Bounce back after a setback

Bounce back after a setback
Bounce back after a setback

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Gaj Ravichandra, organisational psychologist, leadership and careers specialist sharestips for being mentally tough when it feels like the world is against you

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where all eyes are on you? Such was the case for actress Monica Ruiz, who recently found herself smack-dab at the centre of controversy after appearing in an advertisement for exercise bike brand Peloton that went viral for all the wrong reasons. In just a few days, the 30-second Christmas ad garnered fierce criticism from detractors who were up in arms over its terribly sexist overtones.
Whether you're Monica Ruiz or someone who is experiencing intense criticism at work, how you bounce back after a setback is what determines your success. Gaj Ravichandra, organisational psychologist, leadership and careers specialist, and co-founder of Kompass Consultancy, shares his top tips for being mentally tough when it feels like the world is against you.

Find the 'probletunity'
"Probletunity is a term I use a lot in leadership training and mentoring. It is a combination of two words and represents how every problem presents an opportunity. A 'probletunity mindset' is a skill that can be learned by anyone - and, in this case, Monica (who has since appeared in another ad that parodies her 'Peloton wife' role) has benefitted from adopting this mindset. Taking a moment to reframe the public backlash to find the hidden opportunities will make a big difference. For instance, she'll now certainly become better known in the industry, which will likely open her up to new opportunities."

Don't let it define you
"High performance and winning is not just about winning when you're expected to win; it's also about winning when you're down, and what you do next. Some of the most mentally tough people I have met have developed a thick skin from their ability to rebound from disappointments to get back in the game. Decide that the negative event you experienced is not going to define you or your work. It is simply an opportunity to do better next time."

Don't take it personally
"Silence any negative self-talk and make sure you get up as quickly as possible from the fall. Staying down will only make it worse."

Take time out
"Figure out what your reset button is. Often, when things go wrong, we force ourselves to take corrective action. Still, sometimes, the best thing you can do is take a moment to reset."

Remember, nothing lasts forever
"The benefit to a 24-hour news cycle is that whatever is making headlines today will shortly be forgotten. News breaks every minute around the globe, so try to remember that, even in your context, the issue is temporary. As the English writer Graham Swift once said: "Today's news, which may be yesterday's anyway, will be eclipsed tomorrow."
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