This year has me all kinds of excited for what’s to come, but with that comes so much pressure. I’m putting pressure on myself to get a job, to create content, to be a better wife, to get our house settled in. All which are good things, but it’s how we react and how we treat ourselves that is the problem. It’s also important to point out that I said I am putting pressure on myself.
I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but I have been dying throughout this job search. I have felt so inadequate, confused, a little lost, and extremely insecure. For those of you who don’t know, all last semester I was in an unpaid internship, therefore since Brad and I said “I do”, he has paid all the bills. I often times refer to him as “Sugar Daddy Brad” because of all that he provides for me. So, not only am I feeling insecure about not being able to get a job, but I also feel like I’m letting my husband down because I’m not bringing in any money. Side note: Brad has not made me feel this way. He actually has told me to not worry, to slow down, and to enjoy this break. He’s the best.
As I look back at the things I’m currently struggling with and things I’ve struggled with in the past, I realized it’s mainly because of the pressure I put on myself. When I was single, I felt insecure because I put the pressure on myself to be in a relationship, to get married, etc. When I was planning my wedding I felt super stressed out because I was putting pressure on myself to create this beautiful wedding experience for everyone. So often, our biggest struggles are by no fault other than our own. No one asked me to get married or date, I put those thoughts in my own head. No one told me I had to have the most beautiful wedding experience, I put that pressure on myself.
As we enter into 2018, let’s make a promise to not put so much pressure on ourselves! It’s okay to have ambitions and goals, but we can’t let them hinder our own ability to accomplish them because of the pressure and insecurities that come along with them. I have come up with 4 ways I’m going to aim to put less pressure on myself this year, which will eliminate some unnecessary stress, unwanted insecurities, and bring upon positive change towards myself and others.
4 Practical Ways to Put Less Pressure on Yourself This Year
1 // Stop the comparison game.
I know that this one can be difficult because it’s everywhere in our culture. It’s constantly telling us to be this way, look that way, don’t be like this, don’t look like that. It’s exhausting. The main reason we put pressure on ourselves is because we see everyone else’s highlights and we compare them to our behind the scenes. We are looking around at everyone else and putting this pressure on ourselves to be like that, which in turn is saying that who we are isn’t good enough. Let me tell you friend, exactly who you are is exactly enough.
2 // Set some smaller, more reachable goals along with your BIG goals.
When we are able to check something off of our list, especially a goals list, it is so empowering. It makes us feel good we actually accomplish something. So, I challenge you to pick some smaller goals, some that will be reached sooner than later. This will help alleviate some of that pressure we’re putting on ourselves because we are able to see real progress, check off actual goals, AND remind ourselves that any amount of progress is still progress.
3 // Ask yourself “why?”
When you catch yourself putting unnecessary pressure on yourself, no matter what the situation is, ask yourself why. Why do I feel like I need to do this? Why do I feel this pressure? Has anyone made me feel like to put this pressure on myself? Are they someone I should be listening to? What is the reason behind me feeling this pressure? When we identify the “why” then we are able to really address the problem and seek to change it. It also helps us realize that we really are our