Self-expression is the way that we show the world who we are – and often how we connect, whether that’s with individuals, communities, or movements and ideas. It’s one of those areas that can get pushed to the back of the list of priorities and labelled ‘a luxury.’ But, without it ,a lot of things can suffer. From mental health, to getting your work or ideas out into the world, or just knowing that you’re living fully seen and heard – and not hiding or holding yourself back – self-expression is at the centre of it all.
“I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Defining self-expression is simple – it’s the communication of “you” and all the elements that might contain, from thoughts and emotions to ideas, opinions and behaviours. It’s communicating who you are and everything that you believe to be your reality.
Why does self-expression matter?
Well, if it mattered to Gandhi, someone who was renowned for their philanthropic work, then it sure as hell matters to the rest of us. Being silenced can be incredibly painful – and that’s especially so if we’re doing it to ourselves. A lack of self-expression often means that we are repressing part of who we are and that can cause a lot of internal conflict. It can cause mental and emotional pain, make us feel isolated and frustrated and like we are only living in the world as a shadow. The consequences of this could be anything, from that nagging feeling that you’ve got something more to give to a low level boiling rage that never really leaves you. It could also mean that you find it difficult to make connections, that your business marketing always falls flat or that you struggle to be seen and heard when it really matters.
What gets in the way of self-expression?
We do. Or, at least, the way that we try to control ourselves with the messaging that we’ve absorbed over the years. Self-expression often happens through creative channels like art and writing and so can be shut down in us early on, often by teachers making throw away comments or parents who had other priorities. Maybe we move forward into life assuming that only some people are creative or that we aren’t smart enough to have a voice. Bringing self-expression back to life can be an incredibly liberating process and often awakens a joyful and childlike part of us that is a direct route into healing.
What about professionally?
Many of us need to communicate as part of the work that we do. That might be using blogs to build an audience for your business, writing creative captions on social media or producing web content that really conveys what you have to offer potential customers. If you’ve always yearned to write a book, produce a play or start writing poetry then you’ll get nowhere without some strong self-expression in the mix. Self-expression is one of the elements that makes us good communicators and getting good at it can be incredibly powerful. Because if you want to communicate then you also need to learn how to connect and connection can’t happen without authentic self-expression.
Start writing from the heart, in alignment with your values and beliefs and your relationships can start to change – with your customers, your clients, even friends and family, and especially with yourself. Heart-led writing involves communicating with confident authenticity and finding a creation process that works for you. It’s a process of overcoming your individual obstacles to self-expression and getting more joy from creativity. It’s something that I coach people in, whether that’s to bring business marketing to life or to record a family history.
Heart-led writing coaching with Shore Coaching
This 6 module course is designed to help you activate self-expression and start using it personally and professionally. It focuses on three key questions:
1. What do you want to say and how do you want to say it?
Exploring and refining your message/mission statement. Looking at how you want to connect with people and the options available for that. Breaking out of the limits you might be placing on what’s possible.
2. Who are you trying to reach?
Identify your audience. Connect to what they want and need and how you can help them to overcome problems. Get past the obstacles that can be created by the idea of selling or the conditioning that surrounds the idea of what is ‘professional.’
3. What is holding you back?
Creative expression can be hampered by any number of things, from past experiences to imposter syndrome, a lack of confidence or just not knowing where to start. We will work together to uncover the blocks that are personal to you and overcome them so that you can move forward feeling confident and inspired and enjoy your creativity.
Module 1 – Who are you writing for? A deep dive into who you’re trying to communicate with so that you’re clear about the connections you want to make.
Module 2 – What is standing in the way? Identifying blocks and using well established coaching techniques and NLP exercises to move you past them.
Module 3 – Writing from the most authentic parts of you. Exercises to better understand what you want to say and how you want to say it.
Module 4 – Setting your writing goals and establishing a strategy. Getting clarity on what you’re trying to achieve and implementing a structure to make it happen.
Module 5 – Exploring your chosen medium – individual advice, support and guidance on finding your own authentic style within mediums where others have done so.
Module 6 – Accountability and editorial support. Keeping you motivated to achieve your writing goals with insightful and experienced direct support and guidance.
The combination of practical guidance and the transformational power of coaching techniques can help you to find the voice you have never fully expressed, bring ideas to life and create ways to connect that feel authentic to you. There are three different ways to experience the heart-led writing coaching course and you can find out more about them all here.