Omitting Our Omnipresent Oxymoron

Oxymoron: a figure of speech made up of two or more words which produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect.

There is an oxymoron within us all that assumes position as we determine our goals. When we push ourselves outside of our comfort zone, it’s a natural reaction to have a little voice in the back of our head telling us we can’t do it or to play it safe. This is a common feeling when you are in the process of learning something new and breaking your boundaries. Essentially, when we set a lofty goal we are saying we believe in ourselves enough to achieve it, even if it’s by the smallest amount. This is when the battle between self-belief and self-doubt comes alive.

Everyone has heard “don’t doubt yourself,” and “always believe in yourself,” but the reality remains we all have some level of self-doubt, and it’s healthy to recognize it and to increase awareness around it.

These oxymoronic feelings which arise within us all come in numerous forms, for example:

  • I am confident in my decisions when I don’t doubt myself
  • I believe in myself when I don’t feel insecure
  • I am logical when I’m not irrational
  • I am mentally strong when I don’t feel weak
  • I am motivated when I’m not lazy

It’s natural to doubt yourself, it’s another way we prepare ourselves for unexpected outcomes. This isn’t something that’s going to disappear—that’s the ‘omnipresent’ part of it. What’s not healthy is letting the voice of self doubt paralyze you and prevent you from tackling your goals. Hear this voice out, accept you can’t will it to disappear, acknowledge it, and push past it. Use what it can teach you to press onward and light your goals on fire.

You can have your cake and eat it too. You can doubt yourself but still be confident in your decisions. You can have a lazy moment but still be highly motivated. The key is to eliminate the negative connotation of being both. You will never be perfect and that’s the beauty of it—you don’t need to strive for perfection. There is so much beauty in imperfection. Learning to accept and appreciate your imperfections will result in overcoming your self-doubt and building up your self-esteem.

In essence, I hope this article provided you with a point of view to be at ease with your self doubt and to push onward despite it.

Which oxymorons do you see present in your life? How do you push forward despite your self-doubt?

Sending light and love your way in these difficult times.

The Donkey.
I chose a donkey as the featured image because it symbolizes determination and strong will. The donkey is also known for being stubborn and having self-preservation. These two characteristics are something we should all have, as self-preservation is something we cannot dispute and must always fight for. The donkey has been used as a work animal for thousands of years because they are strong and durable. They still grow tired but they push onward because they will themselves to do so—a lesson we can all take into consideration when working towards our own goals. The donkey also has religious context as Jesus Christ’s animal of choice as he entered Jerusalem to show his humility—not being afraid of imperfection.

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27 thoughts on “Omitting Our Omnipresent Oxymoron

  1. (Im)perfectly said!
    Currently, mine is that “I feel certain I’m moving in the right direction, at least I hope so.”
    I push onward because certain or not, I have digested the necessary information (or tried) to, and made what appears to be the best decision in that moment. Good intentions, right?

    Your imagery of the donkey was intriguing, and brought a smile – because Shrek. Haha!

    1. Yes that’s the best approach you can take! Just taking all the information you have and making the best decision you can… Everything is 20/20 in hindsight so there’s no need to regret your choice at a later date. Hope you’re taking care during this quarantine situation and getting outside!

  2. Yes that’s the best approach you can take! Just taking all the information you have and making the best decision you can… Everything is 20/20 in hindsight so there’s no need to regret your choice at a later date. Hope you’re taking care during this quarantine situation and getting outside!

  3. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to self-doubt. Especially in terms of my writing. It doesn’t matter how many times I’m told I’m a good writer; when I pick up a piece I haven’t worked on in a while I immediately edit it and find it lacking. I’ve deleted entire chapters this way. Yet with help from my therapist I have been working on ways to silence that inner negative voice I call The Bully, and start to believe in myself.

    1. Hey Mel, thanks for sharing! I can relate to you with the feelings we share as writers. I always want my writing to be perfect and when I feel like I can’t express my ideas I get so frustrated which inhibits me more from conveying my ideas freely. Some articles I have sat on for months because I wasn’t happy with them, then when I finally get the courage to write on them again I have found that they were actually 95% of the way there and almost ready to publish. I’ve learned just to free write, put words on paper and use self doubt at the end to constructively critique my syntax, word choice, etc. Best of luck and thanks for reading! <3E

      1. We were taught to free write during my degree but I found it difficult to sit in class and brainstorm. I’m a lonely writer that way. I also tend to sit on things for months when I’m uncertain about them. Best of luck to you, too

      2. Free writing on the spot is hard! I free write when I feel compelled to and as an exercise to get things off my mind and onto paper. I definitely prefer to write alone and when I have an urge to after a thought pops into my mind. Take care! Ellen

  4. I tend to give better presentations when I am somewhat nervous as opposed to when I am more relaxed because I take it more seriously. (too much nervousness is also bad)

    1. I’ve found the same! A healthy amount of nerves before a presentation is good for me, but too much and I get flustered. On the contrary, when I’m too relaxed before a presentation it’s also not the best preparation. Balance is key, as always right?! Thanks for sharing! Ellen

  5. Thought-provoking post! Does self-doubt arise because we care about our community? And want to share the best we have to offer. I often battle it too. if I’m not dressed up when I got to meet someone I feel as if I let them down. Or as a writer, I often think my message could be clearer and I spend a lot of time re-editing. In fact, I’m about to re-edit my last post.(smile) Or maybe those who doubt themselves are also self-aware. Self-awareness and self-doubt might be siblings. Thank you for the post!

