The road ahead for many transitioning veterans can be a lonely one. Even with the right mentors and allies the hours and hours of study, self-development, and stepping outside of your comfort zone will challenge all that you know and all that you are. The process can be overwhelming. This process will include training, interviewing, resume building, and building your personal network. Your mentors will open new doors for you, but it is up to you to walk through them. When things get difficult, and it will you have to dig your heels in and trust the process.
In my second week of basic training, our Drill Sergeants treated our platoon to a special PT session in which their goal was to make the walls sweat. Upon completion, we were left to ponder this idea if you trust what this is designed to do you will become a better soldier. If you resist and remain inflexible, you will break.
Transitioning well does not have to break you. Its only purpose is to aid you in redesigning your life from what it is to what it could become.
What could your life look like if you completed your resume? What would it look like if you completed that job application? What would your life look like if you completed that transitions program? How about your college degree?
Transitioning from the Military can be Sudden or Gradual. One thing remains constant. You have to own it. You can complete the journey by breaking it down into manageable parts and executing immediately on what you learn.
The road ahead won’t always be clear. When things lack clarity, do not use that as a reason to hesitate. That is when you need to lean in visualize the road ahead trusting the process. My military transitions journey was full of moments where trusting the process was the only choice. No one had ever attempted what we were pioneering as MSSA students. The course work was extremely demanding, and there were no easy victories. Every question only led to more questions. These unanswered questions would at times pile up threatening to immobilize and unravel all the progress that we had made. I had to tap into many of the lessons I had learned as a soldier and commit to seeing it through to the very end. One of my strategies was visualizing which was more difficult. I had survived basic training, airborne school, and had deployed to some of the toughest regions of the world with that in mind how could I let a class get the best of me.
As a transitioning service member, you might be tempted to innovate in your approach to overcoming adversity. What I know from my transitions journey is that the same mental, physical, and strategic approaches to overcoming adversity that you mastered through the rigors of military training can if adapted to your current challenges will bring you success in these new environments as well. Your military service is proof that you can endure long hours, your service is proof that you can rise to the occasion digging deep down to accomplish the mission. The same personal courage and grit will serve you as you transition. You will have to find strategic approaches to willing yourself to win, and each win will compound to get you closer to your transitions goals.
When things seem difficult as you face the road ahead your commitment to trusting the process will empower your will to win.