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Overcoming self-inhibition

There are many reasons why someone might find it difficult to express their emotions fully. The inability to fully express emotions can be a very difficult and isolating experience. It can make us feel like we cannot connect with others, and that we are not being heard or understood. Suppressed emotions can lead to emotional distress, and can also have negative consequences for our mental and physical health.

Individuals in some cultures or family or business settings may place a high value on stoicism and emotional restraint. Someone may try to inhibit us by having an emotional outburst, or by yelling at us or they might resort to judgement and name-calling. To protect oneself from their harmful behaviour, one may sometimes have to remove oneself from the situation.

In these settings, one can be afraid of the emotional abuse, judgement and rejection that arise when one dares to express one’s emotions openly and honestly. In these traumatic interpersonal experiences, we may learn to suppress emotions, as a way of coping. There may also be other routes for developing self-inhibition, like when people don’t accept us for who we are, when we are  ashamed of our feelings, or when we experience perfectionism or low self-worth.

It is important to be bold and courageous in the face of adversity, especially when we are committed to using our abilities to help people and make the world a better place. We should not let anyone silence us or prevent us from expressing ourselves freely.

Remember, we are all equal and worthy of love, acceptance, and happiness.

Meditation for overcoming self-inhibition

I sit in a comfortable position, closing my eyes and taking a few calm and relaxing breaths. As I breathe in, I say to myself, “I am calm.” As I breathe out, I say to myself, “I am relaxing.”

In this meditation, I pay attention to the present moment without judgment. I observe my thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them. I bring my attention to my body, noticing any tension or tightness. This meditation is a safe space to express emotions by acknowledging and observing them, without judgement. I gently breathe into the tenseness or tightness, allowing them to relax.  I notice any emotions that I am feeling, without judgement. If the emotions are too overwhelming, I can modulate the emotion to be less intense by using my will.

If I notice any emotions that are related to self-inhibition, I allow myself to observe them without judgment. I remind myself that these emotions are temporary, and they do not define me. I am willing to express and release these emotions. During my in-breath I say to myself: “I am calm” and during my out-breath I say to myself: “I acknowledge and let go of self-inhibiting emotions and thoughts. During my in-breath I say to myself: “I am calm” and during my out-breath I say to myself: “I allow myself to express my emotions in healthy ways.” During my in-breath I say to myself: “I am calm” and during my out-breath I say to myself: “I release all the tension that holds me back”.

I stop holding back and I allow myself to heal and thrive. I allow myself to be present in the moment, without judgment. I allow myself to feel loved and accepted no matter what. I focus on my breathing and I invite relaxation into my body. I enjoy a sense of worth, release and freedom.

Now, I bring my attention to my thoughts. I observe my thoughts without getting caught up in them. I notice thoughts that are coming up, without judgment. I know that I can overcome self-inhibition. I am committed to overcoming self-inhibition. I am willing to do the work that it takes to heal my emotional wounds and to learn to express my emotions fully – in a healthy way.

I am confident that I can overcome self-inhibition. I make use of the resources that are available to help me, such as meditation, affirmations, therapy, support groups, self-help videos and other content. I am grateful for every opportunity to heal and grow. I am excited to see what the future holds. I build my self-worth – I am worthy of love and acceptance – I am strong and capable. I do not judge myself for finding some situations difficult to navigate, especially when people are playing mind-games, and I do not let that affect my self-worth. I simply step away from mind-games, as well as unhealthy expectations and find healthy ways to express my emotions.

I repeat affirmations every day to help me to build my self-worth and overcome self-inhibition. I repeat affirmations to retrain my brain to accommodate high self-worth. I repeat the affirmations enough times to truly integrate and believe them. I keep repeating them to myself, out loud and in my mind, and I take actions to support them, knowing that they will soon enough become a reality for me. Affirmations help me to overcome negative self-talk. Emotional regulation and affirmations make me feel hopeful, inspired and motivated. I take action and to enjoy life.

I know that with time and effort, I can overcome self-inhibition and live a fulfilling life.

Affirmations for building my self-worth

  • I allow myself to heal and thrive
  • I am worthy of love and acceptance
  • I am strong and capable
  • I am deserving of good things
  • I am enough just the way I am
  • I am worthy of success
  • I am worthy of happiness
  • I am worthy of being heard
  • I am worthy of being seen
  • I am worthy of being loved
  • I am worthy of being respected
  • I am worthy of being celebrated

I find many ways to affirm my self-worth and overcome self-inhibition, like therapy, journaling, spending time in nature, and doing activities that I enjoy. I also create manageable challenges for myself. I keep moving forward and to never give up on myself. I am worthy of love, happiness, and success.

