As a Navy SEAL, we’re trained to push our limits both physically and mentally. We strive for excellence and constantly challenge ourselves to reach new heights. But let me tell you, even the toughest among us, with all our grit and determination, often find ourselves falling short of the standards we set for ourselves.

It’s a peculiar aspect of human nature. We like to think we’re living up to a certain standard, and yet we’re constantly reminded of our own limitations. I once attended a leadership session where the speaker demonstrated this concept with a simple exercise.

He asked everyone in the room to raise their hands as high as they could. People eagerly stretched their arms, reaching for that imaginary mark of their perceived limit. Then came the challenge. “Raise them higher,” he said. Suddenly, the audience was compelled to push themselves even further.

We humans are resourceful creatures, driven by an innate desire to succeed. As the speaker repeated his command to raise their hands higher, people started to come out of their seats, determined to surpass their initial efforts. But he didn’t stop there. “Raise them higher!” he exclaimed once again.

Now, the room was abuzz with creativity. Some brave souls found their way onto chairs, others onto tables, all in an effort to achieve what seemed impossible just moments before. It was an amusing sight, witnessing people contorting their bodies in unconventional ways, driven by a burning desire to defy their own limitations.

And that’s the crux of it all. We exist within the confines of our own self-imposed limitations. We draw a line in the sand, convinced that it represents our full potential. But in reality, that line is merely a figment of our imagination, a barrier we construct to shield ourselves from the discomfort of pushing beyond our comfort zones.

As a Navy SEAL, I’ve learned that our perceived limits are often just the starting point. When we think we’ve given it our all, there’s usually more in the tank. We discover reservoirs of strength and resilience that we never knew existed. It’s in those moments when we dare to venture beyond our self-imposed boundaries that we truly find our potential.

So, the next time you find yourself thinking that you’ve reached your limit, remember the lesson from that leadership session. Raise your hand higher, figuratively and literally. Embrace the discomfort of pushing beyond what you thought was possible. Because, my friend, you can always go farther than you think. And in that pursuit, you’ll find the true essence of personal growth and achievement.