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.