Take control of your thinking to build your resilience and realise your career goals

 

“If you can change your mind, you can change your life.”

William James, author, historian, psychologist, pragmatist

Making a change of any kind can be stressful and demands resilience.  How we think about change, our mindset, has a huge impact on our capacity to achieve our goals.  For example, you might have the attitude that finding a job in civilian life will be difficult.  But what if you adopted the mindset that you have a huge amount to offer, valuable skills and experience that organisations are looking for?  How would you feel about searching for and finding a new role with this mindset?

It is possible to change your thinking

You can change your emotional and physical responses to any situation, no matter how adverse or difficult. Being more mindful of your thinking patterns and how they are driving your behaviours can have a profound effect on the way you navigate the workplace, your career, your relationships, and life in general. If you want to build your resilience to reduce stress and increase your sense of control, getting to grips with your thought patterns and understanding the impact they have on your life is a good place to start.

Your perception is not necessarily the same as others or an accurate interpretation of what’s really happening

When we make assumptions, we convince ourselves that something is true, sometimes with little evidence that it is. This then becomes problematic when that ‘something’ has the power to influence our thinking and our interactions with others. When you decide to make a change, how many people do you speak to outside your own close group of friends and colleagues? How could reaching out to a wider network help broaden your thinking? 

Making assumptions can lead to over-generalising, catastrophising and having an overly simplistic or ‘black and white’ perspective. These assumptions can take you down a rabbit hole of negative thinking and result in unhealthy behaviours. Talking to other veterans about their experiences can provide vital insights and opportunities to learn.  Sometimes this might feel daunting, but our experience at JobOppO is incredibly positive.  Most people are more than happy to help a fellow veteran, and this sense of community also help builds resilience.

What can you do to strengthen your emotional resilience?

Increase your curiosity:

  • - Gather factual information from a range of reliable sources to help to increase your understanding of the ‘bigger picture’ and develop a more accurate view of the circumstances you are dealing with
  • - Reach out to people beyond your own “echo chamber” and get a variety of views, be prepared to challenge your own assumptions and adapt your mindset
  • - Use a mentor or trusted advisor to help you identify what you really want from this next phase of your career, perhaps consider having some sessions with a professional coach
  • - Start to be mindful of all the assumptions that you make, writing them down can help to identify any particular patterns or themes. Ask yourself ‘what evidence do I have to support my thoughts or perceptions?’
  • - Open up to friends, colleagues, family, and share how you are feeling; you will be surprised how many people experience negative thinking and talking it through, exploring it with someone who cares about you can be very productive, for both parties, helping you work out ideas and potential solutions
  • - Cultivate an attitude of gratitude, think about what you will enjoy and appreciate about becoming a veteran, just this exercise can reframe your thinking and change your mindset to a more positive outlook

 

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom”

Viktor Frankl, Holocaust survivor and author of “Man’s Search for Meaning”

 

- Kate Mizon, Army Veteran and OppO

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