7 Unexpected Benefits Of Self-Expression
How do you express yourself in the world? Do you do it through your work? Perhaps you are a chef, and your impeccable culinary creations express your exacting standards and attention to detail. Perhaps you are a singer, and you write songs to express love and joy. Perhaps you express yourself through social media. With each Facebook status you post, each Instagram picture you upload, each tweet you tweet, you craft an ideal image of yourself.
What You Do Reflects Who You Are
Consider that with every action and every choice you make, you are expressing some part of yourself. When you donate to a beggar, you’re expressing kindness. When you raise your voice at another, you’re expressing anger. It’s always about the intention behind the action, the energy behind the deed. Those who cook may have realized this. When we cook with love and care, our dish has a special feel to it. When we do not put effort into our cooking, the dish turns out mediocre and bland.
What is Self-Expression
Self-expression is the act of bringing something deep within us into observable form – the art of creation. The question is not whether we express ourselves, but what are we expressing? The more connected we are to ourselves, the more authentic our expression. The more authentic our expression, the more confident and attractive we become. Who are you, and what is your message to the world? As you uncover more and more of yourself, the core of who you are comes to the fore. Who you are begins to shine through in what you do.
Why We Silence Ourselves
Many of us are afraid to express ourselves – whether through speech, writing, or action – because we have fears. We fear judgment, rejection, ridicule, shame. We’ve trained ourselves to conform and be who we think others want us to be. And in so doing we’ve silenced ourselves and deprived the world of our song. But we needn’t hide from the world any longer. Can you not feel the weight of all the words unsaid, emotions unexpressed, lives unlived within you?
Here are 7 benefits to expressing yourself more:
In expressing yourself you will experience the freedom to be yourself, freedom to share yourself with the world. You’ll find you can fill your blank page with anything you wish. The canvas is yours.
Much of our existence in the world is defined by our roles. At work we’re a manager, at home we’re a mother, among friends you’re the joker. The structure of society ensures that we have expectations to meet and functions to fulfill. However, in self-expression, you have a rare space to be authentic to who you are.
To put yourself out there is to risk rejection and face judgment. To hazard anything original is to face possible failure. But in doing so, you learn to accept yourself for who you are. Sure, you’re a work in progress and you may have your flaws. You’re not perfect. Sometimes you aren’t as good as you want to be. You slowly learn that that’s okay.
4. Closer Relationships with People
Barriers between people arise when we do not communicate our thoughts and feelings. Learning to express yourself, whether though art or through deep conversations with people helps you build deeper and more meaningful relationships with people around you. Show up and be vulnerable. You may open up the next level of connection in your relationships.
You’ll inspire yourself! What you express is a crystallization of the joy, beauty, wisdom, and truth you experienced in that moment. One day, when you’re feeling down in the dumps, you’ll look back on your very own words or music or picture and inspire yourself. As you sow, so you shall reap.
6. Connection to Something Bigger
When you create something, you’re connecting to a divine source of inspiration. Some artists say we never create alone; we work with an external source called Muse, who bestows us with inspiration and ideas. Start expressing, start creating, and you’ll be lifted to the heights of heaven through your connection to the Muse.
Sometimes, you start writing not knowing where your story will end up. Sometimes you start drawing not knowing how your picture will turn out. Expressing yourself is a discovery. When you stop having expectations of how things should turn out, you begin trusting your experience and allowing yourself to flow.
Steps to Start Expressing Yourself
Here are some ways you can start expressing yourself. Courage is key! Dare to put yourself into what you do. You can choose one or do them all.
- Say what you really want to say
- Post a Facebook status
- Take a picture
- Doodle something
- Freestyle journal
Allow yourself to suck at first. We think that once we begin singing we have to be as good as Adele. There’s just no way that’s going to happen. Give yourself permission to learn and grow. Take the pressure off and let yourself stretch your wings along the runway to mastery.
Enjoy the Journey
Once you begin, you never know where your expressions will take you. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but never took my love for writing seriously until last year. Since then, there seems to be a mysterious force urging me to continue. Each time I think of giving up my writing, I would get a message from a reader telling me how my writing impacted them and how much they appreciated my writing. That’s the magic of self-expression: just by being who you are, you can inspire others.
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