What's Stopping You? Mindset Tips From A Former Special Forces Commando

Stop making excuses and reach your real goals.
Lace up your boots and just get started -- no more excuses.
Lace up your boots and just get started -- no more excuses.

Have you ever asked yourself the question, 'What's stopping me?'.

Why you can't stick to your goals, be it eating well, moving your body or not working too much? Chances are you're making up excuses to let yourself off the hook.

"Some of the most common excuses I hear from people are 'I don't have time', 'I'm too old', 'I'm injured', 'I'm too tired', 'I'm not as fit as I used to be'. How do these excuses start? They begin as a protective measure to avoid pain, your pride, your ego -- it's our way of avoiding the truth," performance trainer Scott Evennett told HuffPost Australia.

And Evennett knows his stuff. He served in the Australian Special Operations Command (SOCOMD), as an Australian Commando, focusing on counter terrorism and counterinsurgency across Australia and the Middle East. After eight years' service and four operational deployments he has now works in the field of performance-based human development.

"The issue is these excuses keep piling up on top of each other and we begin to actually believe they are the truth. It's like a bunch of small lies you keep telling yourself that make you feel better short term. Excuses free you from responsibility and from ownership and today's society is full of them. They surround us on a daily basis and other people provide them for us," Evennett said.

"Because you are 'tired, injured or old' you tell yourself you don't have to train hard this week, work too hard, eat healthily or get up early. Many people will offer you an excuse to end your suffering, though you need to find the people who offer you a challenge in these times instead. Only you can let go of your excuses, no one can do it for you. Quit the self-destructive behaviour, learn to master yourself. You are responsible for your own happiness."

Using his Special Forces experience, Evennett has developed training programs programs based on his military knowledge as well as his experience with competitive gymnastics, professional soccer, competitive body building, Crossfit and competitive Ninja Warrior obstacle course challenges.

All of his online programs have a strong emphasis on mental and physical development. His most popular product offering is a 12-week mentoring package that incorporates custom training, nutrition and mindset lessons.

Evennett's top tips for finding motivation:

Self Discipline.

Forget motivation, it's starts with discipline. Discipline is what drives our actions when we lack motivation. When we don't have the internal push to keep us going forward we rely on discipline to drive us.

Something the army teaches people is the art of self-discipline, it's instilled in us from day one at Kapooka, throughout Special Forces Selection and until the day you discharge and it's something you never forget.

Take a look around at the people you admire and look up to. What sets them apart from others? What makes them leaders is their self-discipline.

Goal Setting.

Without a clear path ahead people lack the motivation to keep going. It's proven among Special Forces Soldiers that those who pass the testing criteria have clear short and long term goals in place. They have a purpose for where they are going. Goal setting ensures you stay focused on the task at hand and don't waver from the plan.


If you see yourself succeeding, your chances of achieving your goals are much higher. Mental visualisation isn't just for athletes -- everybody should incorporate it into their daily routine.

Positive Self Talk.

Check yourself on negative self-talk. Switch "I can't do this" for "I will do this". Acknowledge negative words you use regularly and each time you use them take a moment to think of a more positive one to replace these with. You can change your own emotional pattern through positive self-talk, you just have to be willing to try.

Write your goals down and place the list in a spot you'll see it, such as the fridge or your bedside table.
Write your goals down and place the list in a spot you'll see it, such as the fridge or your bedside table.

If you've tried before and 'fallen off the wagon', Evennett believes it's because you didn't have a clear enough mission plan to begin with.

"In the military nothing happens without a plan. We call this 'mission planning' and I guarantee if you begin your health and fitness journey without a plan then you will fail.

"My advice is don't try to do it alone. Get a coach or mentor to help you set out your path -- it's okay to ask a professional for help until you build better self-motivation. Success doesn't just happen -- it's planned for -- proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance. And lastly, just start. Don't keep making bullshit excuses to delay starting," Evennett said.

How to mission plan:

• What's your purpose? Set the intent.

• What's the first target? Identify the objectives.

• Evaluate your options. Identify the most effective way to reach your goals.

• Choose your tribe. Determine the right people around you, you need to succeed.

• Set a timeline to hit your targets.

• Start. The only way to improve is to begin. Execute your plan.

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