Changing How You See Yourself To Manifest Your Creative Dream

In this post, I talk about why highly sensitive people with a history of emotional neglect or trauma struggle to believe in themselves and follow their creative dreams. I also explain the importance of aligning your identity with your creative dreams. 

How Trauma Impacts The Way You See Yourself

The way you see yourself can greatly impact your creative dreams. If the way you see yourself isn’t aligned with what your spirit longs to create or what you want to accomplish in this life, it can be hard to follow through or stay committed long enough to make your dream a reality.

This isn’t your fault. Especially if you’re a highly sensitive person with a history of emotional neglect or trauma.

Trauma can significantly influence how you perceive and interact with the world. This is because in your brain, the order of events is always safety first, creative dream second!

If your brain deems something as unsafe because of your past, you will experience inner resistance that will prevent you from following your creative dreams.  You cannot argue with this. You cannot logic it away. And the things your brain or your subconscious mind decide are unsafe don’t always make sense.

You might not notice that you’re feeling unsafe but you will notice the patterns you fall into – like leaving too many projects unfinished or never carving out the time to work on your art or overthinking your next steps until you procrastinate or constantly putting yourself or your work down.

So what is trauma exactly?

Trauma is an emotional response to a distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms your ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, diminishes your sense of self, and your ability to feel a full range of emotions and experiences. It often results from events that are emotionally painful and distressing, and that overwhelm your ability to cope with what you have experienced. Trauma can be caused by a single event, such as an accident or a natural disaster, or from ongoing stressors, such as living in poverty or experiencing long-term illness.

Interestingly, what constitutes trauma can vary significantly from one person to another, particularly between children and adults. Children are more vulnerable to trauma because their coping mechanisms are less developed, and they often lack the broader context to understand and process events. Simple occurrences, like the sudden loss of a pet, intense arguments between parents, the everyday experience of emotional neglect or even the harsh rejection from a friend, can be deeply traumatic for a child. These events might not profoundly affect an adult in the same way, but for a child, they can leave lasting emotional scars because children are inherently more sensitive to their environments.

As adults, we might look back and underestimate the impact of these events because we now see them through the lens of adult reasoning and resilience. However, the emotional imprint they left during childhood can continue to influence behavior and emotional health well into adulthood. These childhood traumas can manifest as fears, insecurities, and skewed perceptions that subtly influence daily decisions and interactions – especially when it comes to decisions that affect your creative dreams.

Understanding that trauma can stem from what might seem like ‘minor’ childhood events is crucial for healing.

As you can see, trauma makes you see yourself and the world as unsafe and this can greatly impact your ability to commit to yourself and follow through on your creative dream. When you learn to notice that something inside you doesn’t feel safe then work with it until it does feel safe, your spirit or energy finally feels ready to take the necessary steps to take yourself seriously make your creative dream a reality.

Emotional Neglect and Your Creative Dream

Now let’s take a look at how the emotional neglect you experienced in your childhood affects your ability to believe in yourself and follow your creative dream.

Emotional neglect refers to a situation where a child’s emotional needs are consistently overlooked, ignored, or dismissed by their caregivers. Unlike physical neglect or abuse, which often involves overt actions, emotional neglect is characterized by a lack of action—the essential emotional support, attention, and responsiveness that you needed when you were younger was absent. This can mean that your caregivers did not comfort you when you are upset, did not celebrate your accomplishments, or simply did not spend time talking to or engaging with you about your feelings and experiences.

Emotional neglect occurs in many households, even in those where there is love and no physical harm. It often happens subtly and might not be intentional, as parents may be unaware of the emotional needs of their children or how to meet them because they never had that modeled to them either.

Here are various examples of what emotional neglect can look like. Which ones do you relate to?


Your parents might have been physically present but emotionally distant. For instance, your parents may have always be preoccupied with work, personal problems, or just emotionally closed off, rarely engaging in meaningful conversations with you or showing interest in your feelings or what you wanted to do.

Ignoring Emotional Needs:

Your parents may not have responded to your emotions, such as failing to comfort you when you were visibly upset, scared, or hurt. They may not even have been attuned to your emotions so they may not have even known when your were upset, scared or hurt. Because they couldn’t mirror your own emotional experience back to you or respond to it in an appropriate and helpful way, you didn’t learn how to be aware of what you were feeling when you were feeling it. Or your parents might have expected a you to manage distressing situations all on your own, like dealing with school bullies or handling overwhelming schoolwork without guidance or support. It would have put you in a position to deal with emotional issues way before you were ready or skilled.

Discouraging Expression of Emotions:

You might have even been explicitly or implicitly discouraged to express emotions. Were you told that showing feelings like sadness or fear is a sign of weakness? Or were you mocked or punished for crying or showing that they are upset? Or were you forced to smile and be happy without having your challenging emotions tended to because your parents just wanted to see you happy?

High Expectations and Criticism:

Your parents might have set unrealistically high standards, where your achievements were never good enough, leading to constant criticism. In this case, your emotional needs were completely dismissed and instead results were important. This can cause a child to feel that their value is based solely on their accomplishments, not their inherent worth as a person.

