As a community of women of cultural backgrounds, we have all experienced moments rapt with self-consciousness or a measure of frustration around our cultural differences. What most of us fail to realize is that our cultural histories can actually be huge sources of strength, especially when it comes to career and life aspirations.

We are blessed with a rich ancestral tapestry that can be drawn from for inspiration when it comes to the paths we wish to follow. For every perceived “negative” aspect associated with a culture, there are countless more positive, wonderful traits to motivate us towards our goals.

Here are 3 ways to tap into your culture and community to achieve your goals…

Find The Strength In Your Roots

Stereotypes can be damaging; however, seeking out the positive traits your culture and community is known for can serve as a source of strength and pride.

Consider the answers to these questions:

  • What are some encouraging, positive traits that are usually associated with your cultural background(s)?
  • What are people who share your roots known for?

Do some research if necessary, and make a list of positive traits in your journal, then go back and read over these encouraging words whenever you feel like you need a boost to fuel your forward momentum.

You can even move some of these traits to a vision board and hang that somewhere prominent, so you’ll see it when you first wake up, or while you’re working during the day.

Let Your Ancestors Inspire You

Think of your family background and the stories that helped to shape you. If you’re uncertain about the stories that built your personal history, ask your relatives! Not only will that help you cultivate a stronger sense of self, but you may learn some spectacular things about those who came before you, and how they forged their own life stories.

  • Did your parents or grandparents immigrate to this country in search of better lives?
  • How hard did they work to achieve their own goals?
  • How did their ambition and perseverance serve them?
  • Who helped them attain their own dreams?
  • How can their actions help to motivate you in turn?

So many people have ancestors who started anew from absolutely nothing, often having arrived in a new land with just a few dollars in their pocket. These are people who cultivated lives for themselves, raised families, gave their children opportunities for great educations, and created a legacy.

One thing that separates some contemporary people from previous generations is that our forebears were willing to do whatever it took to succeed. They didn’t balk at jobs that they didn’t particularly want to do, but rather saw them as stepping-stones to where they needed to get to. They made whatever sacrifices were needed to create the lives that they wanted, and showed immense resilience while doing so.

These are examples to live by when it comes to pursuing your own dreams. If your great-great-great-Grandparent could create a business or lead her community, so can you.

Lean On Your Community

As you dig into your own history, most of you will undoubtedly discover that your ancestors didn’t just rely on “luck” to achieve their life goals: they had help. Have you noticed how tightly knit communities help each other? Historically, this is exactly what community has been for—support.

Recent generations have been inundated with the idea that individuals have to carve their own paths all by themselves, but that’s not how things really work, is it?

People help each other, and just as you would step up to help someone in your community, know that there are other great people who are willing to help you in turn, and would be happy to do so.

It’s important to be able to ask for help when you know you need it, and just as important to be willing to receive the help with grace. If possible, talk to your own family members directly and ask them about what they overcame to have the success that they did. Then ask them how they did it, and after that, ask them to help you achieve your own goals… even if it’s a matter of introducing you to people in their greater social network who can offer a helping hand.

Your cultural background is an asset and it naturally provides you with broad community within which you can connect. Be sure take the opportunity to lean on it when needed and allow yourself to be delighted by the support that lies in your own “backyard”.

Tap into your the strength of your background and community today and one day, you’ll be in a position to help others while sharing your own success with the next generation of leaders who share your cultural roots.