Culture

7 Creative Ways To Deal With The Fear That You’re Not Good Enough

Imposter syndrome, man. It’s that little voice that tenses your shoulders, causes knots in your belly, and tells you that you’re not good enough. “You’re a fraud,” it says, “you don’t know what you’re doing, and pretty soon everyone at work or school is going to see you for the fake that you are.”

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Credit: ABC

“Latinas Think Big,” a site devoted to Latina empowerment, breaks down possible reasons why imposter syndrome impacts us in a particularly big way:

With rare exception, Latinas are often cast in less than leading roles—we apparently make credible maids, cooks, secretaries, baby sitters or nannies. No doubt, all of those are noble jobs that have fed countless  families and put children through school. But think back on the number of times a Latina has played the role of a successful lawyer, engineer, CEO or therapist in film or television. Can’t think of many, right? As a consequence, those of us who are in those roles often have that unique burden of proving that indeed we are legitimate players in those settings. It’s no surprise– Latinas have two career challenges: Doing the hard work that your professional duties require and keeping the assumptions others make of us in check.

So how can you combat it? Here are some tips:

1. Be your own Kanye.

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Credit: Nickelodeon / Tumblr

It’s SO easy to focus on the negative. A bad comment tends to stick with us longer than compliments.  Counteract this by being more like Kanye: 

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Credit: VEVO

Dude is his own best cheering squad. And the trick is, you don’t even have to be confident to practice being confident. Just using more positive language about yourself to yourself can lift you up. Talk the talk, and eventually you’ll believe it.

Here’s how to start: Keep track of your successes. Plop ’em into the “Notes” section on your phone or keep a running tab on your calendar. That meeting you led flawlessly? That essay everyone loved? That was all you, bb. Revel in it.

2. Sweep the sh*t away.

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Credit: CBS Films

It can be tempting to focus so much on all the (figurative, mostly) sh*t on your path that you forget to focus on the path itself. You become caught up in the little mistakes, mishaps and missteps that you begin forgetting your bigger goal. When you have a specific goal and purpose — whether it’s giving a presentation without being nervous or earning a big promotion — it’s easier to not sweat the small setbacks in the grand scheme of things. So stop focusing on the sh*t. Wipe your feet and keep going. (Again, figuratively. I hope.)

3. Be jealous. For real.

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Credit: Disney Channel

Jealousy can actually be a super useful emotion if approached in the right way. It reveals what we want, and we can work on ourselves accordingly. Are you jealous of someone else’s writing or people skills? Awesome. Now you know that are things about yourself that you should focus on the most. Let the things you’re jealous of and the people you view as competition lead you to becoming the best version of YOU.

4. Look to a mentor who isn’t a cheerleader.

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Credit: Paramount Pictures

The academic and professional worlds are daunting enough even if you’re not dealing with feeling like you don’t belong. Having someone who’s been through it all to guide you makes it a little easier. And know that a mentor isn’t there to cheer you up or cheer you on: They’re teaching you and making you better by pointing out your mistakes and how you can improve upon them. If imposter syndrome tells you that you don’t belong because you’re not good enough, a tough mentor will let you know that you’re good enough to invest their time in. Put another way: You’re good enough now to become great later.

How do you get one? Start asking questions to someone at work you admire — specific questions on how you could improve, and see whether a rapport is formed. You can also sign up for mentors through your college, or through a variety of organizations.

5. Cultivate a support group. (And bring wine.)

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Credit: CBS

You don’t have to deal with this alone and, in fact, you shouldn’t. Beyond a mentor, look to others who are in a similar boat and at the same level. They don’t even have to work with you or even be in the same industry, although that certainly helps. Get together with friends for some healthy (limited) venting or a celebratory night out (with wine, lots of it) to mark your successes. These are the people who’ll be around when you need someone else to help counteract that negative voice in your head. Sign up for networking groups through your school or city, or make sure to have lunch with your coworkers instead of eating it alone at your desk.

6. Be supportive.

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Credit: NBC

Just as you need support from others, others will need it from you. Giving other people a pep talk helps build up stronger ties, and it can also help clarify things for yourself. We tend to be harder on ourselves than we are on other people, so helping others work through their issues in a gentle, constructive way can actually provide you with template on how to talk to yourself.

