Self-expression is as important to your everyday life as the air you breathe. It’s about paying attention to how you show up, and how you communicate with others, and the world around you. At times, the concept of self-expression can elicit feelings of confidence and fulfillment, other times, sheer frustration, doubt, and even fear.
Expressing one’s self can be defined as an art of sorts, and as such can encompass a variety of forms. For our purposes, let’s explore self-expression by way of the following:
- Verbal communication
- Body language
- Art work
Communication is a vital part of any relationship whether it’s with family members, loved ones, friends or co-workers. Communication can be difficult, especially if you know what you want to say but are afraid to say it. You may be worried about how the person will take your honest form of expressionism via thoughts and words. That’s understandable, but you must work through those feelings.
Keeping things inside can cause feelings of anger and animosity, and can quite literally make you ill. You can still relay your feelings and be kind by choosing your words wisely. Give it deep though, practice compassion, and by all means, tactfully say what needs to be said. Being open and honest by expressing what you want to share is not just about your personal wellbeing, but also about maintaining authentic relationships.
Your appearance is another way that you can express yourself. Physical self-expression can take on many forms such as tattoos, piercings, mode of dress, and the way you wear your hair. For your inner world to embody peace and serenity, you need to be just as true to who you are on the outside as in.
If you’re conservative in your style of dress, you can still speak volumes with consciously-chosen suits, scarves and shoes that express your unique style accordingly.
If you’re free-spirited, or if you feel the pull toward exploring your free-spirited nature, you may find yourself looking to express yourself with tattoos, piercings, naturally styled hair and brightly colored dresses. Remember that you can use temporary expression tools like hair color rinses and sprays, tattoo fake-ink options including henna, or hair extensions.
Psychologists explain that you can form an impression of another individual in the first 30 seconds that you meet them. By dressing and looking the way you feel inside, you can convey your true personality immediately, and then let their response determine whether a relationship with that person is one you choose to explore.
Your career choices and employment opportunities are just as important in self-expression. This can be tricky where clothing is concerned because your work environment may not match your personal form of expression. No worries–find common ground by jazzing up your work attire with things like a bright colored shirt inside a traditional suit, bold earrings, unique socks, or customized pieces to compliment your attire.
The career choices that you make can also influence who you are, how you feel, and what career you would like to pursue. For people who are creative thinkers, careers in the graphic design industry, fashion designers and artists are excellent ways to explore your talents.
If you tend to lean toward a field with numbers, and you’ve got an edge to your inner personality, real estate, stocks and accounting may be best for you. The only way you’re truly going to be happy doing what you do is by listening to your inner voice and bringing it to the forefront with the things that make you who you are.
In essence, if you want a better life experience, you need to open yourself to self-exploration and self-expression. You can do this by freeing your inner soul through communication, employment choices and appearance. Paying attention to your feelings in these areas is a great starting point to finding harmony between the person you choose to be and the person you show up as in your personal and professional environments.
About the author: Akilah Richards is an emotional wellness educator and lifestyle design coach encourages people to embrace facets of themselves by exploring choices such as taking new classes, and experimenting with a tattoo fake, real or henna’d, as baby-steps toward full self-expression.