“Upon Exiting the Military, my most important question became….
Where do I go from here?”
I will never forget the moment I was asked to clean a bathroom at a Landmark Education seminar. I quickly thought: “Clean the bathroom? Really? I am a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force, I haven’t been assigned latrine duty since Officer’s Training School! Am I now… the bathroom guy all over again?”
Fortunately, I saw the humor in the situation and laughed when I realized that this very moment could be my first initiation into my new civilian life….
My wife Wendy and our two children had active civilian lifestyles that helped me to always maintain one foot in the civilian community. And in the back of my mind, I knew that both feet would eventually be firmly planted back into the civilian world.
Yet, after spending many years in the military and achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, I was overwhelmed and surprised by the lack of confidence I faced with my return to civilian life.
I realized very quickly that I had a deep uncertainty as to whether I could actually reconnect. And truth be told, my age also became a concern for me even though I am young at heart and have a great affinity for personal growth. Yet, the uncertainties overpowered my logical thinking which led to dis-empowering thoughts such as:
- “Can I really do this?”
- “Will anyone want me at my age.”
- “Will I be appreciated and accepted in this civilian world?”
I knew I had to recognize and admit these thoughts in order to combat them.
I began by taking the standard transition assistance programs provided by the military including the mandatory TAP, resume writing and interviewing skills classes. Unfortunately, these programs didn’t give me any more confidence concerning my transition.
I realized I had to re-discover what inspires me.
I immediately began to explore who I was and what I was passionate about. During this process, I became a Certified Life and Transitional Coach (CPC and ELI-MP) and completed an intensive leadership program with Landmark Education.
All of my personal development work helped me to realize that my instincts for functioning in the civilian world still existed within me and through one-on-one coaching, I rebuilt my confidence and reignited those instincts.
The cumulative effect of all of my work demonstrated to me that I can be successful in the civilian world. Best of all, my clients don’t have to go through all of the discovery work that I had to go through. They can take advantage of all the work that I have done and move at a much faster pace!