We all have a strong desire to connect with the people around us; an innate need to share our authentic inner selves with others. We want to share our unique qualities, express our thoughts, feelings, and values to those who are important to us, and feel that our voices are being heard. We need to feel that our opinions and our likes and dislikes are validated in some way. Self expression is a way of feeling like we are not alone, like we are understood, like we are truly seen.
Many of us struggle with expressing ourselves, unsure how to open up and expose our true character and spirit to the world. Some of us are too scared to reveal our true selves, afraid of what others might think. Afraid that we might lose those closest to us if they can’t accept us for who we really are.
In order to learn how to express ourselves better, we need to let go of this fear. What people think of us is their own business, not ours – it’s likely that the ideas our minds have conjured up for them are much worse than their actual impressions of us anyways. But what actually matters most is our own honest opinion of ourselves. There will always be people that like us and people that don’t, no matter what we do or what we say. Don’t let people take up space in your head. Pay no mind to what they think – just focus on being open and true to yourself.
Once we can let go of our fears of what people think, it’s time to dig deep and find out who we really are. Explore different experiences and push boundaries to discover new things about yourself. Disregard other people’s wants and expectations for your life and consider only what you really want. What are your likes and dislikes? What are your real opinions on both important and trivial matters? What are you passionate about? Pick a side; take a stand. Redefine yourself – it is difficult to express your inner self until you have an idea who that is.
Try different methods of self expression. What works for some people may not work for everyone. Some people find writing their feelings down in letters, poems, or journals to be helpful, but others find it to be a tedious exercise. Self expression through art is a passion for some; others may prefer to play or create music, dance, or wear clothing that reflects how they feel inside. And some simply express themselves by talking to people. You can be creative. Do what you love, what makes your heart sing. Embracing your passions will help you release your tensions as you send pieces of your soul out into the world. You will feel a newfound sense of fulfillment as you find the right vessel for your self expression.
A key component of self-expression is learning how to speak the truth. Allow yourself to be honest; give yourself permission to express your emotions, whatever they may be. Let yourself say what you need to say. True self expression means forgoing the need for approval, dropping any pretenses, being sincere and real. Expressing your deepest truths can make you feel vulnerable; but at the same time it is also a very powerful and freeing experience.
Letting people in and sharing our true selves with others will help us be happy and create fulfilling relationships with the important people in our lives. We must overcome our fears and learn how we can express ourselves confidently and unapologetically, so that they can have a chance to appreciate us for who we really are and not just how we present ourselves to the world. Only with true self-expression will we be able to feel truly loved and secure in our relationships, and finally at peace with ourselves.