Lack of Celebrations:

Neglect can also manifest in failing to celebrate or acknowledge your important milestones or achievements, which made you feel unseen and unimportant.


Some children are forced to take on adult responsibilities from a young age, such as caring for younger siblings or managing household tasks because their parents are unable or unwilling to take on these roles. These responsibilities can range from performing daily chores, cooking meals, and ensuring siblings get to school on time, to handling more complex issues like managing family finances, mediating adult disputes, or providing emotional support to the parents themselves.

If you were thrust into these caretaking roles as a child, you were often forced to grow up quickly, sacrificing your own needs and childhood experiences to meet the demands of your family. This reversal of roles can lead to significant emotional strain, as you felt overwhelmed, stressed, and resentful, yet also felt a deep sense of duty and fear of the consequences if you did not meet the expectations placed on you. You may have struggled with feelings of guilt and anxiety over your family’s well-being, which can persist into adulthood. Additionally, parentification can impact your emotional development.

You might miss out on essential stages of learning and social interaction, as your time and energy are consumed by adult responsibilities or taking care of the emotions of the adults around you. You often lack the opportunity to simply be children, which can affect your self-esteem and the ability to establish boundaries later in life. This burden can lead to long-term emotional and psychological consequences, as you may continue to feel responsible for others’ needs at the expense of your own well-being.

Lack of Guidance:

You may have experienced emotional neglect if your parents did not offer advice, guidance, or support for managing emotions or stress. When this happens, you end up not learning healthy coping mechanisms or emotional regulation, crucial skills for navigating life’s challenges.

Inconsistent or Absent Affection:

Maybe your parents showed affection sporadically or not at all, leading to confusion about the stability of love and support so now you think that affection is conditional.

Even in families where parents genuinely love their children, these emotionally neglectful behaviors can stem from a simple lack of understanding of children’s emotional needs. The impact of such neglect is profound because it teaches you to suppress your emotions and needs and it makes you see yourself as someone who isn’t important or worthy of attention or good things happening to them.

You might doubt your ability to achieve your goals or feel undeserving of the results, which can subconsciously hinder your efforts to follow your creative dream. You might not even allow yourself to want or to strive for certain things, assuming they are out of reach for someone like you.

This lack of self-belief not only makes it harder to attract positive opportunities, but it can also affect your ability to accept good things when they do occur. Instead of embracing success or happiness, you might reject or sabotage it because it feels unfamiliar or undeserved. Overcoming these feelings of unworthiness is crucial for following your creative dreams but you can rebuild your self-esteem and cultivate a more positive self-view that acknowledges and embraces your inherent worth. It is possible to change these things. 

Hi. My name is Dana da Ponte.

I’m a highly sensitive art witch who loves to work with the sun, the moon and my subconscious mind to make my creative dreams a reality.

I help other highly sensitive creators heal from the past so they are free to make their creative dreams a reality too. 

I created the SHINE YOUR LIGHT SUMMER 30-Day Activation because I needed help changing the way I see myself so I can finally achieve my creative dream and I had a feeling I wasn’t the only one who could use this kind of support.

What I’ve learned is, when it comes to identity, it helps when the way you see yourself is aligned with your true self and your creative dreams. When you see yourself as someone who can achieve what you truly want, you’re aligning your identity with your truest self.

This, of course, is easier said than done.

The way you see yourself isn’t always aligned with your true self.

This is because, as I mentioned above, the way you see yourself—your identity—is often shaped more by past beliefs and memories than by your true nature or spirit.

From a young age, your experiences start to mold your self-perception. These formative experiences can create a version of your identity that does not truly reflect your inherent worth and potential.

Can you see the problem here?

Your identity becomes misaligned with the truth of who you really are.

Or, in other words, who you think you are is NOT always who you actually are!

How You See Yourself Can Change How You Act

To add another layer of complexity to this, you are not always aware of how see yourself. Often, it’s your actions, or the lack thereof, and your behaviors and choices that reflect your self-perception. Before you become aware of how you see yourself, you might notice aspects of your life that aren’t going as planned or feel unfulfilling.

When you see yourself in an unhelpful or negative way, it often manifests in behaviors and choices that might not immediately seem connected to how you see yourself but don’t be fooled, how you see yourself influences you more than you realize. For example, you might procrastinate on important tasks, not because you don’t want to do them, but because subconsciously, you doubt your ability to complete them successfully. The first thing you’ll notice in this situation is the fact that you’re procrastinating. You might even judge yourself for it or feel frustrated by it, but it won’t be until you get curious and dig deeper that you’ll see what is actually causing you to procrastinate – which was the identity that says, I don’t have the ability to complete this task successfully.

Another example is withdrawing or remaining silent in social settings. You’ll notice that you’re being quiet when everyone else is talking but it’s not until you dig deeper that you’ll see why you’re doing that. When you get curious, you might realize it’s because you believe your opinions aren’t valued or worthwhile, so you hold them back. That’s an identity you’re holding onto – I’m a person whose opinions aren’t worthy of being shared.

