My name is Ron White. I am a two-time USA Memory Champion and I would like to share with you lessons on building self-confidence, as taught through my “Mind of a U.S. Navy SEAL” workshops.

When you hear someone say: “Been there, done that!” It’s usually in an egotistical context. They are cocky and acting bored, as if what you have said or done is no big deal. I want you to look at this expression from an objective point of view – ‘I have done this before, so I can do it again.’ This knowledge builds your confidence that since you have confronted this situation before, and gotten through it, you are capable and experienced enough to do it again.

For example: How are you at public speaking? Do your knees buckle and hands sweat at just the thought of getting up before a group of people? Think of it this way – how many times have you spoken to one person, two people, three or four? It is no different than speaking to 100, but your mind has placed a roadblock at a number. The number one is not intimidating, but when you keep adding numbers you think the situation is different. This is something you have done thousands of times before! You can handle it! Speak to the group as if you were speaking to one or two people at a time.

U.S. Navy SEAL wannabes have to go through an underwater swim course called ‘The 50-yard breathe hold,’ where they have to swim in a 25-yard pool that is 12 feet deep, taking only the initial breath. My friend and mentor, 8-yr. veteran of the U.S. Navy SEALs, T.C. Cummings, explains it as follows:

“I stand on the side of the pool and do a forward somersault into the water so I don’t have to push off, and then start swimming underwater all the way across. I have to get the maximum out of each stroke, and do this until I get to the other side. I turn and push off from there and I have the entire journey to go back – all this being done on 1 breathe of air!” The trick is to utilize your mind to relax. When we start to get stressed our muscles tighten up and burn oxygen. The exercise of swimming is burning oxygen, and the stress is burning more, so your body is pushing itself to the maximum.” It is a mind challenge, and many recruits have to head for the surface for that bursts of air. They are then told to get out because they have failed.

Now take another scenario of the same challenge: A recruit starts to swim, and uses his mind to overcome the stress of wanting air. He blacks out (but because he is relaxed a mechanism inside his body, that acts like a shut-off valve, doesn’t let water get into his lungs). He is floating around under the water until the instructor realizes he’s not joking around and rescues him. He passes the challenge. Why? He didn’t make it to the other side, but he had the right mindset – to relax and let your mind carry you as far as it can. Being a SEAL is all about mind over matter, and is 80% mental and really only 20% physical because the mind can overcome much more than we think it can.

SEALS know the instructors are there to help you become the best of the best, but they aren’t going to let you die. You learn what you need to learn, but are never in danger of dying. Some don’t pass, even after the second try, because they didn’t learn to trust themselves to relax and let their mind carry them. The recruit who passed out was pushing himself and didn’t give up. He trusted that the instructors would not let him die, and he was able to succeed.

You have to learn to trust in yourself. Believe that you can do something, and get your mind ready to receive that message, and then trust that everything will be alright. If you did it once you can do it again.

Another example: When you are driving down the road in your own lane, what’s to stop the traffic on the other side from coming over to yours? You trust those people won’t cross the line, because experience has taught you that most of the time they won’t. You are confident, then that it won’t happen now. If you didn’t have that confidence you probably wouldn’t get into a car. Don’t let fear stop you from achieving.

When you have that track record of ‘Been there, Done that,’ you can apply it to other places.

You will find this lesson on confidence and using your past record to move you forward among many other lessons available on the training CDs “Mind of a Navy SEAL,” and in our training “Think Like A U.S. Navy SEAL” workshops.



“Mind of a U.S. Navy SEAL” workshop