Tigers use setbacks as stepping stones to a comeback

A little over two decades ago the words “tiger woods” would likely conjure up images of a feline forest you’d get mauled in, but put the same nouns together today and your mind will immediately evoke images of fairways, flags and golf fans cheering an iconic, cap wearing, cultural phenomenon; aka Tiger Woods, the ultimate ‘comeback kid’.

The murky woods of failure

Tiger is certainly a man who’s ventured deep into the darkest jungle of his persona almost strangling himself in the lianas of addiction and adultery, yet finding the strength to face his inner foes to hack once again through the dark forest canopy, raising his club defiantly to regain the laurels of sporting triumph a second time around in this year’s US Masters’ Championship.

A long shot

Tiger’s is an amazing story; how his sporting fame declined into a life of physical infirmity and reliance on pharmaceutical drugs, eventually leading to his arrest and degrading episodes of tabloid-fuelled focus on failure and declining fortunes. Rather than curling up in bed cushioned by his millions, Tiger not only managed to pull himself out of addiction, but by April 2019 after many back operations and fourteen years after winning the Masters for a fourth time, Woods claimed a fifth green jacket and celebrated a 15th major victory, coming from behind to win such a title for the first time and living out his own inspirational words: “You’re going to go years where you just don’t win. That’s okay, as long as you keep trying to improve”.

Making the change

Whatever our situation, failures (and successes) happen to all of us.

It still hurts me to remember a professional disappointment where I found out one of my trusted managers had been stealing from me for nine years. Overall it was a substantial amount of money and the disloyalty and financial repercussions nearly crushed me. I didn’t know which way to turn and spent days shuffling papers back and forth, procrastinating; making coffees; staring blankly out of the window and then back again to shuffling papers … My mind was fogged and I was tempted to go back to bed and curl up. Thankfully, I remembered to practise what I preach and got motivated to turn things around, beat the odds and learnt some valuable lessons. I also got lots of great advice from family, friends and business mentors.

Coaching for success

Tiger didn’t pull his wins off alone. He surrounded himself with motivational people including his doctors and coaches. Great leaders and great managers train themselves and their team to deliver the best future by providing a template for positive learning and growth; a culture that optimises performance and wellbeing.

It’s why I set up Carol Barwick Learning and Development Ltd, to provide both personal development coaching, hypnotherapy and motivational business coaching to battle negative emotions, pick yourself back up, and beat the odds.

I have helped hundreds of people overcome the setbacks of divorce, redundancy, unemployment, ill health problems and bad decisions.

How to get out of the woods

If you’ve had a failure and don’t know where to start, here’s four great tips:

1. Get support from others, even if it’s just talking about your concerns or asking for some ideas to make a change.

2. Start small and keep your eyes on the prize. If you’ve ever run the Great North Run, you will know there are parts of the circuit that are a hard slog with punishing gradients you never notice when you drive the route; but there are easier sections when you have the wind behind you; cheers from the crowd and cool refreshments to keep you going.

3. Don’t let failures defeat you – learn from them. Follow Tiger Woods’ example. Just eight months before he was Masters’ Champion he carded his lowest final round in a major. How’s that for not letting a failure affect your future!

4. Be willing to do things differently from what you’ve done up to this point. As Tiger Woods also said, “No matter how good you get, you can always get better, and that’s the exciting part.” And that’s where I can help.

Contact me to discuss practical strategies for improving your life, taking a difficult or seemingly impossible situation and picking yourself back up to reach astonishing levels of success in the coming months.