By Vera Koo, Women’s Outdoor News, November 29, 2015

Vera Koo describes her journey to becoming one of the world’s finest shooters and how she overcame cultural obstacles and why you must shine through, too.

My husband, Carlos, likes to tell a rendition of an old Chinese fable about a conniving fox who takes the form of a beautiful woman.

The woman marries a poor man, and it is a mystery as to how the man could get such a beautiful wife. The neighbors do not realize she is a fox, because she hides her tail under her dresses. Even so, friends and neighbors suspect something is afoul, and finally, on one occasion, her tail shows, and her ruse is up.

This story illustrates a tenet of life that I hold to be very true: You are who you are. You can try to be something you are not, but it does not work. Eventually, your true self will show.

Oftentimes, we feel we need to please a lot of people. To do so, we become something we are not. I find this to be especially true in young people.

Trying to live this way is exhausting. Every day, you puff yourself up and put on a good show, trying to please people. The next morning, you go through the same routine. Each night when you come home, you deflate. If you do this day after day, it drains you.

Frequently, even if you think you are fooling people, people can see through your disguise. You might work very hard to appear to be a caring, friendly, intelligent person, but if that is not who you truly are, your tail will eventually show.

I went through much of my life trying to please everyone. I was expected to be a good daughter, an attentive mother and a serving wife. I was expected to be a meek and mild Chinese woman who tended the house and cooked the meals. I dutifully performed to those expectations.

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