I have previously discussed that the first step to transition starts with you and your mindset; the attitudes, self-perceptions, and beliefs you hold about yourself. You need to challenge the thoughts that tell you “I can’t do that, I don’t know how”. This fixed mindset doesn’t allow you to achieve anything new. You require a growth mindset, where you know that you can grow and develop, which is key for every transition. A growth mindset requires an embrace of challenges, mistakes, self-reflection, learning, and ownership. My previous short articles discussed how you can adopt a growth mindset by embracing change as a challenge and not a threat, reflecting on previous successes & mistakes, self-reflection, and mentorship. Today I will conclude my growth mindset discussion with two important aspects of growth: learning and ownership!
Most if not all military members will tell you that physical training is important. If you want to achieve a new PB on your run, push-ups, or whatever you are working towards you expect to work towards it. The brain is like a muscle that needs to be worked out, just like the body. You wouldn’t expect to do 100 pushups without any training, so you shouldn’t expect to develop a new skill or new knowledge without any learning. Don’t be scared of learning a new skill, remember to view it as a challenge, not a threat, and be fierce!
Transition and growth involves learning and developing new skills, however, this will not be the same for every person. You can make learning a bit easier for yourself if you are able to identify the best ways you learn. Learning styles relate to the different approaches people can learn, for example, you may learn more effectively using your hands rather than through reading. I personally learn through an intrapersonal, or solitary style, which means I like to concentrate and focus my thoughts independently. If I was learning in a group classroom environment I know that I learn by at the end of today writing and reading over notes at the end of the day.
Once you understand what your learning style you can adjust your training to make it more effective, and get better at what you are studying. You may need to form a group with people to vocalise your ideas or download all the text in advance to read. If you have gone through the WithYouWithMe veteran portal recently you might have already conducted the learning styles questionnaire. Make sure you read your learning style results and think about how you can apply that information to help your transition. Learning a new skill or undertaking training does not have to be intimating, it’s an exciting challenge, that you can prepare for to increase successful completion.
Once you have changed to a growth mindset and are excited about the challenges and development to come with your transition, it is up to you to own it. You can and should discuss your transition plans with friends and family, and use transition services like WYWM, but at the end of the day, this is your transition. Take ownership over your attitude, your learning, your transition. You are the only one who can think for you with your mind, so be accountable and own it. If you believe you can learn and grow, then you feel responsible for making those positive changes happen. You need to make the plan and achieve the goals. You need to change your own mindset, get excited, learn from previous mistakes, identify your strengths and weakness, and learn that new skill. WYWM will provide that support, and if you have any questions about your testing, career matches, or WYWM training, please get in touch, but remember, this is your transition. Own it. Be fierce.
Team Leader- PathfindersRebekah is our Pathfinders Team Leader, an Army veteran and music lover. In her free time, you can find her planning her next trip overseas and helping others in their transition to civilian life.