I don’t agree with you!


How does that title make you feel when those words are uttered to you? Uncomfortable? Slightly annoyed? Frustrated? Want to prove your point more and make sure the other person knows they’re wrong? When you hear these few words, there’s no need to be.  

We have a tendency to think a disagreement is an attack on us personally. It isn’t, it’s just a difference of opinion. No right, no wrong, just a different view and that’s ok. Listen, learn and see different perspectives.

It’s not an attack. It doesn’t mean you’re wrong. It doesn’t mean you’re stupid. It’s nothing against you as a person.

Embrace others opinions and thoughts. Think about them:

• Have they got a point?

• What perspective are they coming from?

• Could this help improve your own opinion?

• Is there something you have been missing?

• Is there something you haven’t thought about?

• Is it something you are yet to learn?

• Could this help improve you as a person?

• How have they came to this conclusion?

A difference of opinion isn’t a negative. It’s just a different opinion and sometimes that can be room to grow.

It’s not always easy. It’s something that I encourage my clients to do. It helps give you peace of mind, aid clarity and growth. Sometimes there’s no beating that you just have a difference of opinion and there’s no problem with that.

How boring would the world be if we all thought the same?!



Nathan Douglas - Performance Coach. Mentor.  Double Olympian. Six-time British Champion and International Medallist.


Feel free to pass this on to someone who could grow from reading this.  

He's done it. He's really gone. Lessons from the world of Usain Bolt.

Photo Credit: Melissa Gresswell. Instagram; @LissGPhotography

Photo Credit: Melissa Gresswell. Instagram; @LissGPhotography


Thats it, all done and dusted, never to see Usain Bolt racing on a track again. What a journey it’s been. A scrawny kid from Jamaica, dropping incredible times as a 17 year old - 19.93sec in the 200m (fast enough to win this years 200m World Championships in London!).

To then having an incredibly rough and testing time with injury. Doubts creeping in from all sides as to whether this unicorn would ever be healthy enough to fulfil his extraordinary potential. Then came 2008 and BOOM!! He changed the sport forever.

I remember being at that 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, sat in our appartment in the Olympic Village with a handful of my GB teammates, settling in to watch the mens 100m final. We could not believe what we had just saw, the room was eerily quiet (quite possibly because a couple of my teammates present had to race him in the 200 metres later in the programme, imagine, ouch!) and our mouthes were wide open! What just happened! How did someone just win the 100m Olympic final by THAT FAR, celebrating 10 metres from the finishing line, arms out stretched, beating his chest like Tarzan AND shattering his own world record!! To this day, in my opinion its the greatest performance at the Olympic Games. We were mesmersied, like someone had just crept in and hypnotised us - sleep! It still gives me goose bumps. I remember breaking the silence by saying to the guys contesting Bolt in the 200m “forget him and focus on you” as I realised what was likely going through their mind.

Routes to success are rarely easy. We bask in peoples success often feeling like they have just arrived there. Not true. Look at Bolts path, huge doubts were thrown over him for years. I remember him also at the 2004 Olympics, this crazy talent and again struggling with injury, with the weight of Jamaica on his young shoulders. Yet, four years later, he found his recipe.

He could have quit, he could have believed his doubters, he could have lost focus and thankfully he never. We all go through struggles on our own path - you must be determined and persistent with an oceans worth of self belief, more than anyone else around you.

It then came to his farewell. The plan to bow out on top with another gold medal at the World Championships, in front of a beloved crowd in London. It didnt work out that way. To be honest s*** happens! You can have the greatest plan in the world but sometimes it just doesnt work out. If it can happen to the greatest athlete of all-time, it can happen to anyone. The next time this happens to you, never be disheartened, know its part of the journey, it is what it is. Did you give it your best, yes, then keep smiling.

Bolts legend hasnt been tainted, in fact I would argue its been enhanced, he showed true sportsmanship and humility. Only increasing the love for him.

When else will you ever see someone who has came 3rd in the World Championships 100m final to receive an applause only normally reserved for the Champion?!…….

The main thing he wil be remembered for is having fun. We loved watching Bolt because he was enjoying himself and letting us all in on the party. I’m a believer that our greatest performances come when we’re enjoying ourselves - not everybody wants to smile, pull faces and dance around to have fun but whatever it is that you find fun, embrace that, enjoy yourself. Otherwise, what are you doing it all for?!