7. Take a damn break!

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Credit: Gifbin.com

Create balance in your life so that work and/or school don’t take up all of your mental and emotional energy. Slow down and enjoy your meals. Take a stroll during your lunch break. Savor your free time. Read a book you really love. Meditate before getting out of bed, or right before you sleep. Or just allow yourself the time, even just an hour, to veg out and watch Netflix with some gummy bears. Doing small things just for you will make you a healthier, happier person who is better able to deal with stress.

And remember:

You got this!


READ: These Latinos are Cashing in on Their Insta-Success

Have you felt “less than” at work? What tips do you have for combatting that feeling?

This Latina Came Up With A Genius Hack For All Those Requests For Booty Selfies

Culture

This Latina Came Up With A Genius Hack For All Those Requests For Booty Selfies

Monica Escalante / Facebook

If you’re dealing with an influx of requests for booty pics, Monica Escalante has got a solution for you. This savvy Latina uses the app Wit Puzzles to give her prospective beaus what they want, all the while making them work for it. 

Modern romance, what even is it? What did old people do in the past? Talk in person about their interests? Well, I haven’t got time for that, I am a well-educated, sophisticated woman; I’ve got “Drake is Dominican” memes to collect for my Master’s thesis. My parents met when they were 13 in the 1600s or whenever, I don’t know. All I know is hip hop wasn’t even invented yet. They’re still together. Love isn’t dead it’s just old. As I like to say, out with the old, in with the new. 

Meet this innovative queen.

Monica Escalante is a mere 18 years old and already shifting the paradigm of the modern sext. She and her friends have been using the Wit Puzzles app. The app turns any photo into a sliding puzzle game. You send the game to a friend for them to solve. It sounds fun and innocent, and yet… When a gentlemen caller requested a butt pic, as gentlemen callers do, Escalante decided to turn her derriere into a puzzle. Her mind! 

“My friends and I would just send random pics and see who would solve them the fastest and then an idea hit me and I was like wait, he wants a booty pic I’m gonna make him work for it,” she told BuzzFeed News. “So I just decided to send my booty pic as a puzzle.”

Would you want to date a guy who can’t solve a simple puzzle?

Escalante’s tweet went viral with over 56,000 likes. Most importantly, her man friend was able to solve it. Imagine if he couldn’t? How embarrassing that would be for everyone involved. I shudder to think!

“I am pretty sure he liked it, he solved it super fast, in less than 5 minutes with 34 moves,” she said.

This isn’t a lifestyle it’s a movement.

Whenever anyone has a good idea, it is bound to be imitated by others. The slide puzzle booty shot isn’t a lifestyle, it’s a movement. This is the next frontier of sexting. Don’t just give these dweebs your precious nudes, test them. How can we incorporate the Pythagorean Theorem? Yo, my guy, you have to know how to solve for X if you want to access my catalog of nudes.  

Unfortunately, others tried this technique and, naturally, some men were too “limited” to understand the proposition. 

Men were disarmed by this new collective bargaining chip. Great, that’s the whole point. Some felt this was a technique reserved for the elderly. That just seems like further proof this is a wise choice. 

“Damn I got to solve puzzles to get nudes nowadays. How old are we, 77?” One person responded.  

Another person praised the genius of the booty pic sender, as one should.

I mean this is a legit creative way to answer those damn requests Requests for nudes that guys always be slipping in them DMs and texts.

Thank this humble queen.

Escalante isn’t asking for monuments to be erected in her image as she should. Instead, she is a mere humble goddess who is satisfied with people liking her idea. 

“The reaction from Twitter has been amazing, people love it and I’ve been getting DMs from girls and guys doing it,” said Escalante. “I’m glad they’re having fun with it.”

When I think of making men solve puzzles to earn intimacy, I think of the eternal words from one of history’s greatest masters of the English language. “We found love in a hopeless place” — Rihanna. Yes, but we still found it. 

