Do you find it hard to express yourself?
I spent years terrified of expressing the truest part of who am I. I used to tell people that if I attended a party, I could easily walk to the nearest corner of the room, put my nose in the corner and I would feel the safe and happy until the party was over. I often offered my service in the name of hospitality (I could stand at the sink for hours washing dirty dishes) all because I feared expressing myself to the people in the room.
Although, I expressed that I was happy enough to stand in the corner because it would feel safe to my trembling heart, I wasn’t happy. I was lonely and sad. Often, I was desiring to escape the room because what I really wanted to do was to participate; laugh and enjoy the what I observed everyone else expressing.
I wasn’t alone because I was ugly or unattractive. I wasn’t alone because I had nothing to say or contribute. I was alone because I was afraid to express myself.
And over the years, I have found that I was not alone in this fear…everyone has faced the fear of expressing themselves. We’re afraid to say something that might cost us a friendship or relationship. We bottle everything up tight and seize up at the mere thought of sharing true emotions. Some people hide in silence, others over compensate with exaggerated exuberance until they are able to conquer the struggle of freely expressing themselves.
DANGERS OF NOT BEING ABLE TO EXPRESS YOURSELF
1. If you have a fear of people, people will avoid you. It’s a vicious cycle. You avoid people because you fear that they will hurt you. People see your aloofness, and either think the worst (that you’re stuck up), or grant your desire and leave you alone. Then you wonder why it is that no one likes you.
2. When you can’t open up to people, people will feel that you are unapproachable. You’ll have a hard time getting close to people when you bottle everything up inside. Your relationships will all be shallow.
3. Your inability to express yourself will haunt you in times of trouble. You’ll need help, you’ll want help, but you won’t seek it. You’ll hide. So, no one helps you. Then you grow resentful and angry.
4. Another danger is that of isolation. You build walls around your emotions and people instinctively leave you alone. That might be what you wanted at first, but your life will be barren, and empty. Life is relationships. The stronger your relationships the more joy you’ll have in life. No matter if it is with your mate, God, children, neighbors, co-workers, friends, relatives, or even yourself, you must learn to express yourself.
Tips I Llearned For Expressing Myself
1. Don’t Fear People. We are all different but similar in so many ways. Relationship is important to all of us. We all want to love and be loved. We all want to reach out and have others reach back…I just needed 40 seconds of insane bravery (One of my favourite quotes from the movie We Bought A Zoo)…and when I allowed myself to break free of the fear of people, people were amazingly kind and receptive.
2. Know and Love Yourself. We are told often that we can’t love someone else until we love ourselves. I found this to be painfully true. Discovering all the places that I despised about myself and learning to accept that they made me who I was, helped me to relax and not stress. I also discovered that if I don’t value my contribution to the world…the world misses out. Jin the same way, if you don’t express your contribution, the world ( and I) miss out as well.
3. Practice. This might sound weird, but I often felt tongue-tied when talking to people so I learned that I could rehearse or practice saying what I wanted to express until it felt more natural. I also love expressing myself behind a camera, through cooking, public speaking and entertaining. I developed or am developing more skill as I practice the expression of who I am in these ways. And I have fun practicing. Sometimes, I still over think things but it’s easier to get back on track with my thoughts because I do practice.
4. Question, Question, Question. Do you know that one of the easiest and most freeing ways for me to conquer my struggle with expressing myself was with a simple question? Questions allow you to interact with others. They involve you in their thoughts, feelings, worries, and cares. They also involve you in their knowledge, experience and skill. This provides an opportunity to express yourself better to them. Expression is best done when there is good interaction. Thoughtful questions provide this platform.
What is expression? It’s the art of making one’s self known.
Today, I am expressing myself with words, true, but I am also sharing an expression from behind my camera lens. I hope you enjoy.
Now it’s your turn…Go on…
Here you will find some beautiful expressions. Enjoy.