10 Tips to Develop a Growth Mindset as a Latina

Happy woman with arms to the sky

Stuck. That’s what a lot of people feel like in this crazy game called life. But what’s making you feel like you don’t move an inch no matter what you do? Well, it could be a lot of things. Most of the time, it comes down to having and nurturing a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset. “Growth mindset” has become quite a buzzword, but we’re telling you, a fixed mindset will singlehandedly stop you from growing. Where’s the fun in that, huh? If you want to start making some changes and develop a growth mindset that will keep you moving, here are 10 tips that will help you get started:

Start embracing your “imperfections”

phrase written with letters from the game screablle, the phrase says: perfectly imperfect

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In Latino culture, we celebrate authenticity and individuality very passionately. Think of Frida Kahlo’s unibrow; it’s part of what made her iconic. Many other people often get mocked for a feature like that, but she embraced it, and she embraced herself as she was. There’s power in that. The sooner you understand that perceived imperfections, whether physical or of any other kind, aren’t flaws, the easier it will be for you to embrace them. Once you do that and cultivate self-acceptance, no one else will have power over how you feel about yourself.

Face challenges head-on

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Challenges are a part of life and Latinos are mostly known for meeting challenges head-on and finding solutions. When Latina women want to achieve something, they eventually find a way. That requires you to reframe every challenge and setback as an opportunity rather than something to deal with. Every challenge can be an adventure and thinking about it that way is what will help you discover strengths you didn’t even know you had.

Mind your words and thoughts

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Our words and thoughts shape our reality and most Latinas understand the power they have. If you want to move forward in life, you need to start paying attention to what you say to yourself and what you think about yourself. Negative thoughts are something we all experience. If you’re a Latina with a marianista mother, negative self-perception has probably been taught to you from an early age. So negative thoughts have become second nature, but it’s important to uproot them. Whenever you catch yourself having a negative or judgemental thought about yourself, replace it with a positive one. Choose self-acceptance and constructive criticism instead.

Don’t look for approval from others

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One of the many truths universally accepted is that seeking validation from other people will always disappoint you. Not to mention it’s just not healthy! The thing about Latinas is that most of us grow up in tight-knit communities and families. That’s why it’s easy to fall into wanting everyone’s approval to feel like you’re on the right track. While it’s important to lean on family and friends, it’s also important to trust yourself. Cultivate your self-approval and don’t focus so much on impressing other people. Impress yourself first and foremost, and don’t let your path be decided by what others would approve of.

Keep it real!

Woman smiling

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Authenticity is one of the many values we hold dear as Latinas, so pretending to be someone else is a big no-no. It’s the easiest way to hold yourself back and disrespect everything you are. Granted, authenticity isn’t always well-received and it’s not uncommon for other people to want Latinas to suppress their fire. But that’s no reason to betray yourself or your heritage. Be brave and embrace who you are and your culture every step of the way. Otherwise, you’re just limiting your own potential and dimming the things that make you unique.

Cultivate a sense of purpose

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The thing about people with fixed mindsets is that they don’t usually know what they want to be or where they want to go. Finding one’s North can be very challenging, especially when you don’t feel like you’ve figured out the kind of life you want to lead. That’s where self-reflection comes in! You should spend time thinking about the things that give your life meaning. That’s the road to finding your unique purpose and once you have that, pursuing it will be much easier.

Redefine what “genius” means to you

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Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, that’s part of the fun of being human. The thing is that you need to identify them. That’s the only way to recognize and celebrate your strengths while also working on your weaknesses. Instead of being guided by someone else’s or society’s definition of genius or success, ask yourself what those things mean to you. As Latinas, we’re taught to work hard for what we want and be dedicated to our careers. Apply that attitude to your personal development and growth as well and it will take you farther than you thought possible.

Change the way you accept criticism

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Criticism can be a very difficult pill to swallow. Latinas, in particular, often have to deal with criticism coming from discrimination and racism, which leads to a certain level of defensiveness. That said, we should remember that we’re the ones who give others the power to make us feel like “less than.” Whether criticism is delivered constructively or not, we can learn how to process it and decide if we want to take it or not. Even our worst haters can give us exactly the kind of feedback we need to succeed without meaning to. That’s the power of learning to examine criticism and take whatever benefits you.

Learn to enjoy the process as much as the results

A mother and her daughter cooking while having a good time

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For many Latinos, the journey is as valuable as the destination. Whether it’s making a meal for the entire family or learning a new skill, many Latinos take joy in the process. It’s where the magic happens! If you don’t see it that way and all you care about is the destination or the results, you’re missing out. Not only that, you’re holding yourself back. If you learn to focus on the journey and the process, you will find joy, fulfillment, and success every day, instead of only finding that at the end, when it feels like it only lasts a second.

Remember the power of “not yet”

poster with the phrase: "The best is yet to come"Photo by John Benitez on Unsplash

Whenever you struggle with something, is there a voice at the back of your head saying “I’ll never get there”? Well, hold your horses! Struggling with something just means you’re not there yet. “Not yet” is a short phrase that holds a lot of power and can instantly shift the way you perceive a challenge, a setback, an obstacle, and anything in between. So remember the power of “not yet,” let that be your go-to phrase whenever something’s not going as planned. Eventually, “not yet” will turn into “I did it! I got there,” and you’ll feel even more capable than before.

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