Considering a career in the military or law enforcement? Your success might hinge more on your social circle than you think. Let's dive into why it's crucial to cultivate positive relationships and how you can achieve this.
Why Your Social Circle Matters in the Defence Force
When you apply to join the military or police you are quite often the only person in your social circle doing what you are doing. Your friends don't understand and your family only slightly get's it. So, what does that mean? Generally you are the 'black duckling' and you need to find yourself a circle of others who know what you are going through. Surrounding yourself with positive influences is more than just a mantra. In high-pressure fields like the military or law enforcement, it's a necessity. Positive relationships fortify your resilience, keep you focused, and propel you forward. Conversely, toxic ties can divert your attention, sap your energy, and impede your progress.
Recognising Toxic Relationships
Before you can cleanse your social circle, you must recognise the toxins. Here are some classic signs:
The Impact of Toxic Ties on Defence Force Hopefuls
In high-stress professions, mental strength is as crucial as physical fitness. If your energy is constantly drained by personal drama or toxic relationships, maintaining the mental fortitude necessary for navigating the application process is paramount. There is more than enough stress with your assessment day, interviews, medical and last but not least the fitness test, so adding in toxic humans who literally serve no purpose in your life other than to empty your energy reserves is something that might need to be addressed.
Strategies to Foster a Healthy Social Circle
Setting Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries aren’t barriers; they're protective perimeters. Whether it’s confidently saying "no" when overwhelmed, steering clear of negative chatter, or dedicating moments for self-reflection, these boundaries sow seeds of mutual respect and understanding.
I use what I call the GAF Pie Chart (Give A Fuck).
Now, let's look at the grander scheme of things with the GAF Pie Chart. The pursuit of a demanding career is a pie chart broken up into 24 hours. Each day we we break up the time between routines, habits, relationships, and self-care taking, work etc. Take a moment to draw your own pie chart and fill in your ideal day. Everything from how much time you allocate for sleeping, training, commuting to work or uni, house admin, socialising etc etc.
Now, let's be honest. Did you actually add in 2 hours a day to ponder over the toxic people in your life and then how much time you spend doubting yourself? I bet not. So, why the hell do you allocate so much of your day to these people....? Confronting right? haha
If it ain't in my GAF Pie Chart then guess what?? You ain't getting a second of my time.
The GAF Pie Chart is not just a task manager but a value aligner. It’s about dedicating your time to what truly aligns with your goal of joining the military or police. By identifying and focusing on the essential slices, you streamline your journey.
self-care during the cleansing process
During the self-care process it's very likely you will feel a bit down about the people you are no longer wanting in your life. It's not an easy process but like everything "there's a positive on the other side of every negative, you just have to get there".
Journalling at the end of each day about navigating this process may help to give an outlet for those thoughts. It's super important to never miss a day of training as well. Because at the end of negative experiences you'll be given a special gift of feeling confident on your own body. No one can ever take that away from you.
Several other self care tips include:
- positive meditations first thing in the morning
- setting up affirmations around your house so that no matter what you are constantly reminded of your dream goal.
- if it's difficult to include nutrition into the process then simplify it. Just get one thing right each day - if that means breakfast then just get breakfast right every single day. The self assurance you'll get from knowing that every single day you got your breakfast right is unbreakable.
- get yourself a Battle Buddy!!!
In addition to distancing yourself from toxic individuals, it's important to set boundaries with those in your social circle who may not be toxic but still require some level of management. Boundaries are limits you set for yourself and others that define what is acceptable behaviour. Examples of healthy boundaries include:
- Saying "no" when you don't want to do something or can't commit to a request
- Refusing to engage in gossip or negative talk about others
- Taking time for yourself when you need to recharge or prioritise self-care
- Sticking to your GAF Pie Chart
Now that you are ready to set boundaries and prioritise your goal of serving in uniform don't hesitate to check out our ADF & Police Applicant Ultimate Training Package to ensure success.
We work with some of the best service providers for ADF and Police applicants.