Her clients consist of professional artists, coaches, executives and athletes.  Beth is also a facilitator and mentor with the Canadian Sport Institute, a professional consultant with the Canadian Sport Psychology Association and is a member of Artists Health Research Community (AhRC) at the Artists’ Health Alliance.

Born and raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Beth has a BA in Human Kinetics from St. Francis Xavier University, Masters of Sport Psychology from the University of Ottawa, and a PhD of Behavioural Exercise Science from the University of Toronto.


Click here to register


Dr. Beth McCharles, PhD




Ryerson University Mattamy Athletics Centre, Alumni Lounge, 50 Carlton St, Toronto, M5B 1J2




Go to http://artistshealth.com/workshops/R4P-registration/ to register (live link above).

“We push the boundaries of what we should do. And because of that, because we’re passionate about what we do, injuries occur.”

- Jane Bunnett – Saxophonist, Flautist and Band Leader