Chingona Revolution is hosted by Erika Cruz, a rebel who left a 6-figure tech job to pursue her own unconventional path to success by following her passion that led to her purpose. Every week, Erika will bring out of you that BADASS LATINA through her experiences to overcome self-doubt and family expectations and lead with COURAGE.
You’ve heard of machismo, but have you heard of marianismo? As Latinas, we have been told that we have to be a certain type of woman to gain the respect of our community. We have to be the type of women who are constantly selfless, self-sacrificing, and accepting of the machismo around us. But by becoming this kind of woman and by embodying these marianismo ideals, we not only let ourselves down but we let our community down.
In this week’s episode of the Ch*ngona Revolution podcast, we will be talking about why marianismo ideals only serve to hurt us, and how we can break away from the ideals and meet all our own needs while still loving and serving our community. It’s time to self-actualize and I am going to give you the three steps on how to do it yourself.
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Join the waitlist for Courage Driven Latina here.
Hello and welcome back to Ch*ngona Revolution Podcast. Today’s podcast episode is a solo episode where I am sharing with you something that has been on my mind over the last couple of months, but even since starting my business and even since starting this, this podcast. And I want to talk to you all about this idea of self-sacrifice, which is so common in the Latino, Latina, Hispanic community.
Where self-sacrifice is looked at as something that is so humble and something that is valued, to be, to be quite honest. And if we look at the definition of what self-sacrifice is, it is the giving up of one’s own interests or wishes in order to help others. or advance a cause. So this sounds positive, right?
Like, okay, let me not be selfish so I can help a bigger mission. But what I have personally seen happen within the community is that we give up our own interests and it’s not helping advance anyone else. Right. So there’s this term marianismo. I actually learned about Marianismo. From UDT Gomez, who’s my good dear friend.
And she actually came to talk to my group about money on these more back in like 2020. And it’s so funny how I’m like full circling back to a lot of things that have happened in 2020, a lot of ideas, a lot of the things that I was doing and things that I was interested in. I feel like I’m coming back around in a cycle.
So, I came across money on these more recently because I was thinking so much about self-sacrifice and
The definition of Marianismo is in many Latin American or Hispanic cultures, an idealized traditional feminine gender role is characterized by submissiveness. By being submissive, essentially,
selfless, aka humble and not caring for themselves, hyper-femininity and acceptance of machismo in males. And here I am sitting here as the host of Ch*ngona revolution, right? The revolution of the badass women, the revolution of freedom and standing up for yourself and for what you believe in and doing it from a place of love.
And yet I fall victim to a lot of these different things of self-sacrifice. And I have. throughout my career, throughout my life, and I’m going to share some of those with you. But I want to, in this episode, share with you how can we go from self-sacrifice that actually is not helping the community advance.
It’s actually hurting us, and we’ll get into that in a second. But how can we get from that to self-actualization? And if you’re familiar with the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, self-actualization is the top of the pyramid, which is essentially the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities.
So like reaching your full potential essentially. So if we look at self-sacrifice, it is so ingrained. In our community that it goes as far back as our parents crossing the border or your grandparents crossing the border. Right? There’s this idea of like, oh, yeah, once we cross the border, everything’s going to be fine.
But then we cross the border in search of the American dream. But. The American dream for who, right? Because our cultures are working to the bone. We continue to self-sacrifice. Our community continues to self-sacrifice even after crossing the border. And we value hard work so much, and we value this self-sacrifice so much.
But for what? So this American dream actually can be an American nightmare because it’s essentially the rat race and then growing up I remember being told that oh once you know Everything’s gonna be fine once you get married and have kids or everything’s going to be fine Once you get a job, everything’s gonna be fine.
Once you’re done with school and While maybe not every single one of those things were stated to me in those exact words, it was always implied. So I remember being in high school and thinking, oh, once I graduate from here, everything’s gonna be fine. I’m gonna be happy. And then I graduated and it’s like, oh no, but now I have to do college.
