You know, I think part of the reason Soldiers beat themselves up has a lot to do with example.
As in, we feel as if we are the only one in our predicament, and we have no precedent for success as far as our group is concerned. Most have never seen someone like us do well in life with their own eyes, so we assume we can't do well at all.
At camp, I learned role models for success make a big impact on your approach to life. My professor is sharp like a honed blade. She's one of the youngest staff on campus and began teaching at twenty one years. And as a black female she's a double minority, but she's also one of the most astute, honest, and encouraging people I know. She's authentic and has a rapier wit, and that's what people notice first about her. Not her gender or her skin.
I guarantee most people you regularly interact with do not remember you for your category. You see your category as a far larger part of you than any of your close circle. Those that do remember you for what box you're in don't know you well enough or don't care to know you in the first place.
Your box doesn't matter if you don't want it too. That's what my role model gradually burned into my brain. I encourage everyone in my shoes: get a role model, a true mentor. You have lots to learn, too.
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