I had this realization (or reminder) recently that, for as long as I can remember, I have believed that one of the biggest things we’re here to do in this life is get to know ourselves.

I believe that we are always getting reacquainted with ourselves, over and over, as we encounter new experiences, challenges, and situations.

And really knowing ourselves requires a level of exploration and discovery to reveal and uncover our true Selves, our true essence if you will.

This is at the heart of my self-portrait journey and The Uncensored Self, the course I created to guide you through liberating your full expression with self-portraits.

But usually, we only seek out solutions for problems we’re aware of.

Why would we bother putting in the effort to get to know ourselves better if we already think we know exactly who we are?

If everything feels fine, why go about looking for ways to change things?

As much as I wish this weren’t true, if you’re a human on planet Earth, you’re likely censoring yourself in some way, whether you’re consciously aware of it or not.

There are some telltale signs, though, and if you take a moment to reflect, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Signs you might be censoring yourself / Signs your Self might be censored

Ultimately, all censorship is self-censorship.

While there are external actors and forces that might try to exert their will and desires on us, we are each responsible for our own individual behaviour and actions.

That means that while you may have been raised to be a certain way, and particular roles and ways of being, speaking, dressing, etc., may have been reinforced for you over the years, AND, it still comes down to your choice to take those things on.

It can be challenging when we’re not consciously aware of all the conditioning taking place, which is why it’s sooooo important to have a practice that allows you to experiment and test out what’s really you. 

So, while we may not be consciously aware of how our Selves are censored, here are some indicators to look for:

    • Seeing what other people are doing or expressing and wishing, “I wish I could do that/pull that off/me more like that.”
    • Noting whether there are some interests/topics you never bring up with others
    • When you see something interesting on social media, do you think about sharing it, but then stop yourself? What’s the thought process you go through?
    • Have you ever felt like you had to “make up” a goal or vision to have something to work toward, or just to feel like you had a vision? Does your goal/vision feel true and right for you? 
    • If you are (even a little bit) consciously aware of something, it might present itself as a thought or a feeling you can’t seem to ignore. You might feel torn or experience an internal struggle over “what to do about this.”
    • Joking often about doing something. For example, I made jokes about creating a close friends list on IG and the kind of content I’d share there. It turns out, that “joke” was exactly what I was craving! 

Areas where self-censorship might be showing up for you:

    • Outward style – what you wear, your hair, makeup, tattoos/piercings, etc.
    • What you say or don’t; opinions you share or not
    • Boundaries you establish and enforce, or not
    • Career, vocation, what you do with your time
    • Sexuality and sexual expression
    • Relationship dynamics
    • Hobbies and interests

Questions to ask yourself to explore your own self-censorship:

    • What habits or preferences do you consider a “given” in your life?
    • Do you remember consciously choosing everything in your life? Or did they just happen and you accepted them?
    • Are there some things in your life where you think, “I might choose differently if I could go back…”?
    • Where in your life are you doing things FOR others? Where do these things feel like burdens? (For example, are you the cook in the household just because it was expected of you, or do you actually enjoy it?)
    • What do you believe to be true about the/your world? When did you last challenge these beliefs or seek out different information?
    • What routines do you have, and when was the last time you switched them up and did something differently / “out of character”?
      • If you were to decide to wake up and do things completely differently for that day, what would you day look like/include?

Maybe now you’re realizing exactly where you might censoring yourself. So, what next? You can always experiment with your self-expression.

Want to dive deeper?

Check out my course – The Uncensored Self: Liberate your full expression through self-portraits.

Why self-portraits?

➡️ Your true Self longs to be remembered and expressed through you.

➡️ And if there are parts of yourself you feel afraid or nervous about showing people, embodying them through self-portraits is a safe – and solo – way to explore.

➡️ Self-portraits are a safe, judgement- and expectation-free space to explore your curiosities, your desires, and aspects of yourself you might hide away.