Over the Christmas holidays I began reading Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds, a memoir/self-help book written by former Navy SEAL and current ultramarathoner David Goggins. My love for the self-help genre is strong and deep, so when the podcast community began to crow about this guy named Goggins and the power of of his story, I paid close attention.
Like all self-help books, there are exercises at the end of each chapter. One of these exercises asks the reader to detail factors limiting growth and success. An important undertaking to be sure! Here is my list.
Factors limiting my growth and success
- I am terrible with time management; I underestimate how long it takes to do everything and I’m often late for everything.
- Too often I seek out comfort and predictability; rather than challenge myself with something new that I will suck at, I stick with things I know (or think I know) are easy.
- I have a Lone Wolf mentality; I have no mentors, no partners, no external accountability.
- When I do accomplish anything of note, rather than building on that success I rest on my laurels.
- There is a constant stream of self-loathing smack talk echoing in my brain.
- I barely read books anymore. As a teenager and into my young adulthood, I would burn through books weekly. Now, it takes all the mental focus I can muster just to read 10 pages in a single sitting.
- I compare myself to others, oftentimes unreasonably so. I’ve been a professional trainer for four years yet I expect to have the accolades and trappings of success that only come from a lifetime of hardwork.
- Speaking of hard work, I don’t know what that is anymore. This ties back to the earlier point about seeking comfort. I used to push myself into uncharted waters, used to embrace the grind and wouldn’t let anything get in the way of my goals. Not so much anymore.
- Goals? What are goals?
- A good goal should inspire you — and others — to kick ass and take names. Committing to watching every episode of Cheers from start to finish is not a good goal, yet that is the most recent goal I’ve set for myself.
- I don’t want to point fingers, but the more I reflect upon my upbringing, the more I see how the lax parenting style that was standard during the 80s and early 90s didn’t prepare me for the realities of life. My brothers and I received unconditional love and support, which is great in theory but there were times when what I really needed were defined boundaries and high expectations.
Can’t Hurt Me
Now that the enemies have been ID’d, it’s time to take them motherfuckers down. One by one then on to the next one.
I’m lucky, really. I was dealt a pretty solid hand. My roadblocks are all mental, and none of them are insurmountable. If you’re struggling with a stagnant existence, take a mental inventory and identify the things that are holding you back. Chances are you’ll see the obstacles aren’t that great at all.