“Everyone loves inspiring beginnings and happy endings; it is just the middles that involve hard work.” —Rosabeth Moss Kanter, author and Harvard professor
Whether you’re anxiously awaiting new responsibilities as you advance to the next pay grade or preparing to be away from your family during an upcoming deployment, feeling like you are stuck in the midst of transition can be difficult… even for the most squared-away Sailors. Fear and doubt can manifest in a variety of ways, preoccupying our thoughts and eventually impacting our daily lives and decision making. You can navigate these feelings using the Principles of Resilience, specifically exercising trust in yourself, your shipmates, and your family.
Trust is built through experience, shapes our perspectives and influences our personal actions and expectations. While sometimes the unknowns of a transition are motivating, it can also be a discouragement if fear is generated from self-doubt. Trust yourself, and believe that you can successfully navigate unfamiliar situations by acknowledging your apprehensions, fears, and even the things that you’re less confident about—and turn them into opportunities to build resilience. Through the principle of Controllability, by doing your best to work toward viable, positive solutions, you can regain self-trust and strengthen your ability to trust others.
Trust not only encompasses personal integrity, dependability, and competence, but implores those characteristics from your leaders, peers, and family, too. Trust that others will recognize the support and resources you need to be successful throughout your transitions, and trust that you can allow yourself to feel comfortable communicating your apprehensions or feelings to your shipmates and family. This can help refocus perspectives and gain a greater sense of control, but most importantly, it reminds us that we are not alone.
Like any component of Operational Stress Control, fostering trust is a shared responsibility. While we can take steps to trust ourselves as individuals and be more trusting of others, leaders must help generate a climate that reinforces organizational trust. Leaders: reach out and connect with your Sailors, both inside and out of the work center, to build and foster trust. Step back for a few moments to observe and gain a better understanding of what you can do to help Sailors better navigate stress and thrive in their environments. As members of the Navy community, we can all take an active role to support every Sailor, every day, through the small changes or big transitions. We are all in this together.