Our cultural learning processes developed in our childhood years are based on imitative, instructed, and collaborative learning practices. These different modes of learning are socially attained participating in collective activities which result in cultural indoctrination. Consequently, cultural indoctrination shapes our perception and discriminates between what is and what is not considered to be socially appropriate in specific cultural context and situations.
In former times, interactions between cultural idiosyncrasies occurred gradually, keeping the cultural norms “untouched” for extended periods of time. Lack of exposure to other modes of indoctrination meant that the status quo of any given situation dictated by a cultural norm was hardly challenged.
Nowadays internet, fast communication, and virtual reality permit us to reach all corners of the world in milliseconds. Population migratory flows have also played an important role in reshaping cultural norms. Therefore, giving us the opportunity to challenge the existing cultural conditions more often.
Once a cultural norm is challenged, individuals start to recognize that certain ways of operating are no longer sustainable and that they need to be reconsidered and reevaluated in order to attain their next personal development shift.
At this stage individuals and groups finally, recognize that cultural programming must be “unlearned” since it limits their growth potential. The main problem to challenge the status quo of the governing cultural norms if is the fear of diverting from what is socially accepted and stipulated.
A good starting point to reshape our cultural programming and unleash our potential is by asking ourselves the hard questions:
- Is the current personal or professional situation I am experiencing…
- Coherent and in alignment with my innermost feelings and beliefs?
- In disconnect between what society expects me to do and what I really feel and believe shall be done?
- Honoring myself first or am I fulfilling expectations of others?
Only when we have confronted ourselves with these questions, we can clearly dissect the fear component. We are able then to diffuse the confusion caused in our mind and emotions by the mismatch between our underlying needs and what cultural indoctrination has determinated. Once this has been cleared, we create the mental and emotional state to free our own true potential.
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