Beware of the False Finish Line!

Imagine that you are climbing a very difficult mountain and you are pushing hard up a ridgeline towards the summit.  After many hours of difficult climbing you reach what you believed to be the summit only to realize the true summit was out of sight, hidden behind the false summit.  You are now facing many more hours of difficult climbing before you tag the true summit.  When you realize, your perceived summit was a false summit you are confronted by an epic mental beat down.  If you are in a vulnerable state of mind, this can take you right out of the game.  During regular Special Forces and Tier One assessment and selection, we regularly designed events with false finish lines.  For example, during a land navigation event, we never told the candidates how many points they had to find or how long they’d be out there.  In truth, it often depended on the candidate themselves.  Once we sensed someone was near their breaking point, even if they had reached the final point, we’d give them coordinates for another point several miles away.  For many, this false finish line was enough to make them quit. When you’re pursuing a goal, make sure you choose your summits wisely! This is very, very important. Use words and phrases that have defined true summits such as “I will make it to sunrise” or “I will make it to Friday”.  There are no false summits associated with these well-defined intermediate goals.

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