Ex-Navy SEAL David Goggins is an extreme ultra-athlete, the former world record holder for the most pull-ups done in 24 hours, and author of the book “Can’t Hurt Me–Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds.” In an interview with Impact Theory’s Tom Bilyeu, Goggins expressed that self-talk and visualization are two keys to his success.
He shared his story of overcoming adversity and offered a unique twist on using negativity for motivation. After losing a few of his comrades in Afghanistan, David wanted to raise money for the families of the special ops personnel killed in the line of fire.
He decided to look up the top ten hardest races in the world; despite never having run a marathon in his life. At the top of the list was the Badwater 135. The Badwater Ultramarathon is 135-miles through death valley in the scorching summer heat and is considered as the world’s toughest foot race.
Goggins called up the race director Chris Kostman to see if he could get in the race. Kostman asked him how many 100-miler‘s he’d run; his answer was “none.” Kostman told him the only way to qualify was to run 100-miles in 24 hours or less.
A few days later, Goggins signed up for the San Diego One Day where athletes run around a one-mile track for 24 hours to see how many miles they can cover. Goggins kicked it off and cleared seventy miles in thirteen hours.
However, he was in bad shape; he had broken all the small bones in his feet and suffered dual stress fractures in his lower legs. Goggins had shin splints so bad he wrapped his ankles in compression tape to reduce the agony which he described as the most pain he’d ever been in.
Experiencing kidney failure, blood pressure issues and in extreme pain, David sat down to take a break and gather his strength. He described the experience in his own words; “This 30-miles was the life-changing moment; I was out of it, I was in the worst pain in my entire life, I was, to me, on the brink of death.”
He attempted to stand and go to the restroom and realized he couldn’t move. “Here I am, I gotta go to the bathroom, the bathroom is about twenty feet from me, it’s a porta-potty, I can’t get out the chair. I’m peeing blood down my legs, pooping up my pack, and I’ve got thirty miles to go.” David stood to his feet and bit by bit with the help of his wife at the time, he walked until he made it to mile eighty-one.
Running out of time, his wife said to him, “You’re walking, and you will not make the time.” “The second she said I wasn’t going to make the time, recalls Goggins, I ran the last nineteen miles nonstop.” “Self-talk and visualization are two keys to my success.” “I believed that for that last nineteen miles I was indestructible, I believed it to where my body said, ‘he’s not gonna stop,” said Goggins.
“I took all the negative things, I need to go to the hospital, this and that, and I used it for motivation. I said to myself, ‘who on this earth will still be going right now? You are. Who the hell would even get out of that chair? You did.’ David’s is one of the most inspiring stories of overcoming the most difficult of circumstances using the power of positive self-talk and visualization.
This superior level of gut and grit takes a tremendous amount of focus and drive. It will push you to your limits whenever you take on the challenge of self-improvement. However, when you have learned to identify negative programming, you can now use the power of positive affirmations and visualization, together with some relentless determination, to set yourself free, so you can go after your dreams and goals.
There is an African proverb that says, “If there is no enemy within the enemy outside can do you no harm.” When you believe in you, you need no other to believe in you. Because others, really have no say in whom you will become, only you have that say.
I love this piece of advice from Fearless Motivation: Only you can DECIDE if others’ opinions become a reality, or you create your own fate. The greatest challenge and the greatest obstacle any human will face is their own doubts, their own fears, and their own conditioned thoughts. (Transcript–The Internal Enemy–Motivational Video | Fearless Motivation)
If you want to live your dream, you will have to fight for it. You will have to fight the greatest battles of your life.