Nathan Douglas - Mind, Performance & Lifestyle Coach, Double Olympian and International Medallist.


If you know somebody that would like to read this and could learn from this, then stop being shy and share!

How to Achieve Your Goals: 9 Ways to Stay Inspired



January: the month where millions of people are hitting the sales and when millions of people decide they're going to change, achieve something, improve themselves or become better at whatever it may be.

February: the sales have finished, the prices are hiked back up and it's the month where only 8% of these people looking to better themselves continue with their goals. By this time next year only 5% will have achieved them!


Many jokes fly around in January, the ‘New year, new me’ gags. Despite these gags, it's a brilliant time of year where many are full to the brim of confidence, enthusiasm and inspiration (although, change can happen at anytime in your life, it is not exclusive to the beginning of a new year, new month or new week).

Regardless, at this time of the year people have an abundance of motivation, it is a great place to start, keeping the motivation is the issue.


Below are nine ways that are going to help you become part of that 5%, to persevere and smash your goals. There is absolutely no point in getting motivated and inspired for it to dwindle off so quickly, it's such a familiar pattern, yet people keep making the same mistakes year after year. 



1. Desire


Without desire, achieving your goal just isn't going to happen, simple as that, this is your rocket fuel.

To have desire you need to dig deep to find the reason that you want to achieve your goal. Just saying for example ‘I want to lose weight’, ‘I want to get a promotion’, ‘I want more money’, 'I want my business to be successful' isn’t enough. Dig deep and find the burning desire that will help you bounce out of bed in the morning, ready to take on the world no matter what it throws at you. What will achieving your goal do for you? How will it change your life? Could it help change the lives of others around you?



2. Unreasonably Ambitious


A goal needs to make you tingle with excitement.  When setting your goal, put it out there, make it something that is just on the cusp of unreasonable, yet you know is possible. A goal that is going to take some serious work on your part. Something that you know achieving will blow your mind and change your world forever! Feel that buzz already?! Exactly, this is what you need, that is the feeling of desire!



3. Break it down


This is one of the main reasons that people fall off from their goals. They may set this lovely, juicy goal and yet it feels like it's a million miles away. Therefore, as you get stuck in to achieving your goal and reach the end of the first month, you can feel like you've hardly made a dent in it. In reality, making that step is important and it's a step closer than a month ago. As long as you keep it moving you will get there. Step by step. Patience.

Give your goal a timeline and work backwards. When are you aiming to achieve your goal by? One month, three months, six months, a year etc before that time what will you need to have achieved to know you are on the correct path to your unreasonable goal?

Be specific whilst breaking your goal down. As you progress along your timeline, checking off these short-term/mid-term goals will aid your motivation and build your momentum to keep going. Write these down and put it somewhere that you can see it, so that you know where you are going.

Improvement in performance happens in jumps from one to the next, by knowing what your next jump is will help you get there quicker.



4. Plan


How? How are you going to achieve your goal? What needs to be done? Now you're really starting to get into the nitty gritty of it. You’ve broken down your unreasonable goal into short-term/mid-term goals and how are you now going to achieve them?

Working this out and setting your plan is vital. Without a plan you are just hoping and dreaming that you will achieve your goal. Hopes and dreams are great but they're not enough. Plan for success, know what needs to be done to achieve it and take action. Action beats dreams everyday.

Schedule your month, weeks and days, each month in advance.



5. Do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got.


What will happen if you don't commit and you don't achieve your goal? This is just as important as knowing how your life will change if you do. If you do not commit and give it your best shot, you will end up exactly where you already are or even worse. It is good to remind yourself of this every once in a while as this will also act as inspiration to keep going. 

Now, make the decision that you're going to commit with every fibre of your being to achieve your dream and focus on your prize.



6. Distractions/Time management


In this day and age where everything is available to us at the touch of a button or a swipe of a screen, stopping distractions and good time management can be tricky. Many of us set out with our best intentions to focus on our schedule, only to get sidetracked by social media, emails, a phone call etc. Set times for these, put your phone on mute and put it away, so that once you are ready to focus on what is at hand you can give it 100% of your focus. 