Once I get my degree, then I’ll be happy. And then once I was in college, it was like, no, once I… Start working and make money, then I’m going to be happy. And then I started working and then it was like, no, once I get a promotion and make more money, then I’m going to be happy. Once I make six figures, then I’m going to be happy.
And then I made six figures and you know what happened? I was not happy. I felt like the biggest imposter. I was like, this is. Somebody messed up just like I thought somebody messed up when they let me into college. And, you know, we keep making happiness this destination and we make it contingent on goals, but then the goal, the goal post keeps moving.
The target keeps moving. We can’t keep moving it and moving it forward. And I remember when I was working in tech during the pandemic, we were all sent home from the office and. I remember sitting in my little studio apartment. It was the smallest shoebox apartment. It was so tiny, a small little studio.
And I remember hearing about people passing away and healthy people passing away and us not having enough ventilators and all of these different things. And I remember thinking to myself,
if I transition working in tech, I am going to regret not going after what I actually wanted to go after. And it took me seeing healthy people passing away to realize that the time was now right.
I couldn’t keep Making my happiness a destination. I couldn’t continue to self-sacrifice because it wasn’t helping anyone.
And I know that you listening can relate, right? Where we’re like, Oh, once I get the promotion, I’m going to be fine. Or you’re unhappy at your current job. And you’re like, Oh, a new job is going to fix it. And then you get there and you feel the same. You’re excited for a few weeks and then you feel the same.
And self-sacrifice comes up so much as we think about. This idea of first-generation guilt. I was had a speaking engagement yesterday for Hispanic Heritage Month. It was one of my last speaking engagements. And one of the questions that came up was how do you take advantage of opportunities that you have that your parents didn’t have?
Don’t you ever feel guilty? And the answer is, yeah, of course I feel guilty, but I also feel honored that my parents granted me these opportunities, that my parents went through everything that they went through for me to have access to these opportunities. But when we decide to play small because our parents didn’t have these, these opportunities, that is self sacrifice and it is not self sacrificing.
In order to help others or a cause advance that doesn’t help anybody, right? If you are holding yourself back from taking opportunities because the people around you didn’t have access to those opportunities, you’re doing the people around you a disservice as well, because when you take advantage of those opportunities and when you take up space, you can bring those people with you.
But if you decide to stay small, the entire community stays small, right? So self-sacrifice doesn’t actually help our community advance. You being humble does not help our community advance. Self-actualization and becoming the best version of yourself and realizing your true potential and fulfillment, that helps the community advance.
So how do we go from self-sacrifice to self-actualization? The first thing is that we need to recognize where it is that we are self sacrificing. Where is it that we are playing small because either we feel guilty that other people didn’t have this opportunity, or maybe because we think it’s a positive thing to look humble and be humble, or maybe because we don’t want to make other people feel bad with our success.
Identify where you are playing small and ask yourself, is this what my highest self wants for me? Or is this what you would want for your child? Is this what you would want for somebody that you care so deeply about? Would you want them to be playing small? No, you probably wouldn’t, right? So first answer, identify, you know, what, where it is that you’re playing small.
Ask yourself. Is this what you’d want somebody that you love to do? And then third, what would your highest self do? What would the self-actualized version of you do? What’s the action that you would do? What’s the thoughts you would think? How would you feel? And if you did step into your higher self, into this higher version of you, into your self-actualized version, I want you then lastly, this is the fourth thing, ask yourself, how is this going to serve your community?
And I can give you my responses, right? I was self sacrificing by staying in tech. Did it look like that from the outside looking in? Of course not. It looked like I had my life together. I was able to travel the world. I got these amazing opportunities. I was promoted. I was moved to different teams. And I had health benefits, which, you know, according to my mom, that was one of the best things I could have had.
She loved that I was able to work from home. She loved that I was able to travel around. In my mom’s book, I was living the American dream, but from my perspective, I was not. So, I was self-sacrificing. I was self sacrificing because I did not want my mom’s sacrifices to be for nothing, so I was settling.
