There are few people on the planet who thrive in the middle of chaos and uncertainty as well as a Navy SEAL.
In a recent interview, former Navy SEAL Mark Divine discussed his recent book, Staring Down the Wolf. The book is about overcoming your fear and all of the deeply ingrained negative emotions that hold you back
He believes that overcoming your fear — staring down the wolf — is the only way to unlock your true potential.
In the interview, Divine shared three skills he utilized during SEAL training that he thinks can be applied to everyday life:
Simply take a slow, deep breath, hold it for four or five seconds — and exhale slowly through the nose for a count of four or five. Divine starts each day with 20 minutes of breathing, but he suggested that five repetitions is a good start.
Done daily, box breathing lowers stress hormones, sharpens your focus, and deepens your ability to concentrate on your tasks.
The SEALS call positive thinking “attention control.” They say that where you focus your attention is crucial to the success of a mission.
In his book, Divine says “the fear wolf has a counterpart — the courage wolf. Which one you feed will grow bigger and stronger.”
One way to guard your mind and stay positive is to use affirmations. Put simply, these are positive phrases or statements used to challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts. Practicing positive affirmations is very easy; all you need to do is pick a phrase and repeat it to yourself.
“I am courageous and confident,” is one example.
Positive affirmations are also heavily backed by science.
This is a tool used by many, from elite athletes to CEOs. Divine says visualization is a secret mental weapon for the Navy SEALS, too.
“The only place where you’ll get perfect practice is in your mind,” Divine says. “Studies show that if you just practice–in your mind’s eye–perfect form and a perfect outcome, you are training your neurobiology to actually perform better … I’ve had profound outcomes with visualization.”
For some beginner exercises and more information on visualizations, check out this article.
SEAL training is intended to show students that they are capable for 20 times more than they ever thought possible. Use their training tactics to move beyond your self-imposed limits and create a powerful future for yourself and your life.