Another is getting distracted by others, doing a favour for someone, taking a call from a friend (call them back at a convenient time for you). Spending your day sorting out someones issues; all to the detriment to your own goal. You have to learn to say no. To say yes to these people you have to say no to yourself. It isn't selfish focusing on you, as much as you are taking accountability for your own world and actions, help others to take accountability for theirs. You can still help others, just make sure it is on your terms where possible and not ruining your own performance.



7. Tell Your World


Let people close to you know your goals. This way they can help you when you may be off track and can also help to keep distractions from you. They become your team members, your cheerleaders. They may even share the same goal as you, which is great. It is nice to have someone on the same path as you, to share your struggles with and cheer each other on.

Making them aware of your goal will help you not have to explain yourself when you are off doing your thing and it wont come as a surprise to them. It also adds a little bit of healthy pressure on you to achieve your goal, now that people are watching you.



8. Hurdles


Hurdles, obstacles, times of difficulty are inevitable on your path. Be ready for them. A setback does not mean you can’t/won't achieve your goal, you may have wavered from your path, it may take longer than you initially thought but it is only a setback, a blip. You must have what I call 'Bouncebackability'. Be resilient. Except it for what it is, get back on your path and remember where you're headed. Eyes on the prize!



9. Enjoy


The best way to achieve your goal is to enjoy it. Whatever it is that will make it fun for you then do it, as long as its aiding your progress, then its all good.

When we enjoy things, it is our natural human instinct to want to do more of it. Yes, there will be times of difficulty, enjoy those too as when you smash through them the sense of achievement will be worth it.



Nathan Douglas - Peak Performance Coach, Double Olympian and International Medallist.


Feel good with sharing the love with others and helping them to achieve their dreams.

It's Christmas! Tips to enjoy the festive season and stay on the path to your ambitions.

That time of year is here where it's easy to lose our heads with all the parties and festivities. 

My advice, enjoy it and embrace the season. Surprised you?

All year you have been working hard towards your goals and striving towards your ambitions. A little break, with a bit of fun will do you good and will help your performance in the long-term, allowing you to relax and mentally refresh.

Giving yourself the chance to mentally recharge, will boost your mood, your decisions, lower stress levels and make you more productive in the long run. Slogging through and increasing your stress levels may get more work done in the present moment and some people even pride themselves on it. But, will that work be of a high quality? We want top quality, not mediocre, not basic! 

Some people struggle to let go and enjoy themselves, completely consumed by their work and live in fear. Life is more than just your goals and ambitions.  

Sure, get things done that are absolutely vital towards achieving your goals. Weigh it up, can this wait? Is this vital? Make the right choice.

Now, others will let go way too much, undoing a lot of the graft they have put in. Rein it in! This isn't about going crazy, this is about balance. You need laughter in your life, as I was taught, laughter is brain juice; and it is, laughter increases the production of your happy hormone, serotonin. Make sure you get a lot of it during the festive season, one thing that you can indulge in and can't get enough of.

At the same time, you MUST stay on your path towards your goal, always!

What would be the point of enjoying all the festivities while your ambitions are going backwards? Making it harder for yourself to get back on your path and even more work to do once you do. That isn’t going to help anyone and isn’t peak performance. Make the festive season work for you, boost you and your recovery.

Always ask yourself these questions, will it effect my ambition? My performance? Will my goal suffer? If it's going to then make the smart call and leave it alone, if isn't going to then go ahead. Balance and compromise are the true keys here. 

Make festivities part of your weekly plan, that way you can prioritise what goes where and stay on your path.

Embrace every minute with your friends, family and loved ones. Remember, not everyone is so fortunate to be able to.

Have a laugh, have some fun, enjoy the season and get ready for the new year.


Nathan Douglas - Peak Performance Coach and Double Olympian. 


Feel good about passing this on to others that will also benefit.

7 Lessons You Can Learn from Olympians to Achieve Your Own Greatness.

The Olympic Games are over for another four years, where Tokyo will be ready and waiting for us once again to pick it back up in 2020. The Games are the best place to look at human performance at the highest level, whether it is what it takes to perform successfully at such a level or handling the adversity that can often come with such a momentous occasion. The lessons that you can learn from Olympians are endless, below I have seven of these lessons that will help you achieve your own greatness.