So if we look at this scenario, the first step for me was to recognize that I was self-sacrificing and not doing what I actually want to do. And just a reminder, the definition of self-sacrifice is giving up one’s own interest or wishes in order to help others, right?
So I was giving up my own interest to leave tech in order to please my mom. And then the second thing I would then need to ask myself is what I want my mom to do that, right? Would I want her to stay somewhere just because she thinks that’s making me happy? Hell no. No, I would not want that for her. I would not want that for my niece, for my nephew.
I wouldn’t want that for anybody in my circle. And then if I channel my higher self, what would the most self-actualized version of me do? Well, we would give myself a chance. Right. We would go after what it is that I wanted to do. I would go after starting this business and I did have to ask myself, what is the worst thing that can happen?
And that’s what allowed me to then make the decision. I asked myself, what’s the worst thing that can happen? And I said, well, if I leave technology and I start my own business and it doesn’t work out, I could come back to technology. And then I realized, holy smokes, I’m literally in the worst-case scenario already because I’m already in tech.
And that is what allowed me to build the courage to leave. And then the last thing, right, that I really had to ask myself is how does living my true potential, how does me stepping into my highest self serve everyone around me and serve my community? Well, let’s first talk about my mom, right? Because she was the one that I was concerned about.
Well, when I step into my highest self, when I’m living a life that I love, not only am I happier, I’m nicer to her. I then inevitably end up feeling more abundant because I’m in alignment and doing things that I actually love that I can have a lot more time, freedom, financial freedom that I could spend time with my mom.
I could do cool things with my mom. And sure enough, a year after starting my business, I want to say this was like 2021 in May. For Mother’s Day, I took her to Costa Rica, and I paid for the entire trip, and it was the biggest, like, Mama I Made It moment, right? Because here I was, keeping myself in a small box to please my mom, when the reality is my mom just wanted me to be happy.
And when I actually went after what I wanted to do,
I was then able to treat my mom in ways that I couldn’t treat her when I was working in tech.
So, by stepping into self-actualization instead of self-sacrifice, I was actually able to help my mom advance. Like, my mom is now on my payroll. She helps me with things in my business. I’m able to provide for her and give her things to do that she’s able to do.
And she loves my business. She loves that I’m doing what I’m doing now. And then if we think about just advancing a cause with over 170 women that have gone through Courage Driven Latina, we’ve changed the lives of over 170 women and more through this podcast, right? Had I stayed in tech, I would have only.
Impacted the amount of people that I interacted with in real life, or let’s say that I stayed in tech and created content, there’s no way that this podcast would even be. A possibility when I was working in tech, because I was so busy and the whole purpose of this podcast is to provide coaching for those of you who listen to this podcast without having to be a client.
Obviously, if you choose to work with me, we’d love to have you as a client, but the whole purpose of the podcast is how can we give back in a way that’s completely free and this wouldn’t have been possible to do if I was worried or if I was working 40 hours. At a job. And again, I, this is not telling you to leave your job and go start entrepreneurship.
I actually think that entrepreneurship is something that you really have to desire because entrepreneurship is not easy and entrepreneurship is not for everyone and not everybody needs to be an entrepreneur, but I’m just using this story to talk about the difference between self-sacrifice to self-actualization, how to go from that transition.
And we can use another story. So let’s use another example from my life. Let’s look at me calling off an engagement. So, I was self-sacrificing when I said yes to that proposal because I was giving up my own interests in order to please my ex-partner. And then if we look at the definition of Marianismo again, right, it’s essentially really letting myself be passive and selfless.
Especially around men, and this is something I’m still working through. Oh man, like let’s take a little, a little pivot here. Last night I went dancing and it was so fun, but I ended up dancing with this one guy who was looking to correct everything that I did. And I’m still a pretty beginner at salsa and I was dancing salsa. So this guy was looking to correct every little thing that I did. And almost just very controlling and it no longer became fun because he was so nitpicky and he’s like do it again No, don’t do that.
