It’s hard to be something that you cannot see, and that’s a pretty simple concept many of us take for granted.
Without role models who look like you or leaders who represent where you come from and who you are, it’s hard to carve a path for yourself, especially as a Latina. This is a life lesson award-winning TV personality Gaby Natale knows firsthand, and she has made it her mission to address.
Today, Gaby is a three-time Daytime EMMY® winner, a celebrated TV personality, a bestselling author, and an incredible motivational speaker.
Seriously, just listen to her Ted Talk and you’ll see what we mean — she’s a force to be reckoned with. It’s impossible to take your eyes off her and impossible to walk away without feeling ready to be a pioneer and tackle the world.
Strength and empowerment
This Latina entrepreneur is all about empowerment and it shows.
Gaby Natale is also one of the few women in the entertainment industry who owns the rights to her own TV show and her own television studio. She was named one of 2018’s “25 Most Powerful Latinas” by People Magazine, and she has inspired and empowered millions of Latinas across the world through her YouTube channel, social media feeds, books, and speaking engagements.
Her passion for media and her entrepreneurial spirit combined with her knack for relating to others has helped Gaby create an empire of empowerment. And her recent Ted Talk entitled ‘How to Be What You Can’t See’ is all about helping others who look, think, sound, love, and pray in a different way turn their presence into impact.
Every story starts with that one small moment
Natale’s narrative explains how every story of success starts with the often-overlooked moment when we make the decision to create change. A choice to think beyond what you see around and to enter into the unknown. Success, including her own success, often comes from “a deliberate decision to recalibrate our own belief system,” Natale explains in her Ted Talk.
The same way her story inspires, her experiences open minds. Natale’s learned life lessons open our eyes to realities faced by millions of people around the world, and the way she communicates them shortens the gap between her public persona and her humanity.
Two powerful words
Gaby Natale’s strengths are undoubtedly the strengths we should all aspire to achieve.
You want to know what two words she tells herself when she has doubt? Arnold Schwarzenegger. Laugh all you want, but it’s true. His ability to overcome a thick Austrian accent and body-builder stereotype to go on to become a top Hollywood action movie star and even the governor of California is a tale of triumph and re-invention. “And if he can do it, then I can do it, and so can you,” she shouts joyously.
To be a pioneer, you do not need to be extraordinary, Gaby told BELatina in a virtual interview with BeLatina. “Pioneers are not extraordinary people. They are ordinary people who choose to see themselves and the world in an extraordinary way.”
Pioneers are people who choose to get out of their comfort zones and instead of crafting personal or professional goals based on what they have seen achieved in the past, they choose to be the first.
Pioneers take a “leap of faith, step into the unknown, and dare to be first. Dare to be first in your family, dare to be first in your school, dare to be first in your community — because it doesn’t matter how big or how small that step you’re taking is, every time you choose to pioneer, you move the world forward.”
Which is exactly what happened to Gaby throughout her journey to success and her years navigating a very uneven playing field as a Latina woman.
She realized after being put in an uncomfortable situation where she was pigeonholed into a stereotype that was not who she is, it was time to make a change and pave the way for others. She did not want to be a wannabe. She wanted to be herself. “I wanted to be what I could not see. A multi-dimensional Latina,” she said in her Ted Talk. And all of her success came from that choice. We must all make a “deliberate decision to recalibrate our own belief system,” she argues.
A Lifelong Advice
The best advice she ever received is really what carried her through tough times. “Inner voice over outer noise,” she always says. Ignore the stereotypes — after all, what is a stereotype? A stereotype is “somebody else’s idea, not a fact, about me or people like me.”
Don’t listen to how other people perceive you or what they think of your potential.
Gaby recalls coming to America from Argentina as a young woman, whose potential was suddenly shifted from a promising young woman with talents, who was hard-working with a bright future.
When she arrived, she listened to the narratives of people like her, and suddenly she was not hard-working, she was lazy, she was an alien… And at that moment where those two totally contrasting views of who she was and who she could become clashed, she remembered “inner voice, outer noise.” You cannot believe other people’s negative expectations, or they will become self-fulfilling prophecies. Believe what you know for sure about yourself and who you are.
“Your uniqueness is your gift to this world,” she reminds people. The core of being a pioneer is connecting with what makes you unique; instead of covering up who you are or molding yourself into something you are not, be true to yourself.
However, pioneers themselves are not the only ones who can impact the future of our society and create change in terms of equal opportunity and progress.
While pioneers are crucial to moving the world forward and achieving progress, those individuals are not the only ones who need to contribute. People who have already achieved positions of leadership or influence also need to be involved in the process, serving as allies so they can be a part of the solution, rather than perpetuating the problem.
How exactly can allies move the needle towards change?
First, she argues, be aware. “If you are in a position of leadership or you are a decision-maker, really work actively to create an environment where everyone feels like they belong, where everyone can show up as they are. Look around and see how diverse (or not diverse) that place you are contributing to is.”
Second, you cannot just stand by if you truly want to be an ally for pioneers. You must take an active role if you want to change the situation — you need to execute and use your influence to make something happen. “Good thoughts are not good enough,” she told us.
What’s next for Gaby, you might wonder? What can one conquer when you have achieved such success and well-deserved recognition? The short answer is “a lot.” You can always do more.
The job is never done, explains Gaby. Being a pioneer is not an overnight fix or a one-time accomplishment. You don’t pioneer and then never innovate again — it’s a process. It’s a lifelong commitment.
Gaby’s latest project, her book entitled The Virtuous Circle, which was released this past January, is a motivational manifesto and passion project bringing her message to entrepreneurs and dreamers all over the world. Published in both English and in Spanish, her book truly is a labor of love and a tool to help individuals and communities move forward.
She also has her own line of hair care accessories, Welcome All Beauty, a brand she launched because she recognized how much time women waste doing their hair when they could be using that valuable time to change the world. The focus of this hairline is on empowering women and encouraging productivity. It’s about being smart when it comes to beauty and finding easy and manageable ways to look gorgeous so that you can use your precious time on something other than your hair.
A pioneer through and through, and an inspiration to everyone who has ever needed a push to be the best version of themselves, Gaby Natale is the real deal. ‘How to Be What You Can’t See’ is the Ted Talk every Latina, every woman, every person feeling lost, absolutely must see. Because at the end of the day, the only way the world will move forward is if we all embrace the notion that someone must be the first to accomplish anything, and why can’t it be me or you?