    1. Hey Mel, I think self-doubt definitely arises because we care. Because we care about ourselves, the outcome, we care deeply about so many things. Also I relate to those self-doubts we have as writers. I am always thinking how I can share my story better and relate to my readers more, but at some point I get to a place where I’m happy with all my revisions and leave it. Thanks for your support and for your comment! <3E

    1. Hey anything worth having is worth fighting for, there’s nothing wrong with being a salmon, which I feel like most of the time. Thanks for reading 🙂

  6. I like to engage with my self-doubt. When it pipes up, I’ll repeat what it says and then ask, “so what?” Sounds strange but usually by the fifth ‘so what?’ the doubt has dried up, I see what is the root of what is truly bothering me, and I can move on.

    1. Wow, it seems so simple but I absolutely love that…. I find myself judging myself or the negative voice in the back of my head during the day and really if I ever asked myself “so what?” I don’t have an answer to it! It seems so funny but I actually can’t wait to implement this… thank you for sharing!! <3E

  7. My featured image would be an OX, for me the symbol of the soul/body outer man, a worker, strong, methodical and consistent. The one who executes the plan a rich harvest comes from the strength of the OX. He is a doer not a creative thinker. So where does the creativity come from? From our LION, the symbol of the SPIRIT/HEART our inner man the source of all creativity, leadership and dominion, his nature is to look at the world from a different point of view than the ox. We need both but the OX must submit to the LION if there is going to be peace and peak performance but without the OX the LIONS vision will remain unfulfilled. I believe the oxymoronic state is the battle of our spirit life waging inside for control of our soul, one side to take us on to higher purposes, the other to steal and take away that for which we were intended.

    1. Ian, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I love how you detail the lion and ox parts of you, while noting their differences yet still needing one another. The last bit you wrote about having one side of us that wants to steal that for which we were intended really hits home for me. I struggle with this as I more often than I’d like have a negative inner voice telling me not to try or to give up. It’s a daily mindset and a choice you have to commit to each morning. Thanks for sharing and getting these thoughts rolling in my mind again.

  8. I am not a religious person but I seems to thrive in self examining spiritual situations comes to mind. That’s been the topic of four of my most recent blog posts

    1. I’m not much religious either as I definitely rely on the spiritual side of myself and nature to guide me. Reflection is key and it’s what has helped me expand my mindset and awareness, while still knowing there’s never a “finishing point” to any of it. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hi Ellieejay, thank you for your comment, I also like the fact that you say your not religious and rely on the spiritual side, my sentiments exactly. Now having said that I am a believer in Jesus Christ, I just dont uphold, follow or agree with the traditions of man, religion. We are each and everyone of us in a fight for the possession of our SOUL, however we are the battleground, the spiritual forces that are inside us are the perpetrators. We are first and foremost spiritual beings, we were created for our spirit to be connected to God, it is a battle for the truth, light over darkness. My soul is called Ian, yours Ellieejay, it is who we are moulded and shaped since day one, our HEARTS are the connector of both soul and spirit, it is the control centre of all that we do, the heart is not life though, it is the house-organ where the spirit lives and through which the spirit expresses itself to the world. The question is what SPIRIT was behind the vast number of IMAGES stored in our HEARTS that are reproduced on a daily basis. Was it the spirit of truth or the spirit of darkness from the father of lies, those voices, those negative thoughts, past programming coming to the surface, how many times in your life were you told “dont” or “your not good enough” “not picked for something” “Could have done better,” I dont know about you but that was constant for me and it will go on forever while we are stuck in this world, our education system is all about testing, about comparing and it continues throughout life, open ground for the enemy of our SOUL, the thief, to steal, kill or destroy us. It is only with the eyes of our HEARTS opened to see that we then posses the vital armour needed to defeat the enemy. As you can see from my profile IMAGE the LION is my featured IMAGE, Jesus the lion from the tribe of Judah is the one who should be the primary IMAGE in our HEARTS in order that we can listen to and hear his voice for our OX to be the best OX it can be. It is a daily struggle, luckily for us the guardian of our SOUL knows this, He sees and understands the condition of our HEARTS so we can start over each and everyday. God doesn’t want or need a set of rules to follow, He just wants your HEART totally focused on the HEART of Jesus, He is the one saved healed and delivered, He is the light, He is the way, the TRUTH and the LIFE.

  10. Do you have a degree in psychology? I always wonder because every time I read one of your posts….which I am way behind in, because I haven’t been doing well and I retreat from the web when I do so…I feel like you are saying exactly what I need to hear. Lol. You tend to put it simply too.

    1. Wow I am so honored by your comment! I don’t have a degree in psychology but I did study it in college and have always taken to studying myself and the world around my as it relates to psychology. For me, the mysteries of the mind are endless and trying to figure out why our brains work the way they do is an endless, yet rewarding chase. thank you for reading and for your support, I truly appreciate it and am privileged! <3E

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