The Impact of Culture on Self-Esteem Recap

Facilitator: Kemer Temam Owner & General manager of Bersabe Industry

The session began as our facilitator, Kemer, introduced herself and invited members to introduce themselves as well. She initiated the discussion by delving into the concept of self-esteem, emphasizing that it represents the level of value we assign to ourselves. Kemer also highlighted the distinguishing traits that signal both healthy and unhealthy self-esteem in individuals. Subsequently, she encouraged the group to contribute by identifying common characteristics exhibited by individuals with both high and low self-esteem. Some were:

A person with self-esteem:

  • sets boundaries
  • is decisive (knows exactly what one wants)
  • is not afraid of being wrong
  • takes responsibility & time to self-reflect

A person without self-esteem:

  • doesn’t have boundaries
  • is indecisive
  • afraid of being wrong (keeps quiet or doesn’t share thoughts)
  • gives excuses & blames others
  • doesn’t self-reflect

Kemer steered the conversation towards exploring the influence of our culture on our self-esteem. One cultural norm that emerged in the discussion was “ይሉኝታ,” a practice that often involves pressuring individuals to conform simply because others are doing so. This norm, deeply rooted in the status quo, can be influenced by factors such as gender, age, or other societal differences. “ይሉኝታ” can compel individuals to conform to certain predefined standards set by society, affecting their behavior and choices.

During the session, participants highlighted several points related to this norm. They noted that continuously giving and serving others without boundaries can adversely affect one’s self-esteem, potentially leading to resentment. Such behaviors can contribute to the development of unhealthy and self-centered relationships.

Kemer emphasized a crucial insight: when individuals lack self-awareness, their identity becomes shaped by external influences, resulting in the development of multiple personas in various settings. Therefore, it becomes imperative to engage in introspection and self-discovery to foster a more balanced and harmonious environment.

Major takeaways:

  • While possessing a wealth of skills, knowledge, and experiences is essential, without self-belief, our progress and development can remain stagnant.
  • Two pivotal elements for enhancing self-esteem are self-awareness and self-confidence. These factors serve as the foundation for personal growth.
  • By nurturing healthy self-esteem, we have the power to positively influence our culture, paving the way for an improved cultural landscape for both ourselves and future generations.

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