Hello, my name is Ron White, and I am a two-time USA Memory Champion.  I would like to share some things I have learned while working with my friend and mentor, former U.S. Navy SEAL T.C. Cummings, about building confidence.

How far do you plan ahead before making a presentation, or getting ready for a test? Do you have everything together the night before so you can wake up refreshed and ready to tackle what lies ahead. Or, are you a procrastinator, leaving everything until the last minute so you have to rush to get it all together? How much do you miss in the rush?

My friend, T. C. Cumming uses a term I am well familiar with from my tour in Afghanistan – ‘Stage your gear.’ In military terms it means preparing for the next mission. In layman’s terms it means setting yourself up to win.

In Navy SEAL training, while preparing for an exercise the SEALs have to practice the same exercise over and over again – sometimes up to four times a day. Since it can take up to eight hours for them to get the plan together; get their gear ready; accomplish their exercise goal; get cleaned up; and get ready for the next run; that makes for a very long day. In order for them to get a good night’s sleep they make sure their gear is “staged” or ready to just pick up and go first thing in the morning. They don’t have to think about what they have to do tomorrow to get ready, it’s already done so they can relax and sleep well.

How many times have you taken on so much that you lost track of other things that were just as important? Have you taken on a job load that took up a lot of time away from your family? Did you have too heavy a class schedule because you wanted to get finished in school sooner, only to find you couldn’t perform as well as you could have if you had less to do? You thought you could do more than you actually could, and it did you in. Instead of getting ahead you found yourself getting behind. You lost confidence in yourself, and your abilities.

Being prepared means that you have to get yourself organized. If you have taken on too much, find a way to organize your life in order to make time for other things that are just as important. Being organized allows you to streamline your operations, and you not only get more done but are confident that what you got done was going to be done right.

Building your confidence comes from being prepared in advance so you have time to do what you need to do.

Another example of the importance of staging your gear is the case of PFC Jessica Lynch of the United State Army, who was captured in 2003 at the beginning of the Iraqi war. Officer Lynch and others in her unit found that their rifles had jammed and were not usable in an effort to avert capture. Planning ahead would have made sure the weapons they had were workable. What would have happened if the other side had shot at them while taking over – the entire unit would have been dead. Planning ahead means making certain that the tools you have are operational.

We would like to think we’d know what to do when our business hits a rough patch. But do we? Do we plan for trends in the marketplace and how we’ll overcome them? Do we plan ahead on changes in the administration of our countries and different mindsets to our current business approaches? Have we staged our gear so we are in a place of confidence that we are prepared for what lies ahead? If not, why?

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

Danny Brown – The Human Side of Media and the Social Side of Marketing: http://dannybrown.me/2011/05/30/why-planning-ahead-is-key/