Under Pressure


If you find yourself frequently overwhelmed with low energy and a vague sense of not-enoughness, check your pressure. How much self-pressure are you putting on yourself? To be perfect. To get things done. To keep up with your friends. To be what society wants you to be.

The pressure may begin with the media and society, but you are taking it in as the standard.

You get to choose. This is your life. You can choose to step away from the expectations and pressure.

It may be uncomfortable, but for your health and sanity it may be time.

Today notice when your energy flags or you are feeling anxious. What are you thinking? What are you saying to yourself? What pressure have you put on yourself?

That pressure will not help you perform better. It’s harder to perform when you are anxious.

So breathe 5 deep breaths.

Ask yourself if it’s even true what you are saying to yourself about what you must do. Is it true you have to be perfect? Is it true no one will love you if you don’t get it right or say no? Often it feels like it, but from my life and the life of my clients it’s rarely true.

Think about where this particular thought came from. Is it even you or is it a magazine, a parent, a teacher, a boss?

Then ask how the self-pressure if affecting your life. Is it worth it?

Think about what you would do and how you would do it without the pressure. How does that feel? How can you enjoy the process?

Instead of self-pressure, try self-compassion. Talk to yourself with kindness. Give yourself rest and breaks. Comfort yourself when guilt and failure arise instead of beating yourself up. Notice what you do accomplish instead of only what is undone.

Decide what enough would look like in this situation. Do that and allow yourself to be satisfied.

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