How to Overcome Challenges in Life: David Goggins

How you can Overcome Challenges in Life:

It is very convenient to blame external factors for our challenges. But real change happens when we take responsibility for our choices and actions.  David Goggins, former Navy SEAL and award-winning motivational speaker, believes that accountability is the key to overcoming life’s obstacles. In his book ‘Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds, David explains how to transform adverse situations into opportunities through a strategic approach. Let’s learn today how to overcome challenges in life from him.

How to Build a Strong Mindset: David Goggins


One of the most common statements we hear in metro cities is, “I was stuck in traffic, that’s why I got late.” The truth is that traffic didn’t suddenly appear, it was always there on the road. People don’t take the responsibility to say “I left late, that’s why I arrived late.” These people will continue to be late for the rest of their lives because integrity follows responsibility. Where there is no accountability, there is no integrity. If you cannot take responsibility for small things, then you will struggle to guide your life in the right direction and overcome challenges in life.

But now ignoring the truth has become so fashionable, so popular, that we have started to accept it as the truth and this loophole in accountability makes us weak.

As people say, “Everything was going great before COVID-19, but now I don’t feel like working, time is slipping by, and I’m worried about my future. I don’t know what to do.”

This is absolutely absurd.

Regardless of the reason for your distress, whether it’s ‘COVID’ related disruption of your day-to-day routine, you have lost your job, or you have experienced significant business losses, the bottom line is that you are complaining. You are accepting the failure instead of trying to change or improve yourself.

To be honest, you know that starting a new job or initiating a new project to restart the timetable requires effort. You know that you can do something or the other with the time you have.

You can learn to control your thoughts and build a strong mindset, at least to a certain extent. But it takes a lot of effort, and you are afraid to put in the work. Or else you would have come up with a solution by now using your intelligence, creativity, and resourcefulness.

Understanding Responsibility and Accountability:

Here David Goggins suggests, “When you start talking to yourself truthfully, you can turn that negativity into jet fuel and blow away the barriers that seem like giant walls. The negativity that we feel when we are stuck is actually good. It is actually a desire for change, for improvement. You just need to see that you are not taking responsibility for something and you need to speak the truth directly. Why? Because you need clarity to overcome your challenges in life. Otherwise, you will keep reacting over and over again. For those things that you cannot control.”

David Goggins said once:

“The most important conversations you’ll ever have are the ones you’ll have with yourself.”

Understand the difference between responsibility and accountability.

Responsibility means the ability to respond or the ability to bring about change.

Whereas accountability means the loss of responsibility will be paid out of my pocket.

When we are surrounded by difficulties, we lose this clarity. We forget that both accountability and responsibility are ours. Accountability is your success and your failure. It is not about your money, your power, your position, or your status.

The bottom line is that whatever kind of person you are, you have to live with yourself for your entire life. Would you like to live your whole life with a weak and cowardly person?

Asking this question is your accountability. You can say that accountability is born with responsibility and a peaceful mind. Accountability, meaning whatever difficulties you are going through, can make you powerful. Because it is the ability to respond, to bring about change, to improve, which you already have within you.

Accountability Mirror Technique:

David Goggins further says “I used to blame my childhood for everything.  I ran away from my responsibilities. I passed every exam by cheating and thought that I had achieved something great by beating the system. Then one day, I received a letter from school warning me that if my grades didn’t improve, I would be expelled. I wanted to join the Air Force, so completing school was mandatory for me. That night, when I saw myself in the mirror, it felt like a cheap thug from the street was watching me. It was necessary to tell the truth to that thug. Looking at myself in the mirror, I said, “You want to join the Air Force, but you can’t even study properly. You can’t do anything properly because you have never even tried. You have no meaning in life, you have no future.”

David added, “I have clearly said everything to myself while shaving my head. That day when I saw myself in the mirror, I saw a new man. I saw a man, who is ready to take on responsibility and responsibility. That day, a new ritual accountability mirror was born, which stayed with me for many years. Every day, I write goals on poster notes on the mirror, shave my head, and speak the truth to myself.”

David Goggins concluded, “Accountability worked for me because I didn’t lie to myself.”

If you are not satisfied with your preparation for work and are struggling to achieve your daily goals, then somewhere deep inside, you are also lying to yourself. You are avoiding your responsibilities. You might think that by turning a blind eye today, you will escape, but you have to spend your entire life with yourself.

David Goggins says “On that day, when I looked at myself in the mirror, I told myself the truth. The negative thoughts I was having inside were actually a desire to transform myself.”

On the first night, David Goggins only wrote 4 things.

      1. Wear clothes Properly.
      2. Every morning, make your bed like in the military.
      3. Shave your head each morning.
      4. Do household chores without speaking. Like, Wash the dishes at night, and cut the grass the next morning.

When you speak the truth to yourself, you will establish your accountability. Initially, you may feel bad, but then you will know exactly where you need to improve.

David Goggins says that when you work among the best people, you don’t hide your mistakes. The team accepts your mistakes and works on them. That’s accountability.

Your mission assignment is, “Write down every little step.” It means, “Do research.” Work on every little step. When you’re done with one goal, cross it off and move on. You’re responsible for every little step. And if there’s an obstacle in the way, it’s your responsibility to finish it within a couple of days.

David Goggins says, “Sometimes I used to be lazy, but I had to see myself in the accountability mirror every night, which is why I kept doing difficult work.”

David Goggins says, “Studying was the most challenging challenge for me. I had to write every page of the book three times to understand and remember anything. The tutor taught me in an hour. It took me six hours to understand and remember. But I didn’t give up. I wrote my study schedule and my goals on my accountability mirror. And it became my obsession to finish it. Within six months, I improved from a third-grade reading level to a high-school reading level. I knew that the Air Force was my only option. So, I kept writing goals on the accountability mirror every day.”

David’s ‘Accountability Mirror’ technique is also a great source of encouragement for students to improve their studies.

David Collins says, “When you look at the accountability mirror every day, you will realize that you are becoming a better person by overcoming every obstacle. The challenges don’t stop you; they just improve you. And that’s exactly what the accountability mirror does for you.”

If you like this article, please feel free to share your truth with us in the comments below. The truth you’ve been holding back until now.


Responsibility and accountability give us the power to control the challenges in our lives. When we take on challenges with integrity, and when we are disciplined and consistent in our efforts, we can unlock our true potential and overcome challenges in life.

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