Get Off the Hamster Wheel with Dr. Joanna Feliciano
Are you feeling stuck in life with no idea where to go? It’s time to check in and figure out what got you to this place. Often, it’s the cultural barriers that we were raised in. Ones that place guilt or fear on us, freezing us from moving forward for fear of failure and inadequacy. In Episode 72, Dr. Joanna Feliciano empathetically shares how to free yourself from cultural barriers while keeping your beautiful culture. It’s what keeps you grounded and feeling connected.
This episode is full of all the feels; empowerment, love, understanding, encouragement, guidance. No matter where you are in life, you will feel understood. Joanna delicately shares her most vulnerable moments of feeling trapped in cultural traditions that create fear of failure and inadequacy.
It took a ‘hard stop’ of unemployment for Joanna to realize she was feeling stuck in life. Even with her immense career and educational achievements, she felt trapped on a hamster wheel of routine living. Thankfully, Joanna seized the time to embrace her true self and live the life she truly wants.
Dr. Feliciano is like the sister you may not have and the mother you always wanted. She sheds new light on how Latinas can look at failure. Once seen as a “death sentence” in Latino culture, failure can be embraced as life experience defining true purpose. Still, even if you escaped that cultural barrier, there are others.
The threat of “Que va a decir la gente?” may have put you on the hamster wheel to begin with. Joanna highlights how First Gens may be checking boxes for validation, rather than taking risks for fear of displeasing parents. Instead, she encourages Latinas to dig deep into their past to remember who they really are.
How to Move on From Feeling Stuck
From here, anything is possible with the help of the Latina sisterhood. Feeling stuck on where to find it? Dr. Feliciano encourages Latinas to volunteer at empowerment events and non-profits. There, she says, you learn the expertise and knowledge of women in leadership for free. But, even more so, you meet women who may otherwise not be in your circles.
After all, the power of this networking is lifelong. It can open doors and keep you moving passionately in the life you love. Joanna highlights her own involvement in HISPA, (Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement), a New Jersey based non-profit mobilizing Hispanic professionals to mentor Latino students. And, LUPE (Latinas United for Political Empowerment) Fund, where she serves as VP on the Executive Board.
Unquestionably, Joanna walks her talk. You can reach out to her on her LinkedIn profile and follow her on Instagram. If you’re lucky enough to live in Kissimmee, Florida, you may meet up with her at her favorite cafecito shop, FL Bakery. Leaning into her gentle acceptance over a steamy cafe con leche and sugar donuts will surely make your day.
Dr. Joanna Feliciano
Dr. Joanna Feliciano is a purpose-driven change agent focused on opening doors, elevating people, being the bridge, and creating an inclusive environment.
Joanna has over 20 years of experience in the financial services and insurance industry across leadership. Joanna is currently Business and Market Intelligence Leader for all markets and competitive research. At her current employer, she is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Council. She won the 2021 Global Good Company Award for her CSR work.
Joanna is active in giving back and living her purpose through various volunteer activities, like HISPA Role Model Program. There, she is a beam of hope in marginalized communities speaking to students. She is the Chief Operating Officer at elevink, which launched June 2020 focused on helping underrepresented individuals with tools, networking, and access to opportunities.
In addition, Joanna is VP of the LUPE Fund NJ Executive Board Member, participating in many outreach activities and Mentor, whose mission is to Educate, Empower, and Engage Latinas to promote Leadership and Civic Engagement. Dr. Feliciano is a featured co-author in Hispanic Stars Rising: Volume II (2021).
Joanna has completed a Doctoral degree in Strategic Management focused on Corporate Social Responsibility at Liberty University. She earned her BBA from Baruch College and her MBA from the University of Phoenix. These experiences have led Joanna recently to create her JFeliciano Consulting Services, an organization built on helping individuals reach their journey in business and individually.