Yet, self-expression can be difficult. Speaking up is not a simple action if you cannot feel comfortable with your own thoughts in the first place. This process begins by becoming more aware of your thoughts. Your thoughts come and go and often are a result of your fantasy, however, they do leave imprint on your soul and shape your future.
Most of us did not have role models in our lives who demonstrated healthy communication. Possibly, you were taught to only speak when spoken to or to only speak if you had something nice to say. Maybe, your mother kept silent, never voicing her opinions or feelings. Or, perhaps you were actually told to stay quiet because of alcoholism or sexual abuse. Additionally, much of this anxiety and shame around voicing what’s inside of you has to do with our patriarchal programming in our society and the belief that the masculine ways of being are superior to the feminine ways of being. That is the reason why many women are the ones who suffer their symptoms in silence. Withholding can lead to thyroid disease and then to heart disease, kidney and liver dysfunction to Celiac disease and from “female problems” to Lyme disease.
Getting the words out and standing up for yourself when feeling intimidated or lacking in confidence seams impossible. I know, I’ve been there myself. When feeling this scared, uncomfortable or shy, we may develop strategies for hiding and holding back. If you are filled with conditioned, fear-based thinking, it’s time to stop suppressing your true nature. I sincerely hope that my 7 steps will support you on your path to an honest self-expression.
The 7 Steps To Practice Self-Expression
1. Be Aware Of Your Thoughts!
Be aware of your thoughts. Pause and pay attention, it’s good to be curious. Here are some questions you might like to ask yourself:
- What are your deepest thoughts and opinions? Do you share them freely? Do your friends and family know them? Do your friends know you?
- Do you stand up for yourself? If not, when, with whom and why?
- What thoughts are holding you back from speaking up truthfully?
2. Write A Letter!
If you are an empath or an introvert and speaking up is hard or it doesn’t benefit you to confront a person with your truth at this moment, write a letter. For example, your parent is sick and the timing isn’t right. Or, maybe you continue to heal the way an employer treated you years ago. In this case, I recommend you write a letter. Write as though you are going to mail the letter and take responsibility for your part in the situation. Write in the first person – “I feel” — as opposed to the third person – “you did this.” You can mail, save, or burn the letter when you feel completed.
3. Use Your Voice!
Use your voice in any possible way to get used to your own sound. Sing! You can sing in the car or shower if you have to. I enjoyed Kirtan as part of my healing. Say out loud your favorite affirmations that motivate you, one like this “What I have to say is valuable.”
4. Dance To Express Not To Impress!
Practice self-expression with your body by dancing. Connect to and get to know your physical body with yoga. Yoga also offers few poses that focus on opening up your throat chakra, my favorite is Fish Pose. Use your body language and face mimic when sharing an emotion. You can even express with your energy if you are intuitive to that.
5. Let Go Of Your Need For Approval!
Know that just the act of speaking up is enough. Often I hear women say, “I don’t speak up because I am never heard.” Or, “no one listens when I speak.” The reality is, you are heard more than you know. That does not mean everyone will want to engage you on your level or agree with you. And that’s ok. However, your truth is valid and important! You deserve to speak it. Release your attachment to having what you say validated. The simple act of speaking up for yourself helps to heal your body and liberate your soul. To make this easier, find your tribe who will listen more willingly than someone who is resisting your truth.
6. Live Your Truth!
Be truthful – always. The best way to honor yourself and your body is to learn to speak your truth to others, and also to yourself. The path to ones soul’s freedom is through finding your way out of the scarcity to the truth and to voice it. We begin to be willing to express our essence to others and to the world, and to know that this truth must be expressed in order to experience fully the grace of who we are. When we live our truth we claim our power because we are acting from our deepest and purest Self. Our true self is who we really are when we let go of all of the stories, labels, and judgments that we have placed upon ourselves. It is who we naturally are without the masks and pretentiousness. It’s when you live authentically without the fear of looking bad, stupid, or just different. It’s when you accept all of your emotions including anger and sadness, disappointments and frustrations and express them in one way or another without elaborating or complaining. Find a gentle and loving way to simply state your truth. The intention here is not to hurt anyone but to express. Speak the truth first to friends that you feel comfortable with, then challenge yourself by expressing yourself fully by people who usually intimidate you. You can get more tips on what to do to live your life aligned with who you are by reading my blog post “I Feel Stuck In My Life.”
7. Don’t Be Nice, Be Real!
If you need to speak up for yourself and by doing that the other person will be confronted with consequences, know that there is much higher possibility for them to learn from this situation by having to face the consequences of their actions. Remember that, especially when it is your partner or family member who has narcissistic tendencies. Strong boundaries are the key to healing process in such a case. Being nice here is not serving you, them, or our society. And please get support and talk to someone who has experienced this type of emotional abuse.
For those who’ve been silent or still are, know that speaking up opened many doors for me and brought tremendous amount of healing and personal strength. I still was nice and protective of my ex after leaving my marriage of 11 years because of his betrayal. I kept it a secret for few years so that his reputation is not ruined. Later, I left a narcissistic relationship after he harassed me for months and I still was nice and didn’t report him to save his future from a record. Finally, when I was raped by a “friend”, all that silence came to surface as anger and disappointment towards narcissists and manipulators and our system that is broken and where victims are being judged and are ashamed to speak. That anger felt unexpectedly good and liberating! I felt this inner power to stand up for myself this time. I spoke up and I reported him and I speak my Truth since then more than ever! Here is to you beautiful soul: You matter! Let your voice be heard.