17 Mar A TO Z: 26 ISSUES TRANSITIONING VETERANS FACE #5
Whenever we’re changing from a structured environment to one with endless possibilities, there’s going to be an adjustment period – growing pains.
Coming from the military, we all know that though it’s complex, we had our basic needs met. Sure there are days when we wished we were back in the rear, with a hot plate or off deployment, so we can be with loved ones without having to make life or death decisions; but overall, we had structure.
Now here comes the cliffhanger, when we turn our military uniforms in for a business suit, our world turns upside-down. Wait, aren’t we supposed to be excited? We are walking away from an era in our life and should be confident, right? These are the days of our lives that are going to be remembered forever and we freeze. We completely lockup. We act as if we have been climbing Mount Everest with little oxygen and frostbite starting to set in.
If we prepare ahead of time, we can avoid anxiety. However, the reality is most are being discharged unprepared; hence our dilemma. There is a solution and we learned this in the military – adapt, improvise and overcome, right (Thanks Gunny Highway)? This is easier said than done. We can adapt, improvise and overcome, but what are our baselines? What are our points of reference that allow us to actually succeed? Now that’s the question that varies from situation to situation and from person to person.
There are no cookie-cutter approaches to environmental change. However, we can use the resources around us and apply logic; which can help us establish a clear decision-making process. This is the work-in-progress part nobody wants to talk about, because it’s where the blood, sweat and tears start to fall. In those moments of unconditional sacrifice, we learn exactly what we are made of.
This resiliency is what separates those who want it and those who need it. You see, everyone needs it, but if you don’t WANT it, does it matter? The great news is we can conquer and push through the darkness into the light. That is why we must become masters of change, now instead of later, because yesterday is too late and tomorrow may never come. We are warriors and can do it. We are soldiers trained by the best and we WILL do it.
Never give up; you can do more than you believe. You never thought you’d get through boot camp – and you did. Today is the day the environment starts to work in our favor, with faith in our abilities to succeed no matter the obstacle we face.