If I just tried harder, I’d be more successful.
If I could just figure out what’s wrong with me, maybe I could fix it.
Life seems so much easier for everyone else. I must be doing it wrong.
These harsh words were my inner voice, my unwelcome mantras, for decades. They were the fallout from hearing, over and over again throughout my adolescence, “You’re just not living up to your potential.” If only my teachers had known that I couldn’t claw my way to my “full potential” by sheer will alone. If only I’d had the words to tell them.
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