“Talent is good. Practice is better. Passion is best.”

This is a quote attributed to architect and writer Frank Lloyd Wright. I cannot begin to express how many talented Latina women I see around me who neglect to tap into their gifts and talents. I am not certain if they do this because they are afraid that others will not support them or if they simply do not see how special they are. Sadly, I believe that there is a lack of support within the Latina community.

When I was growing up, I was cautious about discussing my dreams because I feared that I would be ridiculed or mocked. Unfortunately, sometimes our own family members are our biggest obstacles. In many cases, they do not mean harm. However, far too often their words, behavior, and even their absence in our lives, is enough to discourage anyone. Our dreams are shot down even before we have the opportunity to vocalize them. The mindsets within some of our families need to change. Many hold on to these stereotypes tightly, as tightly if they are embracing their abuela (grandmother) for the last time: “No te vayas, abuela!”

Stereotypes have the power to hold back generations of Latina women and this needs to change drastically. As Latinas, we must be the first to put an end to the stereotypes because no one else is going to do it for us. We cannot allow for another young girl who dreams of becoming a dancer, an actress, a singer, or even a writer to feel discouraged because her family does not support her dream.

We must follow our dreams even if to our family, they seem unconventional. The dream might die because others discourage us with their thoughts, but the passion still lives on, even if it is deep within her soul, even if its light is dimmed.

What good is your talent if you hide it because someone else did not believe in it? No one else is supposed to believe in it, but you. It is your dream, not anyone else’s. Your talent is free but your passion is sold separately. You have what it takes! Set that passion on fire and make that dream reality.

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