“In A Society That Profits From Your Self-Doubt, Loving Yourself Is a Rebellious Act.”
As Women, our desire for self-love has spanned the centuries and faced much opposition. Even as Women of the modern world, we still live in a society where our worst enemy is often ourselves, because of an idea that pop culture loves to hold us hostage with: “No matter what, we’re never enough.”
But what would happen if we simply said “no more”? If we refused to allow that pervasive thought to hold any further power over us?
I’ll tell you: We’d become powerful beyond our wildest dreams.
We want and deserve to love ourselves just as we are. It is an inalienable right to be accepted as enough and to feel worthy just because. We want to love ourselves in spite of all that’s telling us not to.
Easier said than done, I know. But there are tools you can use that can help make loving ourselves in this way less formidable, that can help you to develop a deep seated love of who you are and what you stand for.
One such tool is creativity and artistic expression.
Here are 3 ways we can use our creativity and artistic expression to develop an unshakable Self-Esteem and Love of Self.
1. Make Peace With Judgmental Self-Talk
To be truly creative, we must enter into an agreement with ourselves that suspends any judgment and allows for free expression. Creativity involves an attitude of receptivity of what is going on inside of us or around us. It mandates that we be aware.
In order for a line to be drawn on a canvas or for words to be written on a page, our inner critic needs to be silenced. Otherwise we stare blankly at our blank creation paralyzed by fear. We never progress.
Such can be the same in our lives. Allowing ourselves the literal time and freedom to put brush to canvas in an intentional way makes us push pause on inner criticism and judgement. This can lead us to underlying limiting beliefs that are affecting other areas of our lives and our opinions of ourselves. We become more aware and awareness is 70% of the battle.
You can’t change something you don’t know isn’t there.
Once we know where our obstacles are showing up, we can begin to deal with them to make them inert. One leads us into the other.
2. Spontaneity Breeds Discoveries
Spontaneity is the mother of truth and the sister to artistic expression. Individuality is born out of spontaneity. Out of unplanned reactions and a unique sense of humor. Our own idiosyncrasies are what give us personality and that is what we love about other people and what will help us to love ourselves.
Do we allow ourselves to be spontaneous? To act without thinking? This is how our true personality comes to light. The more we allow our personalities to be exposed without filters, the more we can know ourselves and love ourselves. You can’t love someone you don’t know.
So in terms of creativity, we can use this vehicle to get us started on a no risk trajectory towards exploring the love inducing quirks that make us, us. We can start being spontaneous with artistic expressions. No one will choose the exact color placement or word phraseology as you, because no one interacts with the world quite like you.
Once we get comfortable allowing our personality to shine through in creative expressions, we will gain the courage to start exposing them around other people and to start showing up in the world where we might have felt timid before.
Courage builds confidence, confidence builds acceptance and acceptance leads to love.
Another way creativity can help us develop deeper self-love is through redirection. As much as we try to silence our inner critic, she will never go away forever. That’s just a fact of reality. So when she rears her head, getting the negativity out into open space, instead of letting it magnify within the confines of your mind can help to quiet them.
Creativity can be an effective tool in not only getting the negativity out, but in redirecting our thoughts. If we’re focusing in on how to capture the perfect note combination or getting the perfect angle for the photograph we’re about to take, we stop focusing on what’s going on in our heads. We push pause on anxiety for a little while so we can regroup and pep-talk ourselves into a more positive state of acceptance and love. The key to success is in management of our minds, which creativity can help us to do.
Self-Love and creativity are intertwined. One can lead to the other if used in a strategic way.
Just like creativity, Self-Love is a practice. It’s always evolving and fluid. One day you’ll be amazed at it. The next you’ll struggle. The key is to learn to work with the ebb and flow, not to fight it.
Next time you’re having a bad Self-Love day, I challenge you to employ some sort of creative endeavor to turn yourself around. Sometimes is as simple as just starting and not thinking.
– Photo credit: Tiko Giorgadze