S E L F – E X P R E S S I O N
“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” –David Foster Wallace
Oh how I love that quote, and let’s just jump right in, shall we?
When it comes to self-expression, there are many ways to protrude what you have to offer and to express what’s on your mind, in your heart, and within your imagination.
When we speak of expressive natures in creative introverts, we can mean many things (and oh, how we LOVE that!). We can refer to design, writing, intuitive gifts, observant natures, or even artistic tendencies. It can be painting, knitting, crocheting, or singing.
I’ve seen how introvert personalities show up creatively to run the gamut, and gosh, is it gorgeous…
Here at Tamisha Ford International, we see self-expression as a core emotional need, meaning it’s something deeply needed for specific introverted women that isn’t sometimes able to be particularly expressed (pun intended) or articulated. It’s only felt. Often, these women are also highly sensitive introverts (we have that in common).
To an introvert who deeply desires this, there’s a need to feel alive and convey who you are properly and genuinely – you want others to notice, but not too much, which can be a real bugger if you are also an introvert entrepreneur, looking to build an online presence or business of some kind, which ultimately means you’re likely building a personal brand and expressing yourself through your business.
The women I work with and who are typically drawn here have an increased need for this creative outlet much more than the next person – it’s a sort of incredible freedom if she can figure out the balance between the complexities of sharing more of who she is while also not making others wary of her need to express.
Do something for me right here – take a good look at the little girl in the picture in today’s post. What do you see & feel when you look at her? What vibes do you get from her creative process, and what do you think she’s thinking about? If you have children, you should be especially good at this. Please take a moment to answer these questions before you keep reading…
You may be saying “yeah, Tamisha, but she’s just a child – of course she doesn’t feel threatened because she still has her innocence.” And to that I’d say, “you’re absolutely right.” And one of the reasons little girls grow up to be big girls who lose the innocence of their craft is what I call ‘cultural messaging’ – Brene Brown talks about it in a similar way in Daring Greatly, but it’s everywhere – these hidden agendas and messages meant to keep us in our containers. “Express here, here, and here please! It’s your role. Oh, but NOT over there!” (You know what I’m talkin’ about….)
Soooo…..do you think the little girl is concerned with those markings on her body? Not EVEN. She’s also not worried about being perfect, staying in the lines, or getting it “good” or “right.” She doesn’t care if 25 people like it, either – you know how children are? There’s likely just one person she cares about showing that little drawing to when she’s done, and this is a principle that can greatly serve you in creative self-expression because it works to get you to freedom.
I don’t spend 2 hours on one blog post or show up here for thousands of people every week, even though that many may be reading my stuff – there’s one particular type of person I write for. ONE. It’s a sacred, yet counter-intuitive practice that has loads of direct empathy and meaning behind it. I don’t write for the masses. She doesn’t write for the masses.
You thinking what I’m thinking?
Yep – you shouldn’t either. You don’t create for everyone, paint for everyone, knit for everyone, read books for everyone, write for everyone, or sing for everyone. Your business shouldn’t be for everyone, and your message sure can’t reach everyone. Even big-name brands like Nike, Virgin, or Target have people who don’t like their brand. Some people won’t even step foot into a Wal-Mart.
My point is this: “good” is in the eye of the beholder. So, let me just say it officially – you’re good! You’re really really good at what you do, create, think, offer, make, process, write or sell. And the people that agree are who you’re here for, not vice versa (you’re not here for people to agree). Whether it’s writing a vulnerable blog or speaking for your first time on stage, starting a new community, or deciding to start selling your art, let “good” and “right” be determined by those who hold your worldview and believe what you believe.
Honestly, I don’t define “good” or “normal” any way. I’ve seen writers who love to end sentences with adverbs or propositions. Who cares? I’ve met artists who only paint with 5 colors. Who cares?
The answer? The people who are meant to.
Another key ingredient I want you to begin to find and look for in your creative expression as an introvert is connection. And this deep human need is also a core question found in a newly devised checklist I made for the community here, also found on Pinterest, for you to use to start really taking an intimate look at how you’re showing up. You don’t have to answer every one of these questions every time, either. Just start getting familiar with them for reflection’s sake:
Look, I know you feel the depth and complexity of your own world & experience within you – I get it – I live it every day. Here’s the cognitive process & conversation you have in your own head, because as humans we make “safe” assumptions when we don’t know if someone else is an introvert or an extrovert:
“Oh….man, I want to share this idea, but since I’m sometimes drained by other people going overboard, they might not want to hear what I have to say or share, so….yeahhhh, I think I’m just gonna wait or share it later.”
This is what we humans do when we’re unsure of a situation and we feel that knot in our throat to speak up or share the brilliance we’re hiding. It starts with questioning – are they or aren’t they uncomfortable by my presence or idea? Then, it moves to assumption – yes, I think they’re probably uncomfortable (the safe answer). Then, full-on projection of our own experience – because I sometimes feel drained by other people’s overwhelming opinions or ideas, so will they.
As introverts, we can sometimes never give another person the opportunity to see the gorgeousness we have to offer from our own experience or thought processes. We never let them decide for themselves – we don’t give them the chance.
From you, I’d love to know…
- What is one thing that resonates with you the most from this piece or from the checklist?
- What one action can YOU take this week to show up in your creative outlet in a way that feels at least a little more authentic for you?
Thank you for sharing, reading, and being here. I’m always deeply grateful.
To new beginnings,