Get your mind ready for the challenge

Shift your attitude to challenging situations so you’re better at performing in them than you are at moaning about them! Get your challenge mindset right and give yourself the best chance of finding out how good you can be – even when the odds aren’t in your favour.

The tool will give you a simple recipe to follow so you can get your mind in good shape for performing in challenging conditions.

Reading time: 4 minutes

What will it do?

The tool will give you a simple recipe to follow so you can get your mind in good shape for performing in challenging conditions.

Ideally, you’ll use it whenever you know that tougher conditions are on their way. Less ideally, though still really useful, use it when you’re already in those conditions and things are going so well. It should take you about 25 minutes to set it up properly.

Using it won’t guarantee results but it will give you the best chance of succeeding. The other option is to do nothing and that will give you the best chance of failing. Over to you.

Three steps to take

Get focused on the things that will make the most impact for you

1. Get in control

Though the conditions are tough, there’s still a lot you can control. List those things here under each heading and add any others that matter to you.
Skills, knowledge and experience I have and can use every day:


People to connect with regularly because they provide good perspective/advice/energy:


Things to do to keep my energy levels in good shape each day:


Planning I can do to keep my priorities clear and focus sharp:


2. Strengthen your confidence

Your track record, personality and other times when you’ve performed in tough conditions are vital for confidence. List them under each heading and add any others that matter.
Strengths that I’ve consistently used to deliver success whatever the conditions:


Strengths that have been particularly useful when the conditions have been challenging:


Stuff about my personality and attitude that gives me confidence in challenging conditions:


People around me who are good at helping me stay confident, however tough the conditions:


3. Meet the challenge on your terms

Make sure you’re going into the situation full of questions that you want to find out the answers to. Knowing how you want to test yourself and learn from the situation puts you in more control.

What can I learn about me that I wouldn’t be able to if it was easy?
What 3 things can you be testing yourself out on in the coming period that you really want focus on?


Write down 2 new things that you’re going to be able to test yourself out on that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.


What 1 attitude do you want to keep focused on to help you enjoy this challenging situation as much as possible?


Your plan

Get a plan Stan. The basics you need to have in your plan are set out below.

Plan basics

  1. What are you going to do? This bit is easy – it’s the 3 steps listed above.

    My actions:

  2. When are you going to start? You don’t have to be great to get going, but you better get going if you want to be great.

    My start date:

  3. How often will you be checking your progress? Getting great has a lot to do with making things a habit and this is what the review questions are all about.

    Check in dates:

Get serious

The difference between having a plan and making it work is about action. So get this in your diary now. Tell the people who need to know so that they can support you and won’t just think you’re being weird. Do it now.

Remember, it’s progress not perfection. You’re looking for gradual improvement, not for Rome to be built in a day.