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Discovery 23: (Self-)Contradictions

For a big part of my life I was trying to categorize myself and put together a consistent picture of myself. It was a struggle – admittedly never a successful one. I thought, however, that this simplification would help me overcome more of my imperfections. Therefore I persisted.

Being an introvert, public speaking had always been a challenge for me (to say the least). As a challenge, it was one of the rather clear items in my ‘self-categorization’ project. But about a year ago something interesting happened. I had the opportunity to speak at a work-related conference. An opportunity that I grabbed with both hands, fully ignoring my inner resistance. To my surprise and despite all the nervousness, I truly enjoyed the experience and discovered a new passion of mine – public speaking!

My public speaking discovery marked the final end of my self-categorization efforts. It also made me delve into my own contradictions more intensely. And here is part of what I found out: I am an introvert who likes being with people and enjoys public speaking; I am vulnerable and assertive at the same time; I am impatient, but also very persistent. And there is still a lot more to discover.

Exploring and embracing my own contradictions has been one of my most fascinating and rewarding discoveries. Give it a try if you still haven’t dealt with it too much. You will be amazed.

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


About irinapashina

Marketing professional, blogger, group fitness instructor, reader, theater-goer


6 thoughts on “Discovery 23: (Self-)Contradictions

  1. Congrats to you for finding a new passion! It’s funny as you sound like me. I use to be a nervous wreck when it came to speaking in front of people. Sure as an introvert it’s said that I may shy away from the limelight and don’t particularly care for it, which is true, I don’t lol….BUT instead of just accepting that, I wanted to improve that. I wanted to overcome my nervousness.

    And I did! Like you, I FORCED myself to get out there and speak in front of others more. Did my voice shake at times? Yes! Was my heart beating fast? Yes! But did I get better with every time I made myself speak in front of others? ABSOLUTELY! Now I’m pursuing a career I never thought I would as an Instructional Designer to teach courses to various size groups. So kudos to us both!

    Posted by LetmebeRae | August 18, 2013, 5:40 am
    • Hi Rae,

      thanks for your comment! Lovely to hear from you and to know that you also had a similar positive experience as an introvert. Congrats for discovering your new, exciting career as an Instructional Designer! I am sure your are really great at it.

      You won’t believe it…, but I also discovered teaching in a similar way. I completed various instructor trainings, forced myself to get out there and started teaching. The initial nervousness was overwhelming, but now I teach four classes per week on top of my full-time job and I love it 🙂

      Kudos to you for your creative and engaging site. I look forward to exploring it and reading from you more!

      Posted by irinapashina | August 18, 2013, 8:30 pm
  2. This is a realy big topic. All those determinations – like “I am this and not that” – are reductions. Reduction sometimes may help in orientation, but often takes away freedom. As Spinoza had it: “omnis determinatio est negatio”. You are everything, and its opposite.

    Posted by hajovonkracht | August 19, 2013, 8:58 am
    • Hajo,
      thanks for your comment and for sharing Spinoza’s quote. The term ‘reduction’ denotes those determinations very well. Seeing them as such is a prerequisite for realizing what (else) we are and want to be. A really big topic indeed.

      Posted by irinapashina | August 20, 2013, 8:05 pm


  1. Pingback: 10 Tips to Overcome Public Speaking Fears for Introverts | Love Thy Introvert - September 2, 2013

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