The San Antonio Four Were A Set Of Wrongly Convicted Lesbians Who’d Been Accused Of Devil Worship In the 90s

Entertainment

The San Antonio Four Were A Set Of Wrongly Convicted Lesbians Who’d Been Accused Of Devil Worship In the 90s

"Southwest of Salem"

In the ’90s, members of the LBGTQ community were finally starting to find some tolerance in mainstream culture. Most major cities around the world had a gay night scene and many small communities were being formed by lesbians and gay men. Unfortunately, LGBTQ people still encountered bigotry and homophobia regularly. From everyday altercations to murderous attacks, being gay in the ’90s was still dangerous.

That didn’t stop Elizabeth Ramirez from coming out and living her life as a gay woman. Although her hometown of San Antonio Texas was very conservative at the time, Ramirez was happily involved with her girlfriend, Kristie Mayhugh. The two were building a happy life together along with their close friends, Cassandra Rivera, and Anna Vasquez.

Unfortunately, devastating accusations would rock San Antonio and cost each women years of their freedom.

This is the story of the San Antonio Four and the horrible accusations and homophobia that led to their incarceration.

Twitter / @maurinanoe

The events that led to their imprisonment started innocently enough. The four women were staying together at the time. It was 1994 when they welcomed Ramirez’s young nieces into their home for a weeklong stay. After the visit, the girls’ father went to the police and reported a truly horrific story.

According to the father, Javier Limon, the girls had been sexually abused and tortured by the women. More than that, his accusations claimed they had been gang-raped in a Satanic ritual and “indoctrinated into a lesbian lifestyle.” The nieces were only 7 and 9 years old at the time.

The girls were interviewed several times and gave inconsistent statements with varying details. Physical examination found no major signs of sexual assault. However, prosecutors used child abuse specialist, Dr. Nancy Kellogg, to argue the opposite. In now-defunct testimony, Dr. Kellogg blamed common vaginal wear on abuse by the San Antonio women.

The San Antonio police department claimed that the women’s sexuality was not relevant to the investigation. Yet, their actions argue the opposite.

Twitter / @PopularLonerr

This case was during the Satanic Panic of the 1990s. The public was obsessed with news of Satanic rituals and cults during this time. Homosexuality was often linked to these reports of rituals and sex magic. It was also a common thought at the time that homosexuals were more likely to sexually harm children. Had the four women not been recently-outed lesbians, the police more than likely wouldn’t have pursued the complaints.

Likewise, had the women not been lesbians, the complaints probably never would’ve been made to begin with. Limon, the girls’ father, was romantically interested in Ramirez. The San Antonio man was her brother-in-law but he had expressed desire for her before. Notably, when she was just a teenager. Ramirez had rejected him before coming out. However, her happy relationship with Mayhugh probably encouraged Limon to retaliate against the women.

Sadly, the San Antonio Four were tried and found guilty. They each received between 15 to 37 years in prison for a crime that had no proof.

Twitter / @mercurymiya

It wasn’t until 2012 when any relief seemed likely for the jailed women. That year, one of Ramirez’s nieces recanted the allegations. Furthermore, she explained that her father, Limon, was to blame for the accusations. Her father, she said, threatened her and her sister as girls and continued the emotional abuse all their lives. This is what kept the San Antonio Four’s innocence a secret for so long.

In 2012, Vasquez was the first of the San Antonio Four to be released from prison. However, it was parole that released her, not her own innocence. It wouldn’t be until 2013 that the other three were released on bail while their guilt was reassessed. Later that same year, their sentences would be cut short and they would be declared innocent of all charges. The San Antonio Four were finally free.

Their struggle encouraged the documentary “Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four.” Now, you can stream the truth for yourself.

Twitter / @DaRealChrisCo

“Southwest of Salem” follows the redemption of the San Antonio Four. The documentary was released in 2016 but is now available to stream on both Hulu and Amazon Prime. It has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 100% Fresh and is scored 7.1/10 on IMDd.com. The documentary also won a Peabody Award and won “Outstanding Documentary” at the 2017 GLAAD Media Awards.

“Southwest of Salem” clearly deals with difficult themes. However, it’s an important documentary to see — especially as more cases of police and prosecutor misconduct become uncovered. If we know of the atrocities that have happened in the past, we can stop them from ever happening again.

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