5 Creative Ways to Practice Self-Expression

“Everyone has their own ways of expression. I believe we all have a lot to say, but finding ways to say it is more than half the battle.” – Criss Jami

Imagine if you could freely and unabashedly express who you are and what you want? 

How would your life change? What would be different?

Self-expression is a fundamental part of sharing our gifts and talents with the world.

It’s how we share what’s important to us, what we believe in, and what we desire. 

Self-expression is how we connect with each other more deeply. It allows us to experience empathy and understanding so we can help and serve others.

It’s important to have an avenue to freely express ourselves and let our personality shine.

If we don’t feel comfortable expressing ourselves it will be difficult to show up fully, be bold, and make a difference in the world.

If we don’t believe we have a voice worth listening to, we won’t speak up or express our needs, hopes, and dreams.

So here are five ways you can learn to express yourself more fully.

1. Expressive writing

Many people find it useful to express themselves through some form of writing. 

Whether you write prose, poetry, or simply journal about your day, expressing yourself through writing can help you share your thoughts, feelings, and perspective.

A powerful exercise is do a “brain dump” and freely write anything that comes to mind for 15 minutes each day. 

You can get more specific and start writing about your life experiences. This could be your earliest memory from kindergarten or an experience you had yesterday. 

The point is to practice writing so you can understand yourself more fully, and ultimately use writing as a means to speak your truth and be more intentional about what you want to say.

“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.” – Ansel Adams

2. Dress to express

You may not care about fashion or the latest trends, but creating and/or wearing clothing that reflect your inner self is a strong form of self-expression. 

What we wear reveals something about our personality. You’re clothing is a conduit to your values and aesthetic taste. 

Two apparel companies that have helped me connect with my self-expression are Ugmonk and Random Objects, which is where the dream chaser t-shirt came from. These clothe help me express myself and feel good about how I look.

If you’re feeling even more ambitious, MeowPrint.sg, along with other T-shirt printing services pave the way for you to wear your thoughts through customized apparel such as shirts.

Thanks to the advancements in technology, custom printed shirts are more affordable and readily available through online stores. You can also recycle your old clothes and transform them into something different and eclectic.

3. Dance and body movement

Dancing and body movement is a very intricate form of self-expression. The act of dancing and body movement is innate and universal. Even a toddler can sense rhythm and express this feeling through movement.

Our demeanor and body language is an extension of communication and self-expression. 

Within dance and movement is the ability to feel expansive and let go of the constricting feelings that keep us stiff and expressionless.

Our actions are also interconnected with our emotions and can be used to shift our mindset and attitude. 

That’s why social psychologist Amy Cuddy encourages people to use power posing to feel more confident and reduce stress. 

Whether you power pose or dance, play around with expressing your feelings through movement. 

“Don’t die with the music still in you.”― Dr. Wayne Dyer

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

4. Sing and play music

One of the most common ways to express how we feel and who we are is through music.

Whether your feeling joyful on a warm summer day, or gloomy and dejected on a cold winter day, there is song that can help you express this. 

One of the most fulfilling ways I express myself is through writing and playing music. It’s a way creative way to share who I am and how I feel.

I recently produced and recorded music under the moniker MiddleGames. I didn’t make this music because I want to be a successful artist, but because it’s fulfilling and a part of how I express creativity. 

I believe everyone has at least one song inside of them waiting to be created. There’s no write or wrong way to write a song or make music, so give it a try. 

5. Find your voice

Some people have a hard time speaking up. They feel timid and shy and lack confidence in what they want to say.

They’ve been shut down and misunderstood, and because of this have stopped speaking up. 

The good news is, you can reclaim your voice. It take practice and courage, but you can grow your confidence around speaking your mind.

You can join a book club where everyone shares their thoughts and opinion about a book. You can join or attend a speaking program, such as Toastmasters International, that will teach you to speak more honestly, directly, and confidently.

Consider how you can create opportunities to speak publicly and find your voice.

“Everybody is talented because everybody who is human has something to express.” – Brenda Ueland

The bottom-line

Creative self-expression isn’t just for artists, it’s a fundamental part of being human. It’s a skill and capacity that helps us navigate our world and make the most of our life. 

Self-expression is how we feel understood and share who we are with the world.  

There are many ways to express ourselves. Choose one of the ideas above and practice sharing your ideas, feelings, and dreams through these mediums. 

Don’t judge or critique your ability. Try to be open and free. Trust the process and allow your self-expression to blossom.

Featured image by Juan Camilo Navia on Unsplash