Have you been puzzled by the term self-expression? What it is and why is it so important? I did a Facebook live on Tuesday where I shared some information about this. You can watch the video or read the transcript below it.


(I’ve skipped the intro and some stuttering in the transcript because it isn’t relevant to the information.)

What I was going to talk about today, and what I hope to talk to some of you about is What is this self-expression anyway? Why is it so important?


So what is self-expression?

Well, if you Google it, Google comes up with a dictionary definition, that is:

Google's definition of the word self-expression

I would say that was a pretty narrow definition. So if we go to Merriam-Webster, which is a pretty respected dictionary, they say:


Merriam-Webster's definition of the word self-expression

I know I’ve felt it. Back when I was working a regular job and had no time left for myself. And especially no energy to express me. And when you’re on computer support, you’re not really allowed to tell people they’re too stupid to own a computer. So I couldn’t really express my attitude or impatience and stubbornness. Stuff like that. My self-expression was limited. So I definitely know what it feels like, and it sucks!

“The desire for self-expression afflicts people when they feel there is something of themselves which is not getting through to the outside world”

Fay Weldon

Children have this natural ability to be fully expressed. You can see it when they play. You can see it in the way they ask questions. Like “Why don’t you say that you don’t like her?”, “Why do you tell her that dress is nice when it’s not?” and all of those kid questions you might get.

As we grow older, society teaches us that we should put limits on ourselves. That some things aren’t acceptable. And of course, some things aren’t. You don’t go around telling people that they’re stupid. If you’re a nice person.

But, this niceness has a tendency to take overhand, to go too far. So that you go on accepting a bad situation when you really shouldn’t. And that you start sacrificing pieces of yourself. Like you’re this gray, anonymous Mouse in the world and nobody knows you from the next person. That’s really not how we’re supposed to live!

We’re supposed to have a life that is enjoyable. We’re supposed to have a life that is us being who we are Tweet this! . You are supposed to be you! You’re not supposed to compare to or copy someone else. 

Neuroscience teaches us that self-expression might be one, if not the most important way for people to connect. To navigate through life. To grow and communicate. It’s a display of individuality that science has shown is important. Some scientists even rank it above identity and freedom. You can see that by all the expressions that came out of the prisoner of war camps. They’re still coming out of prisons. That freedom is not what we put at the forefront all the time.

When that is taken away, we still want to have our self-expression. We still want to express ourselves creatively. And I’ve found that when you use creativity when we express ourselves creatively, it is a great path to expressing our individuality in other areas as well. You can almost call it a gateway drug.

This creative expression brings expression in other areas of life. To be fully expressed is really knowing who you are, expressing who you are. Not comparing yourself to others. Accepting yourself for who you are, and also pursuing your passions. That is a big piece of it.

So now I want to hear what is going on in your life. How’s your self-expression doing? Are you living this fully expressed life or not expressing yourself at all, or somewhere in between? I want to know how that is for you. Answer that in the comments. And I also have one more question and I posted that is a fill in the blank question I posted on my page earlier today.

What is self-expression to you?


First, leave me a comment here. before you go anywhere else. And share it, if you think it’s good. Ok? Then you can go and fill in the blank on the other post.


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