Picture this scenario…….
You’ve been working on a personal project. You’ve being dreaming big, your goals are set, and you can’t wait to get started. You’ve spent the last few days putting together the plan, it is ready to execute, and you are certain that the end-result is going to be amazing. As you are immersed in anticipation, you receive an unexpected phone call. It’s an old friend that you went to school with. She calls “a vez en cuando” to see how things are going and to reminisce on the good-old-days. You are a few minutes into the conversation and you find yourself unable to contain yourself. You start to share your goals and vision with your friend. You expect to hear excitement and encouragement come from the other end of the line, but instead you hear, “Mira! Mira! You dream too big girl! Do you actually think that you can do that? Success don’t come that easy. Don’t you remember what happened to Jaime when he tried to make it big? Caricaturas! Cartoons! I swear!!! It was a mess! Que no te recuerdas?” You hear a child screaming in the background followed by your friend saying, “Yo, these kids friegan mucho. I got to go. Peace out girl!” Before you can gather your thoughts, you hear a click, followed by silence, and the silence followed by a dial-tone.
Latino culture promotes values that are polar-opposite of the American value of individualism. Latinos tend to value loyalty, relationships, and respect in a way that is uncommon to other people. These values are deeply ingrained and reinforced in our lives from birth to adulthood. Although these values help guide our interactions with others, they can also hinder us if we do not set proper boundaries. This is ever-so-evident when it comes goal setting and planning. Your desired end-result, and the pathway to get there, may be a strange idea to your friends and family. Because of this, you may find that even your closest loved ones are a hindrance to the future that you want to have.
Choosing between your goals and your loved ones is not an easy task. Especially when it is counter-cultural. However, today I want to give you permission to set boundaries and avoid 3 types of people. Your adherence to this is crucial to your success.
“La Negativa” (Negative Nancy): The scenario that I shared with you, at the start of this blog-post, is familiar to many. I’m positive that each of you know at least one person who brings up the worst-case scenario to your mind when you share your dreams and visions with them. Every time you give this type of person a platform to speak into your life, you are opening the door to doubt and discouragement. Continuing communication with this person will cause you to second guess yourself. Instead, surround yourself by someone who believes in you and encourages you. Find someone who will be with you in your corner cheering you on towards success. Find someone who you can celebrate victories with and that will offer a non-judgemental-ear if things don’t go as planned.
“La Chismosa” (The Gossiper): Picture yourself meeting someone for coffee. You are a few weeks into your new project. You are still bursting with excitement and feeling great about life. The person that you are meeting with is aware of your goals. You can’t wait to give your friend an update. You sit down, and you are asked, “Hey, how’s it going with your project? Te esta llendo bien?” You start to speak, but before you can get a word out you hear, “Oigas?, before I forget, dejame platicarte lo que paso con mi primo. He’s starting to date that psycho again! You are not going to believe what she did……”
Ok… Chisme can be entertaining. However, as entertaining as it can be, it is also a major distraction. Too much gossip can cloud your mind and set you back. When you are working on a goal, you want to surround yourself with people who help you keep focus. Spend time with people who are more interested in seeing you succeed than finding out the dirt on those around you.
La Santa Muerte (Lady of Holy Death): We all know that one person who walks around like they have a black cloud following them. They suffer from chronic “poor me” syndrome. You hear them saying things like: “A mi nada me sale bien. Nadie me quiere. Ya ni quisiera vivir. No se porque me pasan tantas cosas malas.” Before you think that I’m an inconsiderate jerk, I want to give a disclaimer, “I know that life isn’t always fair.” We all face difficulties and we all need a shoulder to cry on at times. However, if the people that you associate with seems to be a personification of death, you better run! Hearing the constant complaints of a friend or family member will zap you of your energy. That energy is needed to reach your goals. Instead, hang out with people who are excited about being alive. Hang out with people who are experiencing success. Hang out with people that you look up to and aspire to be like.
Whatever your goal may be. I wish you the best. It is my hope and prayer that you will find amazing people to accompany you on your journey.
Photo credit: Foter.com