3 Crucial Life Skills the Navy SEALs Swear By for Greatness

Turn Your Life Around with Military-Taught Strategies for Self Reflection, Awareness & Discipline

Ok, warrior. It's time to lock and load your mental resilience, and prepare for the ultimate battle against your own self-doubt and insecurities. You may not be a soldier, but the principles of self-awareness and mental toughness can help you win the war against complacency and weakness - and come out on top.

Here at MME, there’s no mission we feel more strongly about than empowering warriors like yourself - and inspiring your pursuit of greatness by sharing some of the tools we’ve learned along the way. And today, we’re covering a doozy.

You’re gonna want to stick around for this. 

So far on our own personal growth journeys, we've learned that self-awareness, self-reflection and discipline are not just buzzwords or trendy concepts. They’re so important, in fact, that they've become critical aspects of military training - and can make the difference between success and failure in any mission.

But these methods are not limited to the battlefield. They’re essential skills that can help you navigate the challenges of life, achieve your goals, and become a better version of yourself.

Ready to take a deep dive into your psyche and learn some more tools for becoming unstoppable? Let’s get into it. 


Self-awareness is the ability to recognize your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and understand how they influence your actions and your relationships with others. 

It's the foundation of mental resilience because it enables you to be honest with yourself, identify your weaknesses, confront your fears, and develop the discipline to overcome them.

It also means being open to feedback from others and willing to make changes based on that feedback. By practicing self-awareness, you can identify your blind spots, understand your triggers, and make better decisions.


Self-reflection means taking a step back to look at outcomes objectively so you can learn from your experiences. It means taking the time to glance back on your successes, failures, and lessons learned. It also means being willing to ask yourself tough questions, you can turn your setbacks into opportunities for growth and become more resilient. Here’s how it’s done:

Self-Reflection in Action >>

In the military, a concept called After Action Review  (AAR) is used by soldiers to improve performance and learn from mistakes. AAR is a structured process of self-reflection that involves five focal points:

  1.  What was supposed to happen?
  2.  What actually happened in reality?
  3.  What went wrong, and why?
  4.  What turned out well, and why?
  5.  What can I do better next time? 

AAR is not just a debriefing or a critique. It's a mindset of continuous improvement that encourages us to learn from our successes as well as our failures. We don't blame or punish ourselves for our mistakes. We use them as opportunities to grow and develop our skills.

You can apply this AAR concept to your own life by asking yourself the following questions:

  1.  What was my goal? 
  2. What did I actually do? 
  3. Why did I do it that way? 
  4. What can I do better next time?

By answering these questions honestly and objectively, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses, your habits and patterns, and your limiting beliefs and self-talk. You can also identify the obstacles and challenges that prevent you from achieving your goals and develop strategies to overcome them.

Self-awareness is not enough, though. You also need discipline to take action and implement the changes you need to make. Here’s why…


Discipline is not just about willpower or motivation. It's about creating habits and routines that support your goals and align with your values.

Just take a look at the iconic quote by Jocko Willink, the mac daddy of toughness who cut his teeth in the Navy SEALs: "Discipline equals freedom." 

This premise states that by developing the discipline to train, prepare, and execute our missions, we gain the freedom to achieve our objectives and protect fellow soldiers.

Here's how you can apply the same principle to your own life:

  • By honing your discipline to eat well, exercise regularly, and cultivate positive habits, you gain the freedom to enjoy good health, mental clarity, and emotional stability.
  • By sharpening your discipline to study, learn, and practice your skills, you gain the freedom to pursue your passions and achieve your dreams.

That said, it’s no secret that discipline is not easy. It requires sacrifice, commitment, and consistency. It requires you to prioritize your goals over your comfort, your pleasure, and your distractions. It requires you to resist the temptation to give up, give in, or settle for less.


The US Navy SEALs have a powerful motto we can all benefit from adopting: "Embrace the suck." 

This means accepting the challenges and hardships of training and missions, knowing that they'll make us stronger, better, and more resilient.

It means that we don't complain, whine, or quit when things get tough. We push through the pain, the fatigue, and the fear, knowing that they're all temporary and will ultimately lead us to victory.

As modern-day warriors, we should all be applying the same motto to our own lives. You can embrace the suck of your struggles, your setbacks, and your failures, knowing that they are opportunities to learn, grow, and become stronger.

And don’t forget to embrace the suck of your daily routines, your habits, and your disciplines, knowing that they're the building blocks of your success and your happiness.


As you can see, self-awareness, self-reflection, and discipline are not just military concepts. They’re human concepts that can help you achieve your full potential, overcome your limitations, and live your most fulfilling life. They’re also the keys to mental resilience, physical fitness, and personal development.

While the military has a unique perspective on these concepts, they’re universal principles we can all apply. With the power of these insanely useful life skills, you’ll unlock the path to setting your goals, developing your plan, and executing your mission with confidence, courage, and determination.

So, what are you waiting for, warrior? Pull up the bootstraps on your mental resilience, and start your journey of self-discovery and self-improvement with these hard-hitting life skills that are worth the effort. 

Embrace the suck, and become the best version of yourself. We promise, you'll never look back.

Fefe | MME Lifestyle Contributor


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1 comment

  • I love the message that this article effectively presents. The practice of an After Action Review is something we do in firefighting on a constant basis. It’s a format that allows us to discuss an incident, review what we did\didn’t do, and how we can improve our approach to similar incidents in the future.

    Now that I’ve had a stroke, my self-discipline is being tested on a daily basis as I work towards getting out of this damn wheelchair. Now, I fully understand what it means to “embrace the suck” and I’m going to use this experience to better my life. Thanks for the great article.

    Charles Erikson

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