Are you fooling yourself?

Last weekend, I was up at the RDAC SEAL training program where we take candidates through a rigorous nine-hour workout with all the components of “Hell Week” — obstacle course, boat and log PT, combat swim practice.

In addition to mental toughness training, I help the candidates prepare for their SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection (SOAS) interviews. 

“I will do whatever it takes to be a SEAL,” said one of the candidates. 

As it turns out, however, his physical training scores were not up to our recommended standards, and since this was his second failure, he was dropped from the RDAC program and advised to hold off on applying to SOAS. Apparently, he was willing to do “whatever it takes” — except improve his run time, do more pull-ups and practice his interview questions.

When I heard this, I had a realization. People who really want something don’t talk about doing whatever it takes. They simply set about to quietly doing whatever it takes.

It doesn’t have to be some big, dramatic effort — in fact, it’s better to take small, sustainable actions.

But be honest with yourself. Are you actually willing to do what it takes?

If you want more recognition at work, are you willing to go outside your comfort zone to show up more boldly and learn how to communicate your value?

If you want more support from your team/colleagues, are you willing to examine how you might be contributing to the situation?

Or would you rather just have the momentary gratification of talking about doing something and perpetuate the illusion that things will change? 

Because that’s the recipe for self-doubt and loss of confidence: Basically, you’re training yourself not to trust yourself. 

Here’s the thing: There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I’m not willing to do what it takes right now.” (That’s what I said when I finally accepted I wasn’t ready to do what it would take to write and publish a book. 😩) 

Self-honesty can be painful so it takes courage — “Really? I can’t get the rewards of being a best-selling author without writing a book?”

But when your thoughts, words and actions are in integrity, that’s when you have true power.

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