The Art of Self-Expression
You don’t have a duty to this world- just a purpose.
You’re here not to be anything, make anything, do anything, or own anything. The only purpose of life is the expression of life itself.
IN-Q, an award-winning poet, multi-platinum songwriter, and the best-selling author of Inquire Within, tells you to be who you are and express the uniqueness of your human fingerprint on this earth.
He believes that you evolve—that there is no absolute truth, just momentary truth. And you express your momentary truth in different forms of art.
These creations become your avenues for letting out deep personal feelings like stress, unresolved emotions, burdens of your past, excitement, inspiration, and passion, to name a few.
The more you express those things, the more present you can be in the world, and the more you can connect with other people. But you must be responsible for what you express.
Yes, you have the liberty to speak out, but always remember that this is not a ticket to step on others.
Don’t Hate, Create
If you’re not satisfied with what you have, create another. Your content will not climb the ranks if you pull others down.
Hatred destroys the hater, not the thing hated.
So instead of tearing something down, try building something up. All content is an attempt to create an impact on the world.
Maybe we’re afraid to express ourselves because we know some people just want to tear us down. When you’ve shared your art with the world, you may not always receive feedback—but it doesn’t mean there isn’t one. And just because you get negative feedback, it doesn’t mean it’s even about you.
So why contain your life within somebody’s criticism and compliments?
This is not you expressing the true beauty of your life. This is not you serving your purpose.
Let your art speak your truth.
If you do it for the praise and applause of others, it will only keep you in this prison of “doing things because you need to” or “not doing things because you’re afraid to be judged.”
It’s your own judgment that’s keeping you from sharing your art with the world.
Post that podcast.
Exhibit that painting.
Record that music.
Publish that blog.
People crave that authentic expression across platforms.
Its rawness makes people feel. It acts as a catalyst for others to embrace their uniqueness as well.
How to Keep the Inspiration Alive
Expressing yourself is not always exciting. Sometimes, the passion won’t burn as brightly as it used to. There may not be interesting stories to tell.
Do your art anyway.
IN-Q shares how he makes his art not feel like a job. He enjoys the two-part process: the creation and the presentation.
Create your art first without thinking about your audience. Some approach creativity differently. IN-Q starts with things he’s curious about, either one that pisses him off or one that inspires him. Then he builds something from there, a poem, for example.
Sometimes, if he gives it enough time and space, the poem will almost write itself.
After you create something, decide on the vehicle for it.
How do you give it away to the world? Will it be through a book, concert, or video?
The presentation part is challenging because you might deviate from the very purpose of why you created the art in the first place. When you put it out to the world, of course, you want it to be successful. And because of that, you’ll seek outside validation and recognition for your ego.
Then, it winds up being almost like a strategy—”How do I release this stuff to connect with the audience and get their approval?”
Don’t over-strategize. It will only get in your way.
Create for yourself.
Do something that lights you up. If it’s true for you, it will also be for many others. And it will light them up.
Allow it to be raw, to be real. Create for yourself and release it for yourself. Let it go and allow it to live for other people and see what happens.
You lose yourself when you try to create for others.
Don’t Stop Playing
Some people don’t view themselves as artists.
And so when they become adults, they usually stop playing. But playing is where vitality comes from. You have to play in your life; otherwise, you’ll calcify. And if you calcify, you die faster.
The hard thing about playing is that you’re not always good at it immediately. It takes effort.
Why would you want to do something you’re not good at?
As a kid, you’re forced to do it because:
- you’re really not good at anything
- you have no previous skillset to lean on
- you’re not forced to make a living
- you have no direct financial responsibilities
- you’re not in charge of your own time
At this point, you are just trying a bunch of things to see what you’re good at, learn about yourself, and gain skills.
Some had to fit in the familiar structure they came into or the societal norm where they lived. And so they stop doing things they’re not good at because they don’t want to be embarrassed or to look stupid.
But that’s the way we grow—by being embarrassed, looking stupid, learning things we’re not good at, and learning new things about ourselves.
And when we stay on the same routine, we don’t get that opportunity.
Create a Life the Makes You Happy
We are all storytellers. The stories that we tell ourselves and the stories we tell other people become our lives, our purpose, individually and collectively. We do all these through self-expression.
It will not be easy for everyone. Uncertainties will always be there, but life is not meant to be understood—it’s for you to experience.
How do you want to look back on life? With a smile or with a sigh?
Live unapologetically. Happiness is not a point; it’s a range where you can enjoy the journey.
Get additional tips and inspiration as you listen to more heart-melting content from IN-Q. He is the living proof that expressing your authentic self allows you to serve your life’s purpose. Be sure to catch our latest podcast and other Coachable episodes!