Ron White, memory training expert, memory keynote, and two-time USA Memory Champion, would like to share with you lessons on building self-confidence, as taught through “Mind of a U.S. Navy SEAL” workshops.

One of the lessons T.C. Cummings, a former U.S. Navy SEAL and my friend and mentor, teaches in our “Mind of a U.S. Navy SEAL” workshops is the importance of taking stock of yourself and looking at measurable benchmarks in your track record.

T.C. points out in several of our leadership workshops the necessity for constantly taking stock of ourselves and going over what we want; what we have done to get there; and what we plan to do in order to make changes in our lives that will make us more confident and successful. One of the tools he offers is to be objective in putting together an honest self-evaluation, taking into consideration measurable benchmarks.

What does that mean? We know that salesmen have a natural tendency to stretch the truth, and are NOTORIOUS for selling themselves – often a notch or two above what they actually are.  We can’t say that is actually an HONEST evaluation of their potential. When sitting down to do a self-evaluation you have to take yourself outside and look at yourself as others do. Use actual achievements, and look at actual places you have fallen short. Be specific. Then, when making up a plan for improvement you can use those actual achievements (benchmarks of success) to bolster yourself upward and build you confidence.

T.C. gave an example:

When a student shows up to Navy SEAL basic training (BUDS) he has a short time to get acclimated and prepared for what lies ahead. Most of them come in thinking they are in great physical shape. T. C. himself ran 5 miles a day prior to entering the BUDS program, but soon found out that there was a big difference between running 5 miles on pavement and 5 miles on sand!  One of his instructors, Dave Hankins, is credited with helping him get through the training, and because of Hankins’ great track record for building trainees into actual SEALs, many other men succeeded where they may have failed.

According to T.C., “Even though I could run 5 miles on pavement, when told to run 5 miles on sand I buckled at the ¼ mark and was humiliated. Dave Hankins showed me a new technique to run on sand, and soon after I learned it a friend of mine, Rob, showed up to join BUDS.”

“Rob was a big man with huge quadriceps, and was having problems running on the sand. He asked me to run with him. During the run I distracted him by talking and we didn’t measure how far we had gone until we came to the 2-mile marker. Rob was really excited we had gotten this far, and it empowered him to keep running because he knew he could do it. It was a measurable objective when he met the 2-mile mark.’”

Whether you are talking about running, building up your sales baseline, or knocking on doors you look at what you have done (from your track record) and know you can keep going. Each time you are able to learn from your track record that you have already accomplished that feat it is so much easier to do it again. You have a measurable record of achievement, and have the confidence that you have accomplished it already, so can do it again.

You will find the lesson on self-confidence among many 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