Lessons from the front line: Confidence

I am often asked what type of person serves in the SAS?

In fact, l often speak at functions and corporate events on this exact subject. To sum up an SAS soldier in one word, l would say, CONFIDENT. This then poses the question, how do l gain more confidence?

To be better at anything you need to complete repetitions. It doesn’t matter if you are lifting weights, shooting a gun, or learning to knit, the more repetitions you do, the better you get.

From the day you join the Army you get given responsibility. On day 1, a recruit will be picked at random and given the responsibility of a “duty student”. The duty student must liaise with the directing staff and brief the other recruits on what needs to be done. It doesn’t matter if you have never stood in front of a crowd to speak before, you will have to speak to 30 recruits who want to know where they need to be, what to bring, what to wear, what time to be there, and who they need to meet. So in the first few days of joining the Army, most people do more public speaking than they have ever done.

As you progress through your Army career you complete reps of the same exercise until it becomes second nature, with the end result being that you are expected to be able to perform your given job in a combat zone.

So why are SAS soldiers so confident? The answer is simple, they practice and push themselves in training more than other units do. If you continually stretch your learning capability, your mental capacity has no other choice but to grow.

During training, SAS soldiers are put in stressful conditions and forced to make quick decisions. If the decision turns out to be less than desirable, it gets marked up as a “lesson learned”, and it doesn’t happen again. Most SAS soldiers have made more mistakes during their career than those in the regular Army. Each mistake you make gives you more experience and the more experience you have, the more confident you become.

If you are interested in strengthening your physical and mental capability, click here to purchase one of my fitness programs that will push you to grow or, if you are interested in having me personally come to your workplace to speak, please click here.

In summary, if you want to gain more confidence, you have to complete reps and be prepared to make some mistakes along the way. It doesn’t matter how many mistakes you make, as long as you don’t quit.

Take care

Dave Farrell

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Training and Recognition

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