In the latest episode of the Currently Podcast, guest Laura Herrera shared insights with us from the front lines of social justice and change. Our biggest takeaway is that there are no easy solutions to the issues we face. Laura shared with us how she has leveraged resilience to push through personal and professional setbacks.
What forces us to keep going after a loss or during difficult times? Resilience is a muscle, something that you build up every time you have a defeat and you push through that setback and you think about the lessons you learned and how you can take the lessons to improve your life. I once thought there was going to be a point where the setbacks we're going to stop happening and my life was going to be wrapped up.
But all we can do is be prepared. Here's some insights from our conversation.
On Being the Only Woman/Latina at Work
"You can't just let some people think you know about you, your gender, or your comments based on their limited scope. You have to inform people in order for them to know that these people are going to are going to go into their own communities and going to create their own impact so you don't want them going off with the wrong information. So you have to raise your hand and pull back the myths. "
"When you're in certain spaces, you're speaking on behalf of the community not because you want to take on that role right but because you have you feel compelled to speak up. "
On What She Learned After Running for Office
I learned who my true friends were. I wasn't ready to learn some of the lessons that I learned.
Don’t ever run to attract power, money and fame. But if you know why you're doing it and you know that is because your community needs you that's going to get you through it. And that's also going to help you deal with the ebbs and flows.
On The Defining Moment of Our Generation
We're dealing in a time where the American dream that we thought was going to be given to us is not necessarily true. Because of you know student debt and the housing crisis. The impact of the gig economy and not necessarily having a job that is going to promise you a pension and a retirement at the end of at the end of your career is affecting us. We're dealing with a lot of the repercussions of the economic downturn of 2009 when I graduated from college.
Social media is really great for generating buzz around the issues that we care about and that we can talk about and we can show the issues that that are most important to us. The problem is we've gotten so comfortable with having a lot of opinions from behind the screen but what we need to do is get out there and find their squad.
I feel like power has been taken away from us, like we in a sense part of what this election did I think for a lot of young people is that they feel like, “Oh it doesn't really it really doesn't matter.” But believing that is what makes the other side win. If you think that your voice doesn't matter if you think your values don't matter if you think your vote doesn't matter. And so you stay home. Yeah that's how people who wish to destroy our country win. That's how they wind up by people stepping back and letting it happen. And so there has to be a way and there are many ways that you can you know say no you can react against that and you can and that you can put you know put yourself out there in a way that dissents against the you know what's happening.
The biggest way people get their power is by thinking they don't have any. Exactly. And I think that rings very true to everything that's going on today.
On Confronting Toxic People and Scenarios Head-On
I don't have to do things that make me so uncomfortable that I get anxiety about going someplace. And I don't have to necessarily care about what other people think about me. I can just be authentic and be genuine and just be me and that that that's a mind shift happened literally right when I turned 30. So I feel like having an adult mindset is also being a part of being an adult as well.
You also learn things about yourself and how you react to stress and how you react when people who you can get on let you down and you know how to actually assess like who are the poor these toxic people and who are these not toxic people that you want in your life.
On The Benefits of Therapy
In therapy I was able to to really talk about why am the way that I am and why I react the way that I do. It really, really helped me. I just started with with the new therapist actually in March coincidentally it's been really great to to talk about and process you know the things that are just happening to me. It helps me to pull back and process and focus.