31. 3 Quick Tools for Returning Missionaries

Coming home from a mission can be a big change!  But, that change doesn’t have to leave you without confidence, swimming in negative emotion, or feeling like you have no purpose.  After working with hundreds of clients, I’ve boiled all of my best tips for RMs into these 3 Quick Tools.  Listen in and equip yourself, or someone you love, with tools you can immediately implement to navigate your transition home.

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0:00 Hey, what’s up everyone, it’s Jennie, the LDS mission coach and you are listening to the LDS mission Podcast, episode number 31. Three quick tools for returning missionaries. I’m Jennie, the LDS mission coach. And whether you’re preparing to serve a mission, currently serving a returned missionary or a missionary mama like me, I created this podcast just for you. Are you searching for epic confidence? Ready to love yourself and to learn the how of doing hard things? Then let’s go. I will help you step powerfully into your potential and never question your purpose. Again. It’s time to embrace yourself. Embrace your mission. Embrace your life, and embrace what’s next.

0:51 Hey, everyone, welcome to the podcast. Good to be with you on this fine, very gray and cloudy day, which has now turned into snow. Can you tell that I’m not thrilled? I was actually just on a call with my one on one coach, I have a coach. And I was like, Oh my gosh, it started snowing. And she was like, yay. And I was like, no, not yay. Of course. I’m not a winter sports person either. The one time that I did go skiing when I went to Rick’s back when it was Rick’s I, it was just a terrible disaster. And then my friend who had decided to take me skiing since I’d never been before decided at the last minute that instead of being on the bunny hill, maybe I should go down one of the blue or the black diamonds. Yeah, I’m pretty sure if I remember correctly, they had to like send up a rescue party to bring me down the mountain. So maybe that’s why you don’t like the snow. It’s just all of the memories from that, I don’t know, funny story. But um, we’re just kind of getting through January, but the kids will be excited about the snow. But I just prefer to be cuddled up inside with a book or a good Netflix show. Or working on more ways that I can help more preparing, currently serving and return missionaries. I sure love doing that. I actually got the chance to go speak at a steak thing a couple of weeks ago to a mission prep group. And I was able to give them lots of ideas about how to be mentally prepared for the mission. Of course, people are always going to have ideas about what you should do, to get ready for the mission and things you should do to get ready for the mission. But what I like to focus on is how to be mentally and emotionally prepared for the mission. So it was super, really fun to be with them and to give them ideas about how to do that. But today, what I want to talk about is actually tools for returning missionaries. Sometimes I’ll hop on a strategy call. And what I often say when I hop on those strategy calls with a missionary mom or with a return missionary is that we’ve worked our whole lives to prepare our missionaries to go on missions. There’s actually classes in many of the universities, and in many of the institutes around the country that will give us tools to prepare for the mission. But we could really improve in the area of giving our return missionaries, tools for coming home. Like many of the preparing missionaries, people will have a lot of ideas about what you should do. When you get home either like work full time, stay really busy. Make sure you visit the temple, make sure you keep up on your spiritual habits, like the list goes on and on of what people will recommend for you to do when you get home. And I’m all for all of these actions and all of these activities. But what you’ll find is having mental tools and mental strategies in your back pocket for when you get home is infinitely more important than just going through those motions on their own. And so what I’m going to offer you today are three tools for returning missionaries to help in their transition home. I actually have a free video series that I offer on my website at Jennie dildine.com. If you just click on the upper, there’s a little tab in the upper right hand corner that says free video series. And you can get these videos straight to your inbox that go over each of these tools. More in depth here on this podcast. I’m just gonna kind of go over them quickly. But if you want a more in depth way that you can help your return missionary. Go to Jennie dildine.com. Click on that Think free video series and you can get those videos ready for them so that they can watch them pretty soon after they get home.

