Sitting with Myself: Uncovering Cultural Influences on Who I Am

I’ve embarked on a journey of self-reflection during the last few years. During these moments of introspection, I began to delve into the intricate ways I approach my tasks and responsibilities. This process uncovered profound insights, particularly regarding the cultural dynamics that shape our formative years, much like the food we grow accustomed to eating.

In competitive cultures, the narrative often starts early: to receive recognition, one must work twice as hard. Achieving an eight out of ten on a test is seldom celebrated; instead, the focus fixates on the two missed points. This relentless pursuit of perfection ties our self-worth to our achievements, overshadowing the importance of celebrating successes, especially those linked to our physical and mental health.

From a young age, many of us are conditioned to prioritize others above ourselves, even if it means giving from an empty cup. This ingrained mindset teaches us to suppress our feelings, to navigate our emotional landscapes alone, and to avoid seeking attention for fear of being labeled an attention seeker. Consequently, we learn to internalize our struggles, often at the expense of our well-being.

The nuances of these cultural dynamics run deep, profoundly influencing our mental and physical health. Addressing the mindset shifts required to maintain consistency in self-care is crucial. It’s not about rebelling against these ingrained patterns; rather, it’s about acknowledging the multitude of ways they shape our lives and finding balance.

What we need is education centered around fostering a positive mindset and promoting physical and mental well-being. By embracing and teaching these principles, we can begin to untangle the complex web of cultural expectations and create a healthier, more balanced approach to life. This journey is about learning to celebrate our achievements, understanding our worth beyond external validation, and prioritizing our health without guilt or hesitation.

JPS Nagi
May 21, 2024