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Latinx Culture, Productivity and Why We Care So Much about what Our Families Think

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Did you know most Latinos have a hard time following their heart because they’re worried about what their family will think?

Yep! It’s true.

Latino/a/x culture is what’s called a collective culture meaning we prioritize the group (family) over the self. While mainstream US culture (based on Northern European values) is centered around self-reliance – in other words,, the focus is on the individual.

Depending on where you’re from and where your family is from, you will think one way of being is right, and the other one is wrong. 

So, you can begin to understand that growing up bicultural can lead to all kinds of internal struggles that have external expressions like…

✔️ There’s always a shortcoming: Your Spanish isn’t good enough. You’re “acting like a gringa” which calls your true Latinidad into question. 

It becomes exhausting to feel like you always have to prove yourself and it often leads to paralyzing self doubt and imposter syndrome.

✔️ For a lot of Latinos, our self-worth is tied to productivity. It’s SO hard to sit back and just feel proud of yourself especially since so many of us as children witnessed our parents sacrificing so much for us to have a “better life.” Making good on that sometimes means we don’t know when to stop or we feel like we can’t stop, or if we stop we’re not appreciating the sacrifice. 

One of my biggest personal insights is when I realized that I’d been focusing on my joy coming AFTER the attainment of a big achievement instead of taking time to be grateful and allowing myself to experience joy in the moment. 

✔️ Following your heart feels like rejecting your family: Doing your own thing can often feel like you’re betraying them. And it’s a hard and profound identity shift to realize that following your heart is not betraying them, lo contrario, it’s actually making their sacrifices more meaningful.

No one else is walking in your shoes. They’re not you. They’re not the ones that have to live with the consequences of the decisions you make.

It’s ok to act and think for yourself. In fact, this is how you actually bring your best self to the people you love and how you bring your best self to the world.

Just some food for thought.

I think you know what I did to follow my heart but in case you don’t, I went from being a stay-at-home mom to an award-winning filmmaker. 

I’d love to hear about the last time you listened to your heart!

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