• Episode #24: Overcoming Early Trauma and Building Resiliency with Ericka Kelly

      Retiring from the US Air Force within the top 3 enlisted Chief Master Sergeant leadership roles as the senior advisor for the commander of the US Air Force Reserve, Ericka Kelly provided HR strategy for 74K personnel across 60 bases worldwide. She also recently retired from her position as the criminal investigator for the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection Agency. Currently, Ericka runs her own business as a professional speaker, executive coach and trainer for issues including resiliency, diversity and inclusion, domestic violence and law enforcement. She shares her unbelievable story leading up to service in the Air Force, and she reveals her continued commitment to serving the military community. 


      Lessons Learned:


      • Sometimes, it’s important to look back on your life in order to understand why you are where you are, today.
        • You may or may not have escaped an abusive environment through your military service. If you did, you are not alone.
      • Ericka’s formative years gave her the impression that she was not valued or valuable. She learned her value over time and wants you to know that you are valuable.
      • When life gut-punches you, stay down and assess the situation before you get back up. If you don’t, you will repeat the lesson until you change.
      • Be grateful for the difficult, ugly and hurtful people and situations in your life, because they have shaped you into who you are.
      • Your perspective can make you stronger through bad times, and it can also break you in the midst of a challenge.
      • Opening up and being genuine helps you in your personal and professional life.
        • The journey is the important part.
        • Sharing your story allows others to connect with you and may even give someone else hope.
      • It’s never too late to choose to move forward.
      • Time may pass more quickly in your transition than you realize.
        • Take care of yourself.
        • Mandatory transition programs may give you takeaways of websites and emails, but they won’t help you change your mindset.
        • Don’t keep your schedule so tightly packed that there’s no room to breathe and process.
        • Take your leave.
        • Take care of the medical appointments.
      • Find the post-military role or roles that include the important parts of who you are.
      • There is no finish line to learning in life.
      • Own your emotions.
      • The military effectively programmed you. Now, you need to reprogram yourself because the 99% in the world outside of the military will not adjust to you.
        • Most will love you and want to help, but they don’t know how and they don’t understand where you’re coming from.
        • Just like you wouldn’t expect to travel to a foreign country and communicate in your own language with citizens who have a different primary language, don’t expect civilians to speak yours.
      • Your present conditions do not reflect your future.
      • You have everything you need to be successful, significant and transformational.
      • You can connect with Ericka through:
        • https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericka-kelly-enterprises/
        • https://www.facebook.com/Ericka.E.Kelly
        • https://www.erickakellyenterprises.com/

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