Blog · Jun 29, 2016

Bouncebackability – Motivate Yourself to Come Back Stronger

By Jenny Bletcher, at Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Ltd


With the events of the last few months in mind, in the face of huge uncertainty and unknown setbacks, we will all have the opportunity to motivate ourselves to come back stronger. The question is simply, how?

We’ve all experienced setbacks at work, in sport or in business, as a team, a country or in our personal lives – and each time we have a choice. We can choose to allow one setback to ruin the rest of our day, week, project, training session or life – or we can choose to bounce back and re-launch ourselves toward our goal.

A missed train or endless journey doesn’t need to define our response to the next 24 hours. Pouring rain doesn’t need to stop us having a good day. Imagine if you could automatically bounce back from any setback you come across, if you were able to get on with what needed to be done to come back stronger. Imagine if you knew the recipe for bouncing back and could take action to turn things around as soon as a setback occurred. Imagine if your bouncebackability was a habit rather than a process, how much closer would you be to achieving your goals?

The Motivation to bounce back in sport

Olympic gold medalist and founder of Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Ben Hunt-Davis defined his ability to come back stronger, by preparing in advance, accepting setbacks when they happen and taking action to turn the situation around. And the journey to winning the Rowing Eight, Olympic Gold in Sydney 2000 wasn’t without its’ challenges.

In recent news and a great example of bouncebackability in sport – British tennis player, Marcus Willis, ranked 772 in the world, surprised everyone with a victory over world number 54 Ricardas Berankis on the opening day of Wimbledon 2016.

While Willis may not be a Wimbledon Champion, remarkably, the 25-year-old came through three rounds of pre-qualifying and three rounds of qualifying to prove his worth on court 17 in front of rows packed with admiring fans. He then bounced back throughout the match and claimed the first British win of Wimbledon 2016. An event all the more remarkable due to him having considered retiring from competitive tennis as recently as January of this year. A quick look at his earnings for 2016 prior to Wimbledon– showed a grand total of £225, so you can see why retirement must have been tempting. But Willis had stuck with it and had clearly bounced back stronger. His win on Monday guaranteed him £50,000.

The reason he did not quit and continued playing competitive tennis was the British tennis player’s girlfriend, who persuaded him to give it one last go. An excellent piece of advice and along with the support of his coach, gradually Marcus turned things around. Seeking support from others and asking for help, are key to helping us achieve our goals, but of course it’s not the only hand at play in helping us bounce back from inevitable setbacks.

How to bounce back in sport, business and our everyday lives

While we can’t always avoid setbacks, we can choose how to bounce back from them and make resilience a core part of who we are, speeding us back towards our goals.
The Launch PAD:

Stage one – Prepare

Plan in advance

When you are aware of your vulnerable points you can plan for setbacks and how to overcome them. Of course there will always be setbacks that come out of the blue, but expecting the unexpected can help you prepare to deal with any situation thrown at you.

Get help

Wimbledon’s Marcus Willis had the support of the crowd, the advice from his girlfriend, his coach and so on – we all need different kinds of support. Working out what support you need to help you achieve your goals and asking for it will help keep you on track for your goal.

Strengthen your beliefs

Believing in yourself will make you less likely to give up and allow you to focus your attention to overcome the challenge and move forward.

Stage two – Accept

Make excuses

Isn’t it funny that we use excuses to help other people move on, but we don’t use this strategy ourselves. It’s important to make excuses to help yourself move on, as long as you take responsibility for turning things around.

Remember this will pass

Reminding ourselves that ‘this will pass’ can help us battle through. Remember your situation isn’t permanent, it’s temporary.

Be bloody-minded

Any goal starts with some kind of passion or desire. Tune in the to the emotions that will help drive you forward.

Focus on the goal

Remind yourself of your original goal and if it’s no longer possible to achieve it, ask yourself what is the best outcome you can achieve given the circumstances.

Turn it to your advantage

There is good in pretty much all situations – ask yourself searching questions to find it and then use the good to your advantage. What might be the positive here? How can you use the good?

Stage three – Do

Get on with it

Let go of worry and start focusing on action. Find what will help you restart your momentum.

Control the controllables

Perhaps one of the most valuable, insights in today’s political climate – We have limited time, energy and headspace, so devote these precious resources into dealing with things inside your control and let go of anything you can’t do anything about.

Reflect and learn

A small investment in reflection can create massive savings in terms of mistakes avoided, time saved and improvements made.

And finally give yourself a chance and crucially some time to turn things around. It may not happen overnight; heaven knows when the impact of Brexit will be turned around! But focus on performance, your own Launch PAD back to your goals and your Marcus Willis £50,000 moment may come around sooner than you think.

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