How often have you wanted to say something but you have held yourself back because you weren’t sure if you should speak? So what is it that stops you?
Worrying about doing the right thing? Fear of losing your job, friends or partner? Wanting to get it right and perfect? Fear of being wrong?
For me, my family and cultural background made it difficult for me to express myself easily. I have been amazed at how deeply these beliefs had been limiting me, like a computer program running in the background without me realising.
In this article I have written 8 tips that may help you express yourself more freely and authentically.
1. Be honest and express what you feel and truly believe. Notice what you experience in your body when you freely express yourself, rather bottle it up inside.
2. Don’t compare yourself with others or try to impress them.
3. Use the “I” statements so you speak about what you think, feel, see, understand etc. For example “When you didn’t ask me to ……, I imagined that it meant …. and I felt ……” This style of communication allows you to be honest and clear without judging others, helping stop miscommunication and misunderstandings.
4. Give yourself permission to be seen and heard authentically by others, even though at times you may feel nervous. If too anxious or fearful, begin to practise with someone you trust and are more comfortable talking to. Each time you express yourself honestly, the easier it is the next time. Let your confidence build through practice.
5. Be ok with making a mistake. No one is perfect. Be vulnerable and then you can allow yourself to be honest and authentic, rather than worrying how you will be perceived by others or yourself.
6. Watch what you are telling yourself. Is your inner voice or are your thoughts being a little too harsh, unrealistic and critical? Lighten up and make fun of the seriousness. Be playful to help shift your thoughts. The inner voice tends to only express doom and gloom. Question these thoughts, are they true? Watch how these thoughts stop you and consciously choose action rather than limiting yourself.
7. Learn to be ok in your own skin, exactly as you are now, without needing to change or fix anything. Be kind to yourself.
8. Allow any form of self expression to unfold; be it speaking, writing, performance, movement, singing, dancing, art, music. Have fun without judgement.
Expressing ourselves authentically is a skill that continues to be developed and fine tuned throughout our life. Each time we are truly ourselves, our confidence, self esteem and well being strengthen and grow.
Until next time, Anne from Beyond Words Holistic Counselling