• Sarah Baker

how to succeed in the face of difficult + uncertain situations

As we continue to move into the uncharted territory that is the era of COVID-19, I think one thing is for certain… this thing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.


So as humans, we must do what we’ve always done: adapt and evolve.


I think the initial shock and panic will subside, I think we will all evolve into a new ‘normal’. Do I know exactly what that looks like? No. There are so many unknowns. There is so much we have no control over.


But the one thing that we have total control over… and quite honestly, the only thing we should be TRYING to control… is how we respond.


As a business and mindset coach, I’ve been having A LOT of conversations with my clients lately about how to move their businesses forward during this time, and what I’ve found is that we typically have one of two paths to choose from in the face of adversity:

We can either throw our hands up in defeat…


Or we can choose resilience. We innovate and adapt. We look at the current obstacle as a catalyst for growth and opportunity.

Resilience is, without a doubt, the number-one thing you need to thrive as an entrepreneur because, let’s face it, the path of entrepreneurship is just one long obstacle course. There will ALWAYS be unknowns, setbacks, challenges and roadblocks.


(And just to be clear, I am NOT comparing the gravity of this global pandemic to the day-to-day challenges of business owners. However, resilience on a global, human, and economic level is required now more than ever…so it’s all relevant.)


So, for entrepreneurs, your ability to cultivate resilience in the face of setbacks is what will make your success inevitable. You want growth? Growth comes from times like this. Times when you’re faced with difficult problems and big decisions, and you move forward ANYWAY. You try new things. You take risks. But the resilient entrepreneur is able to look past all of those short-term setbacks and maintain focus on their long-term vision.


Being resilient doesn’t mean you’re never scared, frustrated, disappointed or feel those very real and valid human emotions when things get hard (because that’s impossible). But it DOES mean you don’t let yourself stay there. It’s how fast you’re able to bounce back that is the key to maintaining your momentum and reaching your goals…DESPITE the ever-changing external circumstances.


Resilience is a power we can all cultivate. Like any other skill, becoming more resilient simply requires focus and intention. So if you’re ready to start flexing your resilience muscle, here are four steps to becoming more resilient, so you can succeed in the face of adversity.

Step 1: Give yourself permission to feel whatever emotions you are feeling without judgment.


One of my favorite lines from Gabby Bernstein’s book, Judgment Detox, is “Witness your judgment without judgment”. I think this is where so many of us get stuck in difficult situations, because we start beating ourselves up for our emotions, which just compounds the problem and makes everything feel more intense than it needs to, for much longer than it needs to.


So rather than fighting your very real and very valid emotions, just let it all go. Be as petty and pitiful and upset as you want to. Don’t try to suppress it or make yourself wrong for it, just surrender to whatever you’re feeling.


Step 2: Externalize your feelings.


GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD. If you have a coach or mentor, call them and vent it out, or write down everything you’re feeling in your journal. When we keep things bottled up in our head, we’re looking at it with the emotional part of our mind rather than the logical one, which is how seemingly small things can QUICKLY spiral into a huge, end-of-the-world issue before you even know what happened.


Ten times out of ten, when you get it all out of your head and onto paper, or are able to talk it out with a coach who can look at the situation from a logical perspective and see things you can’t see because you’re so *in it*, it will IMMEDIATELY not feel so “charged”.

Step 3: Take a step back, and get back to neutral.


Now that you’re looking at things from a more logical perspective, and your emotions aren’t as heightened as they were in the moment, take a step back from whatever the problem is that you’re facing. If you’re feeling anxious about COVID-19, take a 24-hour break from the news and social media. If you received negative feedback from a client, go take a walk before responding. You get the idea.


No matter what the situation is, TIME (whether it’s 10 minutes or 24 hours or more), is going to be your best friend. How many times have you made a reactionary, in-the-moment decision to a difficult situation that you later regretted? Wait until you can approach whatever is causing you to feel triggered from a neutral (aka, non-emotional) place, THEN decide on the best path forward.


Step 4: Understand that the only way to fail, is to quit.

I don’t care what you’re facing, the ONLY way to let the circumstance have power over you is to quit. It doesn’t matter if it takes you days, weeks, months or even YEARS to get past it, the only way out is through. The only way you fail is if you stop moving. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work, or if you screw it up, or if you try something and it fails…at least you’re moving. If you want your success to be inevitable, you have to give up your timeline of how and when you want it to happen, and just commit to moving forward one step at a time…no matter how small the steps may be, if you keep moving forward, you will eventually arrive.


But here’s the biggest takeaway I want you to get from this:


Circumstances will never be perfect. Bad days are inevitable. Challenges are inevitable. No matter how much you’ve ‘mastered’ your mindset, you will still get triggered, you will still have setbacks, and you will fail. And if you’re really successful? You’ll fail a lot.

AND THIS IS ALL GREAT NEWS, because it takes the pressure off. Once we understand the power of resilience, we no longer need to run from failure or challenges or adversity. We no longer need to live in fear of the unknown…because WE. GOT. THIS. We will fall, and then we rise up and come out of it better and stronger and bolder than before.


“It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determine’s how your life’s story will develop.”


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I also did a livestream on the topic of resilience, with a quick Q&A at the end to answer my community's most pressing questions on how COVID-19 is impacting the online business world (should you be selling, should you postpone your launch, what offers are selling, etc.). 


Click the image below to watch the replay: 


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Before working with Sarah, my business felt stagnant. Four months later, I'm completely booked and making income I never thought I'd see from my own business. I'm finally living the life I've always dreamed of– working from home and traveling the world– and I wouldn't have been able to do it without Sarah's guidance and support. 

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