Recognizing how you see yourself can help you change your identity which, in turn, changes how you act, think and behave.

Making Sure What You Want is Aligned with Your True Self

Transforming your identity in ways that allow your true spirit to shine through, shedding the unhelpful negative self-image and embracing an identity that reflects your true strengths, talents and dreams is important when you’re trying to follow your creative dreams because shifting your identity and changing the root of your belief in yourself needs to happen until your identity matches what you want to create in your life.

Now let’s pause here for a moment and realize this is assuming that you’ve peeled away the layers and connected with a true desire – one that is rooted in your spirit or soul and not in an unmet emotional need. When your desire is clear and pure and aligned with your true self, shifting your identity to match it aligns you with your spirit as well.

Let me use myself as an example. It has taken years to realize that one of the things my soul truly wants to do is create and sell a book I illustrate. That’s how my true self wants to express herself and experience her art in the world.

Now that I’ve said YES to this, I’m going to be on a journey of seeing where my self-perception is aligned with this and where it is not.

Self-perceptions that are not in alignment might include doubts about my artistic talent or questioning the value of my creative ideas. I might catch myself thinking, “I’m not a real artist,” or “Who would want to buy my book?” Sound familiar? These thoughts stem from a lack of confidence in my abilities and the fear of not being good enough.

On the other hand, self-perceptions that align with my dream include seeing myself as a capable and creative artist who has unique stories and visions to share. I can embrace the belief, “My art is valuable and it resonates with others.” When I do, I’ll feel confident in my skills and believe in the uniqueness of my voice. I’ll see challenges as opportunities to grow and I’ll be excited about the process of creating and sharing my work. Adopting these positive perceptions supports my creative dream, energizes my efforts, and attracts the right opportunities and people to help make my dream a reality.

Perfection is Not the Goal

Now, don’t get me wrong here, I don’t expect myself to be perfect or fully aligned and I don’t think my manifestation magic requires that but it is helpful to be curious about my inner world when I’m procrastinating or not meeting my deadlines and not setting boundaries around my time and energy. When I’m behaving in a way that is preventing me from realizing my dreams, it’s helpful to be open to changing how I see myself. It’s helpful to be open to shedding identities that no longer serve me.

We are all works in progress, and I don’t believe in perfection, nor do I think it is the point of this journey we call life, but I do think it’s possible to shift how I see myself and I do know from experience that when I shift how I see myself and I embrace an identity that is more aligned with who I really am or what I really want, my life runs a lot smoother, I experience less resistance and my body doesn’t carry as much stress or tension because I’m not living with a misalignment or an internal conflict. My parts are in agreement with each other. They are living in harmony and allowing my spirit to drive my bus which feels freeing, exhilarating and a lot more grounded.

When you align your identity with your creative dreams, it means you see and think of yourself as someone who embodies the qualities and habits necessary to achieve those dreams. It’s about embracing a version of yourself that can confidently navigate the path toward your artistic goals. Imagine how a successful artist you admire behaves, thinks, and interacts with the world. Now, imagine yourself doing the same.

This alignment is crucial because it shapes your daily actions and decisions. If you believe you are a creative and capable person, you’re more likely to take steps that reinforce this belief and bring you closer to your dreams. Conversely, if you don’t see yourself as someone who can succeed, you might hesitate to seize opportunities or invest time in your skills.

By identifying with your creative dreams, you set a powerful intention. This intention acts like a compass, guiding your choices and inspiring you to commit to actions that bring your dreams into reality. Think of it as preparing the soil for the seeds of your dreams to grow. If the soil—the self-image and identity you cultivate—is fertile and well-suited for those seeds, your creative dreams are much more likely to grow and turn into something you enjoy. 

If you know your identity isn’t in alignment with your creative dream and you’d really like to change how you see yourself, my SHINE YOUR LIGHT SUMMER is perfect for you. It’s a 30-Day Activation where we empower your inner witch, unleash your authentic art and manifest your creative dream.

You will receive 30 morning motivational recordings to help you shift your identity and change the root of your belief in yourself to match what you want to create in your life.

You will also learn my step-by-step process to create manifestation art. Think of it like casting spells in your art journal that draw your creative dream closer to you.

You’ll also end up with a library of 30 recordings that work with the MAP Method to use over and over again to clear subconscious blocks, rewire your brain and neutralize memories that are not serving you anymore (this alone is worth the cost of the program). You can learn about the MAP Method here.

And of course, there’s a lot more like a private Facebook group where I’m committed to responding once a day so you know you’ll have support to keep you motivated and focused and a weekly Q and A session where you can ask me anything. You get so much value because I really want to support us in achieving things we only dreamed of in the past.

Whatever your BIG creative dream is, by the time we are done, I want it to feel realistic and attainable and on its way to YOU. I also want you to feel so light and refreshed from all the emotional baggage you cleared!! You deserve that.

Yes. I’m Ready to Shine My Light This Summer

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This is a space where art and spirit come together. On the blog, I share art rituals for working with the magic of the moon. I also work with the subconscious mind to lighten your emotional load and follow your creative dreams.


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