Express Yourself, don’t hold back.
“Albert Einstein called the intuitive or metaphoric mind a sacred gift. He added that the rational mind was a faithful servant. It is paradoxical that in the context of modern life we have begun to worship the servant and defile the divine.” ~ Bob Samples
I constantly meet amazing people who want to do something fulfilling and be more creative in order to feel more balance and experience more personal and creative growth. We live in a time where we feel a natural urge to create.
When we have a deep conversation about what they enjoy the most, they sometimes tell me their stories, totally excited about their obvious talents, their great ideas and how passionate they are about this or that activity. Of course, that prompts me to ask them why they don’t just start expressing themselves openly.
Most of them seem absolutely overwhelmed even at the thought of expressing themselves in public, although they would love to share their talents with the world.
If we suppress our talents and don’t express ourselves in a proper way, at a certain point it becomes a problem, because we kind of try to kill a natural part of ourselves.
Still, so many of us feel stuck when it comes to self-expression. Toxic thoughts start to arise in our minds:
“Who am I to share my experiences/art in public?”
“There are already plenty of bloggers/singers/cooks/poets/dancers, etc. in the world.”
“Who is interested in what I have to say?”
“Nobody will read it, and I will just embarrass myself in public.”
“I will get fired from my job if they see who I am.”
“Damn, I don’t want to annoy my Facebook friends.”
“I’m not as good as all the professionals.”
“I have no idea where to start.“
And those are just a few thoughts out of an ocean of self-doubts in our creative minds. So most of us get stuck even before we start.
I was there.
I’ve been helping out my mom in the kitchen since I was a little girl; I loved to cook and especially bake. I’ve been writing stories, poetry and songs since I was 12. I’ve been performing on stage since I was 15. Today I’m almost 28, and guess when I got my first article published? In November 2015. Guess when I first published a video of myself singing? A few weeks ago. I was hiding all of my talents for 15 years, because I was scared of what people might think. When people would compliment me, I would make a stupid joke, that I’m just an amateur and I wouldn’t take myself seriously enough to accept a compliment.
When I tagged my Facebook friends on my first published article, my hands were shaky, I was sweaty, and I had trouble breathing. Even writing this article makes me feel uncomfortable, and I’m scared that people will think I’m bragging. But my main point is: Why are we hiding our talents?
Reason #1: Self-doubt (and low self-evaluation)
We tend to think that we’re not good enough, and give up before we even start. When I look back at the first article I wrote on my blog, my hair stands on end. But I’m totally dedicated and committed to my blog, I write at least one article a week, and I am trying to improve my writing.
I’m still scared because English is not my mother tongue and I like to write about my personal experiences, instead of using objective topics. So I always ask myself: Will my words resonate with anyone? Did I share too much? Do I have grammatical errors? And so on.
The self-criticism and self-doubt are always present, and the only solution is to just act in spite of them. The first article/song/cake never will be satisfying and perfect, and it’s okay. When we express ourselves in a way that we love, we’ve already succeeded. Step by step we improve.
When I had my first article-share and somebody wrote kind words about it, I started to cry. I cried in joy for a long time upon realizing that my words helped someone. That feeling is priceless.
Reason #2: Creative blockade
When we finally decide to start creating, we often feel stuck. We wonder where all the amazing ideas disappeared. It’s a critical point, because here we could conclude that we aren’t talented and give up. Please don’t.
Creativity will find its flow as soon as we let go all of the pressure we put on ourselves and just focus on the talent we want to share with the world. I had a huge blockade when a journal rejected all of my articles, and it made me think about what I could write to satisfy anyone who reads it. But I couldn’t write anything.
My writings became worse and worse. Then I remembered who I am and what the point of my writing is, and just started sharing my own thoughts again. And the right supportive people soon appeared. Our real and vulnerable stories always resonate with real people. A creative flow only works if it flows from deep within.
Reason #3: Fears
If we want to be creative and start expressing ourselves — online or offline — there’s always a slight fear in the air of how the others will respond. For me, this fear is always there. When I write, I’m scared. When I go on stage, I’m scared. When I cook for my friends, I’m scared. I’m always a little bit scared or worried, but I just do it
Failures and mistakes are the best teachers anyway. I believe that slight fears will always be there. But which disappointment is stronger? The one of having tried and failed, or the one of giving up before even trying? Think about it.
Why are we often so shy, even embarrassed of our amazing talents? Why do we hide ourselves? Why are we scared to express ourselves to the extent we would like to? Why are we so scared of our own potential?
We could stand in front of a mirror and assert: “I am an amazing, talented person, and I’m choosing to express myself in order to fulfill myself more. I’m choosing to express myself, and by that, I practically give others the permission to express themselves too.”
All of us know how if one starts to dance silly at a party, somebody else follows. So it is in other aspects of life as well. Every act of your creative expression will inspire others to be more of themselves and not be scared of sharing their talents.
The biggest hurdle for all of us is to dive into our own potential, and to see our own selves as incredibly beautiful and gifted personalities. Everybody has a story to tell and a unique and distinct talent to share.
Self-expression fulfills. Self-expression gives others hope and faith in themselves. So by expressing our talents, we have a win-win situation: we get happy, and help others at the same time.
So, please create! When, if not now? The world needs more authentic creative expression from you, expression from deep within.
Olga Chirkova was born in St. Petersburg and moved to Germany when she was nine. She believes there is no journey which is more difficult than the journey to your own true nature. It can be hard, painful, confusing, but it’s worth it. It is the most beautiful and honest journey there is. Come with her on the journey on her blog.