This quote appeared in my LinkedIn feed this morning and really hit me
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any
Does this resonate with you as a defence or veteran family member? Large parts of our lives often seem so far out of our control – where we live, when we move, how long we stay in a job. The mental challenge that comes with this can be enormous. For me personally it has waxed and waned over the years. In the early days it often felt like an adventure; never knowing what was around the corner but never a dull moment. In the middle years when I had young children for whom I was the ‘must have parent’, the housework was never ending, my career had stalled and my husband was rarely around (or when he was Defence told him his priorities lay elsewhere from the ‘homefront’) I felt like I had lost the power to make decisions and was living a life not of my design.
I know I’m not alone in feeling like this. The military has a very real presence and influence on our lives. But here are a few things to consider to ensure you don’t give up your power
- Focus on the things you can control, and don’t waste energy on those you can’t
- You are unique. I love a Dr Seuss quote “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You“. Your individuality is a super power.
- Invest in yourself
- Take time to reflect on what is important to you, and on what you’ve contributed and achieved. The only person who gets to define what success looks like is you. Don’t live according to other peoples’ version of it.
- Focus on the big picture. Are the things happening now, which are for the most part under someone’s control, part of your bigger life design that you have the power to orchestrate? Or
- Focus on the here and now. Feel the power in the little, everyday decisions.
- Lobby for change. There is very little stopping us from using our voices to lobby for changes that will improve the lives of defence and veteran families. And you get to decide how you use your voice. There are organizations that you can provide feedback to such as Defence Families of Australia. Military Life and the Home Post have joined forces to provide partners with resources to get started with raising their voice on issues they care about. Of course, back to the point about being unique, you do it your way. No one speaks for you unless you allow them.