The Olympic Games are once every four years, this means that Olympians and budding Olympians have to plan in four year cycles. Everything within our plan has the ultimate goal of putting everything in place, to enable us to have the very best chance of performing to our best at the Olympic Games.

Now, within our four year cycle we also have other goals and objectives, we have other championships like National Championships, European Championships, Continental Championships, Commonwealth Games and World Championships etc. All of these championships are of extreme importance to us where we also aim to perform to a high level. At the same time, they are the stepping stones towards the end of our four year cycle and the place where we learn many, sometimes harsh, lessons. Lessons that we can take with us an improve upon for the pinnacle of our four year cycle - The Olympic Games.



Every Olympian knows that an Olympic Games is not promised to you, a lot can happen within four years and once an opportunity arises, you must do your best to grab it with both hands. Many stars have to be aligned to make an Olympic games. 

One of the comments that I found frustrating during the Olympics is commentators stating that athletes had “time on their side”, “don’t worry you'll have another chance at another Olympic Games”. While I’m sure they're doing their best to console athletes that hadn't performed as they would have wished, it isn’t true. Opportunities are not promised to you!

When you see an opportunity, go for it, embrace it, have no hesitation, give it everything you have as you do not know whether you will get another chance.


Things Go Wrong

Sometimes, sh*t happens! You can have the best plan in the world and unfortunately it doesn’t always work out on the day and nobody is immune from this. It will and does happen to everyone at some point. This is a fact of life, you have to put everything you possibly can in place to lower the chances of this happening and then go out there and give it your best shot, thats all you can do.

Secondly, I am yet to meet an Olympian who had their four year plan in place and didn't have to be flexible and adapt their plan along the way. Things change, a part of your plan may go wrong, you have to be ready and know that this will very likely happen. It isn’t the end of the world, it is a natural part of the process, adapt.

If you are in the unfortunate position where things have gone wrong, know you are not alone, others before you and after you will go through the same, this does not dictate your future success.



Teamwork makes the dream work. As much as you are the sole driving force behind your goals and ambitions, you will need help from others. A vital part of an Olympians success is the team they build around them. These are people that can provide the skills that you may not have or that you may require i.e. a coach that has a depth of knowledge.

Personally, I will only have people in my team that are passionate about what they do, that are supportive, are genuine and kind people, know how to have fun and have a world-class skill set. If the team around you are average, basic and not up to scratch how can you expect to perform at the highest level?

You must also weed out the people that pretend they are top class and are only out for themselves, trust me, there are many of these, especially in the world of sport.

Do your due diligence and research people before you allow them to be an integral part of your team. Be wary of all the bells and whistles people hide behind, for example a common trap in sport are therapists and coaches that have aligned themselves with certain sporting stars in the past and now live off the back of that athlete, when in reality that therapists/coaches skill set is below par.



I’ll let you into a secret regarding nerves. If the occasion is important you will always have nerves. Nerves are not a bad sign, they are a sign that this means a lot to you and in fact you need nerves to help you perform to your best. The ability you need to acquire is being able to handle them and stay composed even in situations where the pressure is on.

I can assure you that every single athlete at the Olympic Games will have had nerves before their competition. Therefore, forget about getting rid of them and think more about how do I keep a lid on them and stop them from reaching a level where they are detrimental.

One of the athletes that I thought done this absolutely brilliantly, especially given his age (21), was Adam Peaty who is now the Olympic Champion and world record holder in the 100m breast stroke.


Your Upbringing Does Not Dictate Your Success

The Olympics is full of inspiring stories, one that stood out to me was Simone Biles’ story, if you do not know it then I implore you to read it.

The Olympics is full of a vast array of people from all types of cultures and backgrounds, that have faced all types of difficulties and have still made it to be successful. I often describe the Olympic Village as its own little world, as you have people from every corner of the planet sharing and living in the same environment.

Your upbringing is not an excuse for not being able to achieve your own greatness.


Embrace the Occasion

What you see at the Olympic Games is that the very best athletes embrace the occasion. They know that they have worked incredibly hard for four years, overcame many obstacles along their journey, had to handle stress and pressure, learnt hard and fast lessons, made sacrifices, have millions of eyes around the world watching them and they embrace the moment. What these athletes realise, is that, what is the point of now being worried, anxious, concerned, scared and fearing failure when you have put in so much blood, sweat and tears? Now is the time to have fun and enjoy the occasion, surely that is what you at least deserve after such extreme dedication? They know they have done everything they can to put themselves in the best possible place to perform, that they will give it their best shot, so they can now feel safe and free in that knowledge and enjoy their moment.


