One of the concepts I find my clients (and sometimes myself) struggling with is ‘genuine self expression’. In its simplest form, Genuine Self Expression is the display of our ‘True Selves’ and our ‘Gifts’ to the world. It is the ‘real us’ that yearns to be seen but is often hidden by the masks we choose to wear.

In thinking about this it is important to first understand that you are ‘expressed’ the moment you are born. Your physical form is an expression of your soul. The way you look, act, feel and think are all part of your ‘self’ making an imprint on the world at large. In this way you cannot NOT express.

As we grow up, however, we learn to judge aspects of our ‘self’. We see things we don’t like and therefore seek to either hide them or cut them out all together. We hear stories about how we ‘should be’ and begin to act according to what other people think. This is a form of self-destruction and abandonment, and almost always results in anxiety, depression and pain.

In this abandonment we try to convince ourselves that are something we are not. We might forsake our creative impulses for ‘hard nosed logic’, or give up a genuine desire to teach for money and power. Or we might play at being a quiet spouse when our deeper impulse tells us to dance and sing. We wear a ‘self’ that is not genuine but is instead manufactured…and in this we live a life of nagging despair.

So when someone asks us ‘what do you really want to be?’, we reply with a blank stare. We have spent most of our lives wearing a series of masks, and somewhere along the way have forgotten that we even had a choice in the matter. Our true selves are so buried under ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ that we have lost sight of what we were meant to be and do. We have literally lost our ‘selves’.

Yet the Self is still there, waiting to be revealed…and it will not rest until you let it shine in the world. Your Self is like one of Michelangelo’s statues, begging to be released from the encapsulating stone. Dormant potential seeking expression.

So if you want to express your genuine self in the world you must first intend it. You must literally say to yourself “I intend to be myself in every way, and to express my gifts in this world”. The moment you do this your subconscious mind will seek the ‘how’.

Once you clearly intend you can then begin to notice how you currently express in the world…identifying what you find uncomfortable vs. what you enjoy. Genuine self expression feels good and exhilarating. It shows up in love and excitement and eagerness. Masks feel exhausting and boring and painful. Your Genuine Self will always resist a mask, and so you will feel restricted when wearing one.

As you become more and more aware of your Self, you will then be attracted to things with meaning. Fear will subside and opportunities open up. Masks will become obvious as you enter into a state of ‘flow’ with who you are and what you are doing. Your life will begin to feel good, and this is a sign that you are becoming fully expressed.

Remember: Your Genuine Self will win in the end…your task is simply to help remove the masks and speed the process!

-KC Hildreth