Facing up to disappointment and challenge

Posted on 24th April 2020

Now that we are all well and truly living with the forced changes that this Covid-19 Pandemic has created, we will be finding ourselves having to deal with a great deal of disappointment and unwanted challenges: holidays being cancelled, not being allowed to visit our loved ones, missing the birth of your new family member, postponing weddings, Liverpool fans having to wait to see if their 30 years without winning a league title will finally come to an end, having dominating the Premier League this season, business owners wondering if they will be able survive this, self-employed workers not knowing if they will be getting any money and be able to make mortgage payments and buy food for their families, to mention just a few!

This guidance draws on my experience as an Olympic Coach, in particular one key example, the incredible Paralympic athlete, Jonathan Broom-Edwards.  Jonathon is a great example of someone who overcame the challenges he was faced with following a ruptured Achilles tendon, resulting in him going from perhaps never competing again to being world champion in 18 months.


The reality in just about everyone’s case, is that we are all facing an unprecedented time in our lives when we will have our patience and attitudes tested. Too often in life we face unwanted situations or have circumstances that we just didn’t want cast upon us and they have the potential to cause us all sorts of personal problems, anxieties and fears. This is why I feel it is so important to remind everyone that despite all of this, we will always own 100% of our attitude towards these circumstances and this attitude is a choice…so choose well!

My experience has taught me that when working with people to achieve their dreams and performance goals, that you will always face many obstacles along the way and most often, your success will not be defined by the difficulties or setbacks you face along the way but by the way you choose to deal with them.

Accepting that things have changed is the first thing to do, not letting any disappointment or anger stop you from continuing to chase that dream or keep working towards those goals and to immediately start to make plans to deal with the current situation, find ways around it and overcome all the obstacles.


Never underestimate the power of your own thoughts. They will help you heal; they will help you rationalise, and they will help you WIN! Always choose a positive thought and maintain a growth mindset, don’t allow it to become fixed in one place or time, simply because you can’t see a way around your current situation.


At the start of your journey to achieving your goals, you will have made plans; if the current situation has forced you to halt those plans or threatened the outcome, simply take a breath and review the plans and if necessary make new plans and don’t wait…do it now.

To help you do this, ask yourself these few questions:

What are my goals?

  • Identify as many specific objective measurables that will help you define your success

Where am I right now?

  • What is my starting point?
  • Where will I need to improve?
  • What should I start doing and what should I stop doing etc?

How do I get there?

  • Consider the whole variety of options that you have when choosing how and when you will do things?
  • Who do I need on my team?
  • What other resources will I need?

What could possibly stop me?

**Remember that when you identify these, they are not excuses or reasons to give up or not achieve your goals…they are simply obstacles that you will have to navigate your way around. Like the Coronavirus!

Make sure you state when you will achieve your goal

  • It’s very important to be able to measure your success. This date is not a time to beat yourself up with if you fall short but to keep you focused and on track with. It will also allow you to review and monitor your chosen plan of action along the way.


One of things that I have learned over more than 30 years of working with world class athletes, as they prepare for major games or with business owners as they plan to achieve greater levels of production or increased turnover and profits, is that ‘people never stumble across greatness’. If we are to achieve our ultimate dreams then we will have to face many challenges along the way and I don’t think people will really find what they are truly capable of doing and achieving until they are facing their most difficult time…this is because it is only at this time in your life that you will find ‘the other you’.

So don’t let this Covid-19 wreck your dreams or goals but please make sure that you use ever bit of time you have to consider ways to avoid the damage it could have on them and also never stop working to find a way to successful navigate yourself around this difficult time and deliver yourself to success.


If you need any help coping with your current challenges and planning to deliver success when it’s all over, then please do call us on 01536 215240.

Graham Ravenscroft Character
Written by:
Graham Ravenscroft
Lead Performance Coach