As Veterans, we transition from the Military with Ego’s the size of Super Man, and we wake up one day as Clark Kent and we still have the same EGO we had the day before.

How does that work?

Well, let’s look at why we needed the EGO in the Military.  The easy answer is that we wanted to be the stereotypical service member that thought he was on top of the world; super fit, look good in a uniform, and filling that empty void of not feeling like our life mattered before our service.

It’s something we are trained to use to become almost superhuman in the heat of battle, move past our instinct of fear, and fills us with adrenaline of self-importance. When we are not in battle we often stay stuck in this default position of ON. It is a protection mechanism that we all have that protects this sense of identity that we hold that we don’t want to let go of.

Think about an area of your life that you become someone bigger than you are by default, now that you’re out of the uniform.  You exaggerate stories around friends to make them sound better, you live in your military “Glory Days”, talking about what you used to be able to do, and how much you’re owed now because of your service. This is a trend across the Veteran Transition space and if you’re looking to get props for what you used to do in a world of “what have you done lately”, I am sorry but you’re going to fall behind and feel like your life has no purpose.

Our EGO at work protects us from something, that something can be many reasons, but it is reflective of an area that either you’re ashamed of, don’t want to be judged, found out, or simply labeled.

Most Ambitious VETS that we work with now in one-on-one sessions or in our group program The  Ambitious VET Sprint, we find that mostly the ego is triggered because we are afraid of not being able to be perceived as powerful, gritty, or as strong as we were in the military.

So, you become an ass to win friends and opinions that don’t matter, thus resulting in more feelings of not being in tune with your next mission in life.

We get it, a lot of Vets deal with this after transitioning. The solution is being mindful to what you’re saying and feeling in the moment.

Once we have a behavior pattern in us, it can be hard to break.

Now that we have pointed it out, what do we do about it?  Simple be mindful of it, the first thing to move past any situation is to simply be aware of it.  Notice the areas you feel your EGO is most active and start digging into how you’re feeling when those situations come up and why it makes you uncomfortable.

Don’t be afraid sometimes to sit in an emotion to understand it.  Don’t suppress, allow yourself to understand why you feel the way you do.   Emotions are meant to be understood, not suppressed.

Emotions are meant to be understood, not suppressed.

Why is this important to transitioning out of the uniform you might be asking?

Our EGO is what will hold us back from everything we desire in life; it will convince you don’t need that help in getting a job, it will be what holds you back from getting that promotion at work, and will not allow you to admit your skill gaps, so you know how to increase your value for increase.


EGO creates self-absorption where the world rotates around you.  When the reality of what makes a successful transition is learning to serve others. Simply doing what you already were doing in the uniform, serving those that matter to you and making their lives better.

Zig Ziglar has a great quote that we live by at the Ambitious VET Network, “You can have everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.”

You might already be aware that your EGO is holding you back, you might have already judged yourself as a dick.  Did that help?

Probably not, EGO isn’t the enemy always; it is an indicator of where the real work needs to be done to move our life forward.  Recognizing it as a survival mechanism vs. something to avoid will help you push forward in a positive direction.

When we judge ourselves, we can easily convince ourselves we just suck, and feel broken.  You probably keep saying, “I should have done this, should have done that.”  Stop shoulding yourself, recognize EGO is a tool or a compass of sorts to find the deep dark secrets you don’t talk about, but mentally hiding in your shadows.

Our brain is using the EGO as a survival mechanism to keep things in shadows. Only when we find those areas and bring them into the light can we start the transition to a life without worrying, doubting, and being unfulfilled.

Only when we find those areas and bring them into the light can we start the transition to a life without worrying, doubting, and being unfulfilled.

Think back to a time you felt overwhelmed in a conversation. What was overwhelming about it?  Did you feel yourself constantly pivoting to keep your shadows behind you out of view?  We spend a lot of mental energy keeping our shadows protected; these are the shadows that feed your EGO to protect yourself from getting hurt.

Just like Super Man gets his power from the Sun, so can you when you bring your shadows into the light. The cool thing is, you get to choose how your life goes out of the uniform.

If you don’t think that way, or you’re confused in the process of how to make your life impactful, fulfilling, and happy after your service, connect with us. You can join our Facebook group of over 530+ Ambitious VETS inside the trenches, making it happen or check out the next Ambitious VET Sprint scheduled to be LIVE March 6th, 2019.

Spots are limited as we are only taking on 10 Ambitious VETS in our last 12 week beta group of our program that is right now ONLY PRICED AT $47/month or $141 upfront. After this next sprint it will be going up to $97/month and will be an automated program that you will not get any real time connection to Chris Hoffmann. So, if you are looking to identify that next mission and execute it in 90 days, go and join our Facebook Tribe or mailing list for more details on the program.

All the details will be announced inside our tribe on Facebook or if you’re inside our mailing list you will receive updates as we get closer.


By: Ben Killoy, Military Veteran Dad Podcast, Marine Corps Veteran