Affirmations for overcoming self-inhibition

  • I am overcoming self-inhibition
  • I am free to express myself
  • I am free to take risks
  • I am free to be myself
  • I am free to ask for help
  • I am free to speak my truth
  • I am free to stand up for myself
  • I am not afraid to be vulnerable
  • I am not afraid to make mistakes
  • I am not afraid to be judged
  • I am not afraid to fail
  • I am learning to express my emotions fully
  • I express my emotions openly in healthy ways
  • I break the habit of suppressing emotions as a way to cope
  • I let go of self-inhibiting emotional tension
  • I am not afraid of expressing my emotions in healthy ways
  • I develop high self-worth and validate openly expressing my emotions
  • I consider all my emotions to be valid and important and that I deserve to express them in healthy ways

I do not judge my emotions. I do not minimise my emotions by telling myself that I am being over sensitive. All my emotions are valid and I do not numb out any of them. There is nothing wrong with me for feeling the way I do. Instead of judging my feelings, I accept them.

Reappraisals for overcoming self-inhibition

If I experience low self-worth, I make a point of developing better self-worth. If I worry about that others will think if I express myself and my emotions openly and in a healthy way, I make a point of overcoming this worry and to increase my self-worth.

If I experience restrained emotions… if I feel unable to express my emotions fully, or… if I feel like I have to bottle up my emotions, I invest the time in re-learning to express my emotions openly and honestly. I regulate all the suppressed emotions and the emotions that are holding me back.

If I am afraid to say or ask something or express views… I identify the reasons why I may feel like I cannot express myself. I can develop ways of overcoming the challenges. If I still struggle to express my emotions and experience very intense suppressed emotions, I can consider getting help, like professional therapy to develop strategies for regulating my emotions.

If I struggle with self-inhibition, I look for the things I can do to overcome self-inhibition. I build my self-worth. I instill in me the belief that am good enough, and that I deserve to succeed. I develop high self-worth that helps to unleash my self-efficacy and self-expression.

I develop my capacity to express myself, to exert control over my motivations, behavior, and social environment. I spend time with people who are kind, caring and compassionate. I do not hesitate to take the risks of expressing myself. I do not try to be perfect. I feel that I can measure up, by being myself, and without being perfect. I am unafraid of being judged.

If I become afraid that I might not be good enough, that I might be judged or that I might make mistakes… if I try to avoid taking risks… if I inhibit myself or if I hold myself back… I notice all the self-inhibition and start working at taking back my freedom of self-expression. I take the time to regulate feelings of anxiety, tension, unease and nervousness. I do things that make me feel good about myself and build my self-worth. I set realistic goals and achieve them.

Once I have regulated those emotions and disengaged the auto-generated negative thoughts, I can relax more and be myself more easily. I challenge negative thoughts about myself or my abilities – I do not believe those auto-generated, intrusive thoughts – I simply dismiss and disengage them. There is no evidence to support those thoughts and interpretations of situations and the evolving story lines aren’t facts. I release those unwanted thoughts by acknowledging that they exist, but I do not engage them. If I don’t believe, nor engage with those thoughts, and they can do no harm to me.

I identify the reasoning and suppressed emotions that are fueling any self-inhibition and I work on strategies to overcome the self-inhibition.

If someone tries to inhibit me or expects me to self-inhibit…

I protect myself and my right to express my emotions and share my opinions freely. It is important to be able to express myself freely, without inhibition – to communicate and share ideas. I do not let those who try to silence me, deter me.

When someone is having an emotional outburst, it can be tempting to shut down and withdraw. But instead, I recognise that I am not responsible for someone else’s emotions. Their outburst is about them, not me. I try to understand their motives, but I recognise that I may never understand their reasons for trying to silence me. I do not take it personally – it is about them, not about me. I stay calm and assertive. I let them know that I understand that they are upset, but that I will not talk to them when they are having an outburst.

Once I have removed myself from the situation, I can take some time to calm down and process what happened. It can also be helpful to talk to a trusted friend or therapist about the traumatic experience. I have the right to express myself freely and without fear of being attacked or judged. I don’t allow someone else’s emotional outburst take my right to express myself away from me.

I set boundaries. I let them know that I will not tolerate their attempts to inhibit me. I may say to them:  “I am not going to change who I am to please you.”

I am willing to walk away, if they continue to try to inhibit me, and I may have to remove myself from the situation to protect myself from their harmful behavior. I am learning how to cope and protect myself.

I learn how to adapt and overcome self-inhibition. I am able to identify and change patterns of self-inhibition. I take steps to protect myself. I learn from experiences and develop strategies for dealing with similar situations in the future.

I can express myself in a letter to them, and I don’t have to give the letter to them:

I am writing to you today to express my concern about your attempts to inhibit me. I understand that you may have your reasons for doing this, but I believe that your behaviour is unfair and unhealthy.

First of all, it is unfair to ask me to change who I am to please you. I am a unique individual with my own thoughts, feelings, and opinions. I should not have to suppress these things in order to make you happy.

Secondly, self-inhibition can be unhealthy. When we suppress our emotions, they don’t go away. They just get bottled up inside, which can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.

Finally, self-inhibition can harm my life. If I am unable to express myself freely, I will not be able to reach my full potential. I will not be able to be creative, form meaningful relationships, pursue my dreams, or live a happy and fulfilling life.

I hope that you will reconsider your demands. I am not asking you to agree with me all the time, but I do ask that you respect my right to express myself freely.

Sabine Thomas

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