Military Transitioning is a challenge; I’m not telling you anything new. We can talk all day about the technical challenges of making the transition and we will; however, it’s important to talk about the less desirable topics too. One of the most important less desirable topics is…fear. To be more specific – the Fear of the Unknown.
Let’s face it, fearing the unknown is miserable and in order to conquer the overwhelming feeling it’s important to get to the underlying causes. In short, there are 4 root causes that create the fear of the unknown when it comes to military transitioning.
Loss of Identity – Living life as a civilian when the military may be all that you know is a legitimate fear. It’s important to know that identity is on the inside, it’s not on a uniform.
Loss of Job Security – Over time your position in the military helped you feel secure, it’s possible you now feel less secure than before. Keep in mind, over the past year thousands of servicemen were given a pink slip. It’s important you always have an exit strategy.
Loss of Status – Now that you’re a civilian, your position might not have the same status as the role you served in the military. Keep in mind, a leader may only be a leader for a short time so it’s important to know how to follow. Maintaining your status is not as important as getting paid.
Loss of Value – Feeling valuable and as if you’re contributing to a common goal is important in any role you serve. Since entering the civilian realm, it’s possible you feel as if you are less valuable. Rest assured, this is not the case. It’s imperative you always know the amount of your base pay and what you bring to the table.
In short, as you experience the emotional effect of military transitioning it’s important you realize the fear of the unknown isn’t real, it’s something we create ourselves. Have faith in yourself and develop a level of confidence that allows you to become flexible enough to adapt to change.