Nathan Douglas - Performance Lifestyle and Mind Coach. Double Olympian.


Get Back Up Now! How to Overcome Disappointment in 8 Steps.

Disappointment, it feels horrible and it can be hard to shake. You feel useless and numb, you want to hide and disappear.

I’ve had to deal with a dose of disappointment on a large scale myself recently, publicly too. Although I qualified for the Rio Olympic Games and became British Champion along the way, I wasn't picked to represent Team GB.

The biggest sporting spectacle on the planet, the pinnacle of sport. It hurt, not just mentally, it was physical too. I could feel that my soul was bruised, my heart felt heavy and ached uncontrollably. Four years of hard-work - early mornings, sore muscles, sacrifices, missed birthdays; time with friends, family occasions, all so that I could put maximum effort into performing at my third Olympic Games and tussle with the World’s finest for a medal. It all came crashing down around me.


How do you pick yourself up from such a setback like this?


1. Did you give it your best shot?

Giving it your all, leaving no stone unturned, every option covered means that you can rest easy that you done all you could. You done your absolute best, you can ask no more, it may not have been enough this time but you gave it everything.

If you haven't done this, then you should feel even more disappointed in yourself (didn’t expect that? I’m not here to babysit you!). If you did not push as hard as possible, were not diligent, you slacked off, did not focus and commit, then you should be disappointed in yourself, you let yourself down.

If you gave it your best, then thats all you can do, you can be at peace with that.


2. Feel it and accept it.

The initial thought with disappointment is to runaway from the disappointment, bury it deep somewhere - ‘if I pretend it didn't happen it didn't happen’, that won't be helpful to you in the long run.

You are an emotional being, feel the pain. It is important to feel emotions as they arise, it is part of the process. It is not being weak or not resilient, in fact it is part of being resilient.

Feeling the pain will eventually give you motivation, the fuel to go at it again, fuel for the fire.


3. Three day rule.

Allow yourself to feel the pain, mope, be upset and beat yourself up for a maximum of three days. After this, decide that enough is enough, it is time to start looking forward and hatching a new plan.


4. Learn

Adversity breeds strength, you become wise by what you experience. Disappointment will have lessons, work out what yours are: What did you do right? What did you do wrong? Who has been an integral part of your team? Did you make any mistakes in your plan? What can you do to lower the chance of this happening again?


5. Time for fun

This disappointment is one element of your life. Have some fun with the other areas of your life. There is more to your life than this one disappointment. 

Laughter is brain juice. Your dopamine levels, which is a neurotransmitter that helps control reward and pleasure will be low. Dopamine effects your mood, behaviour, energy levels and focus. This is why many resort to cakes, ice-cream, chocolate and shopping at low times because they spike your dopamine levels. Not a wise or healthy route to take, a little of what you fancy is good and I said a little…! 

Time to boost your dopamine levels - listen to music, exercise, laugh, be creative, meditate, socialise with friends, spend time with your family, do what gives you pleasure.


6. Opportunity

The upside to disappointment is what opportunity have you now been given? What can you now do that you wouldn't have been able to do if you achieved your goal?

Make the best of a bad situation, take advantage of it.


7. Look forward - Your new journey

Now that you've dealt with all that. Where are you going next? Whats the new journey that you are going to take? Whats your new desire?

This focus helps you put your disappointment into perspective and start to plan out the processes and steps that are needed to achieve your new ambition. Working backwards from your goal can often be helpful. 

Anticipating achieving this new goal will keep your dopamine levels topped up too and aid your motivation.


8. Be ready!

The Rio Olympic Games will soon start. Will disappointment rear its head again? Yes. I will once again feel that tinge of disappointment.

We are human. Expect disappointment to crop back up, it is all part of the process, it is natural, it may even crop up years later. Knowing this will happen will help you to deal with it swiftly and move on.

Feeling that disappointment as it pops up, now that you have your new sparkly plan, will add fuel to the fire of your new burning desire, use it!


