David Goggins’ book “Can’t Hurt Me” details his journey from being controlled by circumstances to proactively pursuing greatness through new challenges. He believes that everyone can cultivate a drive for self-improvement to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. The book also offers ten challenges to aid in efficient goal attainment.
Challenge 1: Face Your Bad Hand
Acknowledging and overcoming challenging circumstances can pave the way for personal growth and development. David Goggins’ story exemplifies this, as he drew strength from his struggles with an abusive father and school difficulties to open new doors.
To confront current obstacles, it’s important to reflect on past and present circumstances. Starting a journal and listing difficult experiences can help gain clarity on challenges faced growing up and currently.
This can include issues such as abuse, low self-esteem, or feeling stuck in one’s comfort zone. Current challenges may involve a limiting boss or self-sabotage.
Challenge 2: Set Up Your Accountability Mirror
To achieve success, it’s important to break down your goals into smaller steps and hold yourself accountable. Goggins used post-it notes on his mirror to remind himself of his goals and worked towards them each day. He faced racism and struggled with school, but used his accountability mirror to improve his reading skills and pass the Air Force qualifying exam.
To create your own accountability mirror:
- Write down your insecurities and use them as an opportunity to improve yourself.
- Write down your goals and dreams, breaking them into specific steps on separate Post-it notes. Place them on the mirror as a visible reminder to work on them daily.
Challenge 3: Get Used to Discomfort
Building mental willpower is crucial for achieving goals. Goggins struggled with swimming training in the Air Force due to a lack of prior experience and almost gave up. Later, he joined the Navy SEALs but had to lose 106 pounds in three months to qualify.
To overcome discomfort and achieve your goals, try doing things that make you uncomfortable regularly.
Start with writing down things you dislike or should be doing and try doing them consistently. Push yourself to do something uncomfortable every day and gradually make it more challenging.
Challenge 4: Best Your Opponent
Doubting yourself can sabotage your success when striving towards your goals. Instead, use that perceived doubt as motivation to prove your opponent wrong. Goggins used this tactic during Hell Week, encouraging his team to exceed their superiors’ expectations and “take their souls.”
To use this strategy, identify a challenge and opponent, then showcase your skills through a project or task. Channel the negative energy towards the obstacle or opponent to excel and exceed their expectations, ultimately earning their respect.
Challenge 5: Visualize Success
Visualizing the obstacles in your path and imagining the feeling of achieving your goal helps you push through and overcome challenges. When recovering from injury during SEAL training, Goggins encouraged himself to keep going by reminding himself that quitting is the only way to fail and visualizing how he would feel upon completion.
To apply this technique, visualize the obstacle you need to overcome and anticipate any difficulties, developing a plan to address them.
Challenge 6: Stock Your Cookie Jar
To stay motivated when facing obstacles, recall your past accomplishments – your “Cookie Jar” – advises Goggins.