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Experiences

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

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About irinapashina

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

Discussion

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

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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

  2. Pingback: The Story of an Early Lunch | impressions - May 31, 2015

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