For years, you have dedicated yourself to your country, the most noble sacrifice and passion any brave-hearted veteran could ever possess. But what happens when you step off the battlefield or out from the important behind-the-scenes work and find yourself back in the real world? It can certainly feel a lot like starting over and, no doubt, can be incredibly overwhelming at times.
This feeling is entirely common and it takes everyone a while to regain the balance of everyday life. There is no wrong time frame or answer. While you also know that you will never be the same as before, you also know that this you are better, wiser, more mature... and beneath your service is still so much left to give to the world. If you feel like you have lost your passion and sense of self now that you are no longer on active duty, here are some questions that can help you brave a new path.
What Skills Helped You Thrive?
On the field or off, what helped you make it through a tough time. Did you give encouragement to others? Did you plan ahead to stand your ground? Your inner guide is great at showing you what you are good at. Listen.
What Makes You Stronger?
While you may not have a degree in the area of your strengths, this does not mean that they are not strengths nonetheless. You don’t have the ability to re-engineer your genes, so be proud of who you are. The strong traits that make you unique, are the same traits that make you a great employee and an all around great person.
Everyone has Strengths
Maybe you feel best when you are working on a project for a neighbor, helping to put together a new bookshelf or moving something for an elderly friend. If these apply to you, congratulations... you are strongest when you are productive and supporting those in need.
What Compliments Do You Write Off as Lip Service?
Compliments can tell you a lot about who you are. Maybe someone has told you that you always make them laugh or that you are great at bringing a plan together. Listen to those compliments. They count. They matter and so do you.
Who Were You as a Child?
When you were small... what made you quirky? For Candice Brown Elliott it was flighty ideas and the thought of talking to animated cartoon images of historic figures. Like many people who march to their own drum, Candice was teased... but 4 decades later she held 90 U.S. patents. What got you noticed? Those weaknesses are really strengths that you didn't know you had.
As you navigate a new side of life, remember that you are still essentially yourself... just in a new arena. There is still much to tackle and conquer... and you can do it with passion.
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