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  • Writer's pictureDr. X

The Origin Story of Uplift Energy Coaching

Updated: Feb 2, 2022

I am Dr. Xavier Bruce, a.k.a. Dr. X, and I founded Uplift Energy Coaching.

In Uplift Energy Coaching, we help BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) veterans with self-leadership skills. It's all about learning how to “uplift your damn self” from the inside out.

If you have to rely on a lot of other people who may have different types of bias or competing priorities, you start to think about doing it yourself.

I'm also the co-founder of Uplift In-Powerment, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit, where we focus on veterans in their facade. Sometimes we act like we're dressed and good to go, but we're not. So, we look a

t fitness, awareness, connectedness, anxiety, depression, and energy.

I'm also the newest Region Five commander of the National Association of Minority Veterans ( NAMVETS).

I wear several hats but it’s all about helping our BIPOC veterans across the nation.

What experience inspired Uplift Energy Coaching

When I was in the Air Force Academy, I had some struggles. I almost flunked out my freshman year. I quit the football team because my grades were so bad. But I persevered and I graduated. And I put up with issues like (what's called now) microaggressions, micro insults, micro-inequities, covert racism, and discrimination.

It wasn't until I got older and started rewinding the tape that I realized what was going on and why I was having such a hard time.

It all came to a head in 2011 when I was in Kandahar, Afghanistan when a rocket landed nearby.

I was going through a rocky marriage. I was finishing up my doctorate, which is difficult by itself, and I was dealing with rocket attacks at the same time. So, when this rocket landed about 50 feet away, it rocked everything in the office.

After I pulle

d myself off the floor and ran out to the bunker, I felt like I needed to talk to somebody about how I was feeling. The stigma associated with it is an issue even now. But ten years ago, I didn't feel comfortable going to military medical care. So I said to myself in that bunker, “You know what, I need to uplift my damn self.”

Fast forward today and that's the slogan. That's the motto, that's the logo.

How we provide support for veterans

There are so many services and organizations out there, so we're not trying to duplicate them. What we're doing is we're trying to help our veterans identify their energy and what's keeping them from living the life that they were designed to live.

There are six types of stress that MESS UP the way that we show up, especially BIPOC veterans. MESS UP stands for mental, emotional, spiritual, social, universal, and physical.

We're not showing up the way that we would like to show up during our transition.

So we help them out through workshops, group coaching, social events, and engagement because when BIPOC veterans came back from Vietnam, they wanted to get into these veteran servi

ces organizations. But many of them weren't welcomed in places like the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

Fast forward to 2021, they're older now and they really never reconnected and rebuilt that camaraderie that they lost when they got out of the military.

So, we’re rebuilding that and creating a platform to bridge the generations of BIPOC veterans. Not just fun and games but we’re helping with anxiety and depression. We nurture connectedness through SERVICE.

SERVICE stands for social, economic, residential, vocational, insurance, compensation and education.

It's all about holistic transition services for BIPOC veterans.

Advice I would give my younger self

I would tell myself to invest more time in technical skills.

I'm a Doctor of Business Administration, and yes, I’m high-level, strategic, visionary, and creative. However, when you get out of the military and you try to find a job in the civilian workforce, well, they already have people who are in the C suite. They don't really need my leadership as much as they need someone who is certified in a particular discipline, someone who is more hands-on.

So if I couldn't do it all over again, I might have gotten more certifications, rather than getting a doctorate. Having a doctor’s letter on the front of my name, I can go and teach at universities.

I can do that, but I'm here to help with black veterans. Many of us are striving to get the highest level of education because that's the measuring stick for black folks and other people of color.

However, I'm here to tell you that it's not all peaches and cream. When you get out, you can go teach but will teaching provide you a similar income that you had when you're in the military? So if I can do it all over, I would get a certification or two.

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