Focal Tangent Episode 52 - Beyond the Mask: A Deep Dive into Authentic Self-Expression with Kari Russell

Episode #52: Beyond the Mask: A Deep Dive into Authentic Self-Expression with Kari Russell

In this discussion, Kari Russell, a leadership and self-expression business coach, speaks about the importance of self-expression, defining it as an individual's method of expressing feelings, thoughts, or ideas, whether it's through art, music, writing, or even their own personal style.

Kari emphasizes the importance of authenticity, and the challenges between balancing self-expression and societal expectations. She also offers thought-provoking questions for self-reflection and encourages listeners to develop intimacy with their ego.

Kari highlights her coaching programs and shares how these programs aim to help individuals build their personal power, strengthen their self-leadership, and transform their self-expression through vulnerability, courage, and self-ownership.

Ultimately, Kari's message encourages an examination of one's self-expression in a compassionate light, creating a solid foundation to make more empowered decisions moving forward.

Here is an overview:

Discovering Authenticity
Everyone's journey of self-expression is unique and layered, unlearning specific social modes and embracing a different way of being that is more aligned to one's true self. One such story of transformation is that of Nathalie, a business owner who explored self-expression from a different perspective when she met Kari Russell whose works empowered her to honor her realities.

Understanding Self-Expression
Defining self-expression can be an exploration. According to Kari, self-expression holds two aspects—the internal and the external self. The internal is about understanding who you are, while the external refers to how you present yourself to the world. True self-expression occurs when there’s coherence between these two, leading to authentic representation.

The Ego and Self-Expression
Speaking about the ego may evoke a sense of discomfort for many, as it's often seen as a negative aspect of our personalities. But what if we were to view the ego differently? Instead of seeing the ego as the enemy, Kari advised seeing lowest frequency ego actions as a reflection of aspects of ourselves that we are yet to tap into, making it a helpful tool for growth.

Validation and Self-Expression
The desire for external validation can sometimes hinder self-expression. The key, then, is asking ourselves, "What is the validation giving me?" Are we seeking affirmation of our worth through sales, praises, or acceptance from others? Diving deeper into what we make of these validations could provide us with the answer.

Evolving Self-Expression
Self-expression is not a one-time event but rather an evolving journey. As we grow and change, so do our ways of expressing ourselves. It involves continuously asking questions like "Am I expressing myself authentically or based on how I used to be?" 

Fear and Judgement
Fear, as well as self-judgment, often plays a role in hindering genuine self-expression. The worry about others’ opinions can make us alter our behavior to fit into the societal norm, thereby compromising on our authentic selves. But by addressing each fear and judgment and seeing them as opportunities to grow, one can move forward. 

Self-expression and Branding
Self-expression and brand expression are intertwined. Being aware of what you stand for—your value—and expressing it authentically has a ripple effect on your brand. It consistently communicates who you are to your audience, enabling you to connect on a deeper level—it shines your truth out for the world to see.

In our journey of authentic self-expression, let us remember to approach ourselves and our progress with love and compassion. Forging a new path in self-expression can feel intimidating, but with every step we take towards becoming truer versions of ourselves, not only do we become empowered, but we also empower others with our authenticity. There lies the hidden power of authentic self-expression.

Episode Highlights:

00:00 Introduction to Self Expression
01:02 Guest Introduction: Kari Russell
02:15 Understanding Self Expression
03:00 The Dual Sides of Self Expression
05:05 The Journey of Self Expression
05:46 The Role of Ego in Self Expression
06:54 Overcoming the Need for External Validation
07:27 The Power of Self Leadership
10:48 Understanding and Embracing Judgment
16:54 The Role of Ego in Self Expression Revisited
27:04 Understanding Self-Knowership and Integrity
27:32 Dealing with Judgments and Self-Identity
28:53 Choosing Your Energy Focus
29:12 Self-Expression and Brand Expression
29:56 Creating Your Brand Identity
30:32 The Impact of Social Media on Self-Expression
31:08 The Importance of Authenticity in Branding
31:39 The Role of Self-Expression in Building Your Brand
33:27 The Journey of Self-Expression
36:38 The Power of Self-Expression
37:03 Tools for Deepening Self-Expression
38:43 The Impact of Self-Expression Prompts
46:06 The Power of Vulnerability and Intimacy in Self-Expression
49:50 Final Thoughts on the Self-Expression Journey

Episode Quotes

"I'm not who I was yesterday, I'm not who I will be tomorrow, but who I am right now is enough" - Kari Russell

"It's like we can't lead others until we are leading ourselves" - Kari Russell

Connect with Kari:


Links mentioned in the episode:

Daily s|ex prompts


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About the Podcast Host:

Hi, I'm your host Nathalie Amlani, a brand strategist, photographer, soulful entrepreneur, and visual storyteller.  I help female entrepreneurs look and feel amazing online.  Imagine creating a strong personal brand that authentically deepens the connection with your audience and leads to an increase in business revenue and joy (yes, that's what help do!).  I value community and this podcast brings to life the vision of having a hub of curated experiences and information that enables powerful growth as a collective.

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