What if things go wrong? How to get back on track

Hoorah, we did it!  You will, no doubt, be aware of my commitment to rowing with Isle of Ely Women 1st VIII. Last week was The Cambridge Bumping Races and we bumped up into the first division last year.  The 1st Division is a whole different game – serious rowers, months of regatta training being expended on fierce competition, no fancy dress and no boozing up the pub after each race. You will be pleased to know that we managed two Bumps and two row overs which is excellent considering our average age (around 50) and comparatively little training (only two or three water sessions a week compared to five or more for Cambridge crews).


Good News!  Yes and yet … my form was definitely off.  It was like I had forgotten how to row.  Never before has there been so much video taken of the Bumps with me rowing like a numpty, my face the picture of agony! Things like this happen all the time in business.  Printers break down just before a massive presentation.  In an anxious state we forget to introduce our boss to the client.  I remember once getting the whole kissing both cheeks thing wrong and planting a smacker on the lips of a top female lawyer!


So, this might be a handy checklist of what to do when your anxiety defeats your top performance using my Bumps performance as an example:


Q1.  What’s the actual problem and what is the impact?

  1. Technique compromised through trying too hard
  2. Not massively discernible impact on outcome (phew)

Q2. Anyone else involved?

  1. Apologise quickly where necessary
  2. Explain plan to put right

Q3. How did you make it work before?  (is this an old problem revisited?)

  1. Eg Reduce anxiety through breathing technique
  2. Eg Reduce external stimulus – sunglasses, sun visor

Q4.  Ask for support

  1. Listen, learn, take action
  2. Focus on and action one piece of advice at a time


Q5. Keep working on it and big up your resiliance

  1. Make a new start.
  2. Be kind to yourself. Self-loathing doesn’t help anyone!


To fail is human, just try and put it right as quickly as you can.  There is a famous German kitchen company who deliberate leave a fault with their kitchens, just so they can put it right impressively, it brings greater customer satisfaction ratings! 

Just do your best to put it right, learn from the mistake and improve your service in the future!


Have a great month and if you would like some help then do get in touch jill@coachyou.co.uk