5:09 Now, one thing I want to say about these tools is, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been out, it doesn’t matter how long that you’ve been serving, these tools are actually applicable for whether you’ve served just a small amount of time, or for 18 months or for the 24. If you had a good experience on your mission, if you’ve had a not so good experience on your mission, these tools should apply to all of you. I’m going to offer you three tools today. And they are number one, there’s no wrong way to feel. Number two is busyness does not equal confidence. And number three, you can’t lose your purpose. So number one, there’s no wrong way to feel. The truth is, my friends, when you come home from your mission, at least in nearly every example that I’ve seen, it is going to be tough to transition home, you’re gonna have a lot of emotions, you might experience emotions, like discomfort, you might feel discouraged, you might feel overwhelmed, I’ve seen a lot of social anxiety, you might feel just kind of sad, because you miss the mission. So there’s a lot of emotions involved there. So what I want to offer to you is number one, there genuinely is no wrong way to feel. I worry sometimes that on the mission, we think we’re doing it right if we don’t experience negative emotion. And so when we come home, and we experienced negative emotion, we sort of think we must be doing it wrong, we start to have thoughts like I shouldn’t miss the mission, I shouldn’t be struggling, I should be happier. And sometimes we just think we shouldn’t feel confused. We shouldn’t feel conflicted. But this is all just your brain. Remember, if you’ve listened to any of my podcasts, you know that we have this lower brain that’s trying to keep you safe and protected. It’s always looking for problems. And it’s always going to offer us thoughts that create this negative emotion, there’s genuinely nothing wrong, your brain starts to freak out just a little bit because you’re in a new environment totally fine, there’s really no wrong way to feel. So just make room for all of it. Make room for all of the emotions, whatever they are. Number two, busyness does not equal confidence. This is probably the number one piece of advice that I hear from people talking to return missionaries is they say, just stay really, really busy. Now, it might be useful to stay busy. But sometimes it actually has the opposite effect. Because when we stay really busy, it doesn’t actually give us a chance to process and allow all of the emotions that we’ve been feeling. It kind of distracts ourselves from the thoughts that we’re thinking. And that can work for a little while. But it isn’t always useful long term because those thoughts and those feelings will still be there. The other thing about busyness is that on the mission, we’re sort of taught that busyness is like the most important thing that we can do that we can work really hard and stay really busy. And so on the mission, what happens is we start to get confidence a little bit from how busy we are. We start to gain our confidence from things outside of us from the service that we do, from our companions from the members. We even kind of get a little bit of confidence from obeying the rules. But here’s the thing about getting our confidence from how busy we are, or from the things that we do is that can go up and down. See, we’re used to creating that confidence based on what we’re doing on the mission and then we come home and we don’t have the same opportunities. So our competence tends to plummet or sometimes just go away completely.

9:48 So instead of creating confidence from the outside in based on what we’re doing and how busy we are, try creating confidence from the inside out. Confident Since you guys is actually created with our thinking, and the only reason on the mission that we were able to feel more confident when we were busy is because then we would give ourselves permission to believe something about ourselves. Like I’m doing a good job, or I’m fulfilling my missionary purpose. But we actually have the ability to think those same thoughts. Now, a lot of times missionaries will come home, and I’ll have a strategy call with them. And they’re like, Well, I’m not really doing anything right now, I’m not really going to school, I don’t have a job yet. I just know that I should be busy. And what I say is, you know what, no, we don’t want to base your confidence on whether you have a job or not, let’s just decide that you’re doing a good job now. So again, busyness does not create confidence does not equal confidence. Confidence comes from what you’re thinking. And then the third tool that I want to offer to you today is you can’t lose your purpose. The definition that I have for purpose is your purpose, or your thoughts about yourself, and your thoughts about your role in the world. And when you’re on the mission, you are given a list of thoughts, to think about yourself, and to think about your role in the world. Now, when you come home, the purpose doesn’t just go away, your purpose might change. But again, it’s not something you can lose, because it is just the thoughts that you have about yourself, and your thoughts about your role in the world. Now, some of you might have a little bit of confusion about what you want to think about yourself now. And what you want to think about your role in the world. Now, that’s totally fine. Of course, like, give yourself some time to figure it out. But know that your purpose can’t get lost, it’s actually just a choice. You get to decide what you want to think about yourself and what you want to think about your role in the world. And what I would just recommend is you just choose something and go ask yourself, Okay, I’m home from the mission. Now, what do I want to do? What sounds fun. So again, just a quick overview for you of these three tools for returning missionaries. Number one, remember, there’s no wrong way to feel all of its normal, all of it’s fine. If you’ve feeling any of these emotions of discouragement, or overwhelm, or social anxiety, or doubt, or whatever it is, all of it’s totally normal and fine. That’s just your lower brain. Number two, busyness does not equal confidence. Remember, let’s try instead of basing our confidence on how busy we are, and outside of us, let’s instead base our confidence on the inside with thoughts that we choose to think about ourselves. And number three, you can’t lose your purpose. Okay, it’s not something that just happens upon you, or that falls upon you, or that you lose, it’s actually just thoughts. So get intentional, and decide what you want to think about yourself and think about your role in the world. Okay, you guys, I hope this helped you is kind of just a quick overview. If you want to again, go to Jennie dildine.com, and click on that video series for returning missionaries. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom, you can get it for your son or your daughter, or if your return missionary, you can get it for yourself. After working with hundreds of clients, I’ve boiled it down to just these three tools. And I go much deeper in in those videos. So I hope that they help you. Okay, everyone have the most amazing weekend. Everyone stay warm, stay dry, and I hope you get to enjoy some Netflix because I know that I am going to to take care. Bye bye. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast today.

14:19 If you want to learn more about the mental and emotional tools I teach young adults so they can overcome worrying anxiety serve the successful missions they’ve always dreamed of, and navigate their post mission experience with confidence. Go to Jennie dildine.com. Or just come hang out with me on Instagram at Jennie dot, the LDS mission coach. And until then, remember, no matter which part of the mission experience that you’re involved in Jennie, the LDS mission coach is thinking about you every single day

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Hey! I'm Jennie - The LDS Mission Coach.

Preparing for, serving and coming home from an LDS Mission can present countless changes and transitions. I’ve seen these changes put missionaries at the mercy of their emotions and questioning their abilities. With the tools I teach, young adults empower themselves to navigate every moment of the mission experience with epic, unwavering confidence.

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