Resiliency – the ability to bounce back from adversity quickly – is how leaders in business and sports distinguish themselves. They don’t wait for the next unexpected challenge, and you don’t have to either. Start practicing now to help you bounce back quicker when you need to.
Visualizing resiliency is the key, PGA Tour star Billy Horschel told me in my podcast conversation with him. Billy offered great insight into how the best move super quickly from setback to comeback. These are tips he has gained from watching and talking to Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and others. He’s applied them to situations like losing his PGA Tour card and battling back to become the youngest winner of the FedEx Cup.
Rehearse the Right Mental Images
It starts with great mental preparation. Like his peers, Billy spends time visualizing executing his best shots, hearing the gallery applause, holding the trophy, and giving interviews. He also programs his mindset for great recoveries by doing the following.
1. Visualize overcoming obstacles. Give yourself a clear picture of your ability to pick yourself up. Billy imagines himself grinding out a good score after a poor start, knowing that the capacity to do that is critical to his long-term success in pro golf.
2. Make the obstacles specific. Billy mentally rehearses saving par from 40 yards away from the hole, for instance.
3. Limit self-criticism. It’s easy to beat yourself up for a mistake; top performers spend very little time in this space. “They are fully invest in the next shot and they let the past be bygone,” Billy says. After a miss, the best quickly shift into preparing for the next best step.
4. Practice patience. Billy echoed my longstanding belief that success rarely if ever happens all at once, and building this mindset is key to picking yourself back up. “You’re not going to have everything be easy and successful right away. Billy says.
5. Collect memories of success. When you practice mentally, you have already reminded your brain of its capacity for success. This powerful practice is transferable to other challenges. “Whether you are meeting quarterly sales numbers or playing golf, you have got to envision yourself as being successful, then you can be successful in reality,” he says.
6. Relax. When you’ve prepared as well as you can physically and mentally, you deserve to perform well and bounce back quickly. Relaxing helps Billy let all of the preparation and self-belief flow into his golf game so he can focus on being present.
7. Manage expectations. To control his emotions, Billy tries to play without expectations. He follows the process of preparing as well as possible and staying present. The more he claims this as his mindset, the more likely the low numbers will follow. “If you believe in yourself, you can conquer anything,” he says.
8. Give yourself positive feedback. When you battle through adversity, remind yourself that you can do it. “I can say I have handled the good and the bad,” Billy says. Failure is simply feedback.
9. Find what works for you. After picking the brains of Tiger Woods and many others known for their strong mental games, Billy takes one or two points “and molds it into what works for me.” Makes sense, because none of us are carbon copies.
Your Game Changer Takeaway
Top performers recover fast, and these tips from Billy Horschel are a great way to practice bouncing back in advance of your next challenge. By rehearsing your reaction to adversity, you will own the mindset to recover quickly from defeat in real time, and be better poised to handle change.
The Molly Fletcher Company inspires leaders, teams and organizations to kick-start growth. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working as a sports agent. Her company’s Game Changer Negotiation Training workshops teach business people the framework for successful negotiating, so that you can close more deals while building stronger relationships. Sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter and subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast on iTunes.