Do this. Don’t do that. And mind you this is not a class It was social dancing, which is supposed to be about having fun and it took me a Like four songs before I could be like, you know what? Thank you so much for everything that you’ve taught me. I’m going to go dance with somebody else now. And, and I was just like, why am I people-pleasing this man?
I don’t even know. And I own nothing too. And it’s just that this Maria Nismo stuff is so deeply rooted in us. Like I remember. One of my family members asked me to not share my accomplishments with another family member who was a male so that I didn’t make him feel bad. This is so deeply rooted in our culture that we are still unlearning it.
Okay. Back to the story about calling off the engagement and how this applies to from self-sacrifice to self-actualization. So we know how I was self sacrificing. And then when I really took the time to reflect on what is the future going to look like for everybody in this situation. If I continue to self-sacrifice, I realized it was actually going to hurt us.
Right. And I’ve talked in the past about how people pleasing actually leads to people hurting, and it’s the same thing with self-sacrifice, right? I was people-pleasing my ex-partner about.
Potentially getting married, which in the end was going to hurt so much more because if we had to move forward with that, there’s no way we would have still been together because we were just on such different pages of life and we were two good people that were trying to make it work, but we were on different pages of life, having different pages of life.
Desires for what we wanted. We just had different visions and it was not going to work.
I totally lost my steps now. That was like combining steps two and three. But the last one is how was me stepping into my most self-actualized. Self to my highest self beneficial for everybody, right? How was it actually beneficial for others? Well, it benefited my ex-partner because I then allowed him to go meet the person that he ended up marrying.
Right. And if I had taken that space, he wouldn’t have had that. So it was beneficial to him, but it was also beneficial to my community because it was a very public.
that was broken and it showed people, it’s okay to change your mind. And I’ve now been on stages talking about this story. And I can’t tell you how many people have resonated with this story who’ve been in the same situation. And just hearing my story has empowered them that they have a choice and that they can change their mind and they can make different decisions.
So self-actualization and owning our interests, our desires, Self-sacrifice is what helps others and helps advance a cause, not self-sacrifice.
So I’m not sure what it is or how it is that you have been self-sacrificing, but I hope that this podcast episode has taught you that it’s okay to follow your interests and your desires because when you do, you help everybody. When you do, you give other people permission to do the same. You don’t want your loved ones self-sacrificing.
You don’t want them self-sacrificing for you or for anybody else. You want them to do what’s going to make them happy, but it starts with you doing that as well. Remember, happiness is not a destination. There’s always going to be new goals to attain, and I’m not telling you to not have goals. I have goals.
I have financial goals. I have relationship goals. I have all types of goals, right? But I do not make my happiness dependent on them, or at least I try my best not to.
When we really step into self-sacrifice, The way that you know that you’re self-sacrificing is if you procrastinate. If you’ve been wanting to do something and you keep procrastinating, maybe it’s a project, maybe it’s launching a podcast, starting an Instagram page, launching a business, or it’s just working on yourself, building your confidence,
maybe creating a more intentional friend group. If you find yourself procrastinating and staying in your comfort zone, that is also a form of self-sacrifice. And that’s why I’m hosting a free workshop, which I’m so excited about all about procrastination to purpose, how you can kick off your courage project in 90 days and a courage project, as I mentioned earlier, could be a business, it could be a podcast, but it could really just be working on yourself.
It could be creating a journaling practice. It’s so. Much magic happens inside of my group program Courage Driven Latina besides the Courage Project. Yeah, people are working on a Courage Project because it gives them something to work towards. But, I mean, we really get into it about dating, about life, about business, about all, all of the stuff.
And what I do know is that the way that you reach self-actualization is through aligning with your purpose. And the way that you stop procrastinating is through aligning with your purpose. So, the cure to procrastination is purpose and self-actualization. And if you want to learn how to step into that, and how to stop procrastinating.
Come to the workshop. It’s happening on November 1st. You could register for free. Make sure that you tell a friend about it as well. And if you took anything away from this podcast episode, as always, please send me a DM, post it on your stories, share it with an amiga. I appreciate you all so, so much, and I will see you all next week.