Saudi Arabia’s victory over Argentina is one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history. Ranked 51st in the world, the Saudi Arabia team ended the Argentina’s run of 36 unbeaten matches You would be forgiven for assuming this was mission impossible. Yet, despite the odds, the Saudi Arabia team displayed determination, agility and resilience. Qualities that are just as crucial to success in the business world as they are on the football pitch. So, the next time you are faced with a seemingly impossible challenge, follow the three steps below to help you achieve the extraordinary.


1. Be mentally fit

In the words of Henry Ford, “whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right” Self-belief is the key to success in whatever field you work in. If you doubt yourself and your abilities, you will be hard-pressed to convince others to believe in you. So whenever possible, remind yourself of what is good about you, your company and your relationship with your stakeholders.  Boost your confidence by thinking about a time when you successfully turned around a difficult situation, then visualise what success looks like. For the Saudi Arabia team this might be holding up the World Cup, in a commercial context it could be signing your name on a new contract.


2. Be Agile

When you find yourself under real pressure, you need to draw on your self-control to stay calm and make a plan. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances is what differentiates successful people from their peers. It can be all too easy to panic or give up at the first hurdle. Saudi Arabia showed this agility when they came back fighting in the second half –  more prepared than ever to take risks in order to win.  It is this ability to think live in the moment that allows you to respond rather than react to changing circumstances so you can influence the outcome.


3. Be resilient

The ability to bounce-back from hard knocks by taking the learnings and moving forwards is crucial to success.  When circumstances don’t turn out like you’d hoped, it’s easy to fall into a downward spiral of negative thoughts. Emotionally resilient people on the other hand, have the ability to reframe negative thoughts into positive ones. By avoiding black and white thinking and finding shades of grey instead, you are more likely to see the positives in a situation and be able to move forward.


Finally, if you are struggling with self-doubt or feel out of your depth, don’t be afraid to ask for support from your manager, coach or colleague. Saudi Arabia midfielder Abdulelah Al-Malk spoke of the important role his coach, Herve Renard, played in their success when he said, “Renard made us cry with motivation before the match and stoked us up during halftime.” A pep talk from a friend or colleague is a powerful way to help you raise your game so you can achieve the results you deserve.