Living A Life Aligned: How Self-Expression Could Be The Key To Fulfillment
A timid, reserved child, I tried to fit in as best I could. I played the wallflower, the mediator, the one everyone would get along with.
The more I leaned towards people-pleasing, the more discomfort I felt growing inside me. And yet, on a conscious, rational level, I thought I was doing what was ‘right’!
As I began to explore it, I came to realize that what I was feeling was the weight of all the words, emotions, thoughts I had censored and bottled up. The stress I felt was self-created. It was repressing myself that created a strong inner conflict.
Why am I sharing this with you? Because I know my story is that of many others who similarly did the best they could to be “good”, to do what they thought they “should”.
I also know this has led to a generation of people who find themselves torn between the idea of conforming and that of being themselves, a tension that now presents with issues like loneliness, overwhelm, stress and even anxiety or depression.
What I’ve come to realize is that many of these ailments are preventable, and they can also be addressed to restore a sense of holistic wellbeing. My belief is that what we need to focus more on exactly resolving the conundrum between fitting in and being ourselves.
WHAT IS SELF EXPRESSION & WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Self-expression can be seen as both the tangible way we choose to express different sides of us through creative forms like writing or arts, and as the less tangible but no less crucial freedom to be all that we want to be, and to be able to share that with the world.
You can appreciate then how self-expression is vital to our overall mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Self-expression allows us to seek our zone of genius and to put it to good use; it gets us in touch with our purpose and our mission. It shows us what really matters to us. Focusing more on expressing ourselves has a ripple effect on all areas of our lives:
YOUR EMOTIONAL HEALTH: when you go from repressed to expressed, you dissolve the inner conflict between playing nice and doing you. Words flow more naturally, you are able to share your opinion without fear of judgment, you start caring more about how YOU feel.
YOUR RELATIONSHIPS: authentic expression means more honest, genuine and open communication. This, in turn, leads to deeper, more committed and solid relationships, romantic or otherwise. Intimacy grows, as does connection.
YOUR WORK: when your work is informed by a genuine sense of purpose, it will give you satisfaction and fulfillment. If at all you’re in the wrong place, yet in touch with your real sense of self, you will have an innate sense of direction and the courage to move on to something better.
YOUR SENSE OF BELONGING: after years of feeling different, being your authentic self from a place of genuine essence, you will find your tribe and finally belong without needing to change who you are.
YOUR FREEDOM & ALIVENESS: to be, do and feel what you want. No more living by others’ expectations, no more ‘shoulds’, just you doing you for you, coming alive in your true nature.
These are just some of the many benefits self-expression can have on our lives; imagine them setting in motion many other positive dynamics to replace old and dysfunctional ones like perfectionism or people-pleasing, how different could your life be as a result?
I believe the fundamental breakthrough that comes from embracing self-expression lies in an unprecedented opportunity to live a life aligned. When we are and express our genuine, authentic self, we let go of who we think we ‘should’ be, and we begin attracting energy that matches that of our soul. We also inspire others, as authenticity breeds authenticity.
I invite you all to take a moment to yourself and give some thought to these questions:
How much of myself am I expressing?
If I knew I wouldn’t be judged, what would I be doing/saying that I haven’t so far?
What if I gave a voice to all that I’ve left unsaid? What would that voice be all about?
Ponder on these to get in touch with deeper layers of your being which might have been hidden for a while. Notice what feelings arise – what comes up for you. Once you’ve gained some clarity, think of one tiny step you could take today to shed labels and be more you.
Believe me, once you get in touch with that inner world and begin to express it, you will feel freer, more liberated, inspired, alive and fulfilled.
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