Part of being ambitious and having high expectations means that you will fail more than you succeed, you have to be able to handle disappointment. Disappointment shows that you put yourself out there and gave it a shot, that is brave and takes courage. Get back up, keep your expectations high, stay ambitious and go back at it!


Nathan Douglas - Peak Performance Expert and Life Coach. Double Olympian.


Share this with others and feel good about helping other people overcome their disappointments.

Visualisation, Can’t See How it Works? There's Your Problem!


You always hear how high performers use visualisation to help them perform at vital moments. It is a huge tool in your arsenal when used correctly, especially in moments when you need peak performance. 

As an athlete I use visualisation often; to improve my technique, feel the rhythm of my performance and to place me in the correct frame of mind.

The trick is to use visualisation consistently and regularly to make everyday count and increase your basic level of performance. Correct consistent performance breeds great performance.

The key to visualisation is the detail. To have a true impact you must do more than just see the scenario, what can you also feel, what can you hear, are there any scents or tastes? Use as many of your senses as you can to gain a rich depth.

You can also change the perspective you are visualising from; from the viewpoint through your own two eyes, to the perspective of watching yourself as if watching yourself on tv, even flipping back and forth between each perspective.

Use these perspectives for different scenarios and see which you feel fit best and enable you to gain the greatest intensity of your image.

Is your image still or moving? What happens when you change it to one or the other? 

Once you have your visualisation on lock, make it bigger, add more colour, make it brighter and feel the power of it jump. Notice how you feel it so vividly.

Heres an easy way to start getting visualisation into your routine. As you go to bed tonight, just as you get drowsy, think about tomorrow. What have you got planned? What have you got to do? Now see how you would love the day to go, how you would love to feel, your tone of voice, your body language, your smile, your interaction with others. Really see it, hear it, feel it. Remembering the more detail you can use and the more vivid you can make it the better.

Research has shown that your brain and neural pathways will fire during visualisation as if it is real, firing the same sequence and combination of neurons, essentially practicing while you're nice, warm and comfy in your own bed. (Ever kicked out during a dream while sleeping?).

This keys you up and gets you ready for what you would love to achieve. 

It creates your positive intentions for the next day, which will in turn make these actions come to you more freely. 

This is why high performers use visualisation, they know they can practice a skill thousands of times while expending very little energy and they know they can help create the outcome they desire rather than going in blindly.


Nathan Douglas - Peak Performance and Mind Coach. Double Olympian.


Feel good about sharing the love with others, boosting their performance and mind.

Climbing that mountain. The fruits of a difficult journey.



Whilst writing this reflection I am sat at the top of a mountain in the Lake District. On what I am told is a rare sunny day with piercing blue skies. I am admiring some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen ( see my picture above. Yes, photographer of the year, I know!)


While on several of my 10+ mile rambles, I realised something. I naturally gravitate towards the more difficult routes along the way; slightly steeper, rockier, trickier.


I asked myself the question, for what reason? 


And the answer came bounding back at me - for the fun of it! The extra challenge, the thrill, the increased sense of achievement. 


This made me think about life. We may not purposely choose the more difficult path, yet sometimes we are forced down it.

While that path can be painful and stressful, once you have walked along that path and reached the other side, the level of achievement and fulfilment is something we would never have received if we had taken the normal route. 


Whilst on the tricker path you learn more about yourself, your abilities and what you are able to handle (which is normally more than you realise). You walk a path that not many people have ventured along, you get to see things that only a few others have seen. What you learn about yourself is invaluable.


You can look back at what you have scaled with pride. The times you wanted to just stop and quit. When the path became more difficult than you anticipated and you could see how much you still had to climb, yet you pushed on, got through it and climbed that mountain. Thats when the sweetness arrives, knowing that you made it despite all of the difficulties and now you can admire your beautiful view.


And you know what? It changes your perspective. That perspective has a huge impact as you now look forward at the possibilities in front of you. Which mountain do you want to climb next? Some are minor now in comparison and you will scale them quickly, you will hardly break a sweat. Some of the trickier ones - you know you have done it before, so now you know you can do it again. Not just believe like before. Knowing is better than belief. Knowing you can do it is powerful and it feeds your hunger for more!


My only tip for you is to remember to take a flask of tea and a Kit Kat, or two!



Nathan Douglas - Peak Performance Coach, Double Olympian and International Medallist.


Feel good about sharing the love with others.