Liverpool FC’s dramatic 4-0 win against Barcelona last night to reach the Champions League final, will go down in history as one of football’s greatest comebacks. The odds were firmly stacked against them; down 3-0 from the first leg, their strikers Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah injured and needing to score 4 goals to go through to the final. This surely was mission impossible. Yet, despite the odds, the Liverpool team displayed indomitable spirit, grit and resilience. Qualities that are just as integral 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, draw inspiration from the Liverpool team and follow the three steps below to help you become Fit, Agile and Resilient so you can go FAR and achieve the extraordinary.
3 Ways to 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. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp demonstrated the power of adopting a winning mind-set when he said, “I told the boys before the game it was not really possible but because you have the mentality of giants we have a chance.” So whenever possible, develop the “mentality of giants” and 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 Liverpool team this might be holding up the European Cup, in a commercial context it could be signing your name on a new contract or seeing your new job title printed on a business card.
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. Liverpool displayed this agility when twenty year old Trent Alexander-Arnold took a quick corner in the dying minutes of the game, catching out Barcelona’s defenders and setting up the winning goal. 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
As the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Liverpool’s inspirational play against Barcelona was a masterclass in resilience. They put their disappointment at losing the semi-final 3-0 firmly behind them and focused their undivided attention on how to win the next match. This ability to bounce-back from hard knocks by taking the learnings and moving forwards is crucial to success. Whencircumstances don’t turn out like you’d hoped, it’s easy to fall into a downward spiral of negative thoughts. In extreme cases, people can start catastrophising by imagining worst-case scenarios. 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. Liverpool’s captain, Jordan Henderson explained the important role a pep talk from your manager can play when he said, “From the talk (Klopp) gave before the game, I think the players could see that the manager believed, which helped us believe in what he said. He said we can enjoy the night and maybe tell the grandkids one day it was a special night.” I think we can all agree that it was indeed a night to remember!