4 Oct , 19

Building An Iron Mindset

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Mindset is the cornerstone of any successful person.  “John Black” (no that is not his real name, but he is a real person and still on active duty) prepped this article for you.

Building an Iron Mindset

Mindset John BlackWhen I made it through brutal Special Forces “Hell Week” selection people asked me what physical training I conducted to succeed.  However, there was a major part of my success that they failed to ask about, the mental training and mental preparation. 

Let me tell you, no amount of physical training no matter how fit I would have been would have allowed me to survive and succeed in “Hell Week” if I didn’t have my mental training and mental game zeroed in.  

The Navy Seals, through decades of brutal training, operations and insurmountable challenges developed physical as well as mental techniques to help their Operators conquer any challenge. This mental training was more a set of golden guidelines to be followed than skill sets to be learned, these guidelines are referred to as the Big 4.

These Navy Seal mental success secrets are so brilliant and yet simple that the Big 4 can be easily followed by anyone.  The Big 4 have proven themselves so successful that they are not only utilized on the battlefield by most Special Forces units but also by elite athletes around the globe. Numerous studies have been conducted on the Big 4 and all, unequivocally demonstrated the success rate of individuals and teams using the Big 4 to be staggeringly higher than those of equal physical ability but not utilizing the Big 4.   

Mindset Tip #1 – Goal Setting 

When faced with stressful and/or painful situations your amygdale or mid-brain (think fight or flight) will be firing like crazy. Emotions, fear, stress, confusion all feed the mid-brain which can easily lead to total chaos. The forebrain is required to reason and make sound decisions. The forebrain is best able to take control when it has direction and we give it direction by ensuring we entered this stressful situation with a goal or end state in mind. 

Goals are much more likely to be achieved when we write them down.  

Goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound. 

It’s important to utilize the W.I.N method to help stay focused on your goal. W.I.N: What’s Important Now

The key point is to focus on something positive in the future that serves as an anchor to your inner balance.

Mindset Tip #2 – Mental Rehearsal

Mental Rehearsal also known as visualization. Mental Rehearsal is a way of running through an activity in your mind, specific to the task before you physically enter into that task. It’s a powerful tool not to be underestimated. When the real situation occurs, you will be better prepared for the fight.  

Ensure your visualization always has a positive outcome! 

Mindset Tip #3 –  Positive Self Talk

Positive Self-Talk is critical to mastering your thoughts. The average person speaks to themselves more than 400 words per minute.  Ensuring those words are positive is key not only to mission success but also to your self-esteem. 

Employ thought stopping, monitor your negative thoughts, identify where they come from and then stop the negative and immediately insert with positive thoughts.

Establish a positive mantra as individual to you as your name. When things get rough, repeat your positive mantra and get ready to tap into power you were unaware you every had. 

Mindset Tip # 4 – Arousal Control

Mindset - Todd LambArousal control the act of staying calm in a chaotic and difficult situation.  Genetics, and experience aside (they do factor in) we can utilize physical techniques to calm our mid-brain and allow for reasoned and sound decision making. 

Tactical Breathing: (box breathing) inhale through the nose into your diaphragm 4 seconds, hold for 4 sec, exhale out of the diaphragm through the mouth 4 sec, hold 4 sec and repeat.  

Progressive Muscle Relaxation:(contract muscles and then allow them to slowly relax) tense the 4 major muscle groups for 5 seconds then relax them for 5 seconds moving progressively through; head and neck, arms and shoulders, chest and back, legs. 


Your mindset determines how you show up. Using these four tips can assist you to build and maintain a strong mind and stay focused on your success.


Todd Lamb is one world's most trusted sources of Health and Fitness information and programming. He has dedicated his life to the service of others having served as a member of the Royal Canadian Regiment in the Special Service Force and as 17 year veteran Police Officer with 10 years on SWAT and 4 as a Team Leader. Todd is dedicated to transforming the lives of 1,000,000 men through honest science based information backed up with years of practical experience in Tactical Operations. Todd is a Best Selling Author of multiple best selling fitness programs and the book STAND APART

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7 thoughts on “Building An Iron Mindset

  1. Russell Griffith

    Thank you for this post. I am a disabled Vietnam vet, and disabilities and age
    have.kicked my butt lately.. This has been a great reminder that the fights not over til the last breath.

    1. Todd Post author

      Hey Russel – the challenge never stops my friend. WE just need to win moment to moment, day to day to live a life with no regret!

  2. Robert Perrone Sr.

    Mindset is not only set for shooting, weather it is tactical or composite shooting. You have to have the ability to have mind control, no mater what you are, or have set out to accomplish. If you do not have mind control so that you can focus on the task at hand, you will fail, no matter what the task may be. “”do not let your mind wonder””

    US Army Retired SSG
    Marksmanship Instructor & Competitor.

    1. Todd Post author

      Indeed Robert – we definitely try to draw people’s attention to the fact that mindset applies across all facets of life!

  3. Rob Stansel

    Your Iron Mind Set goals are spot on! Used them in professional golf competition with reasonable success. for 30 years.
    I’m 67 and would like you advice on how to rekindle the flame.
    Can still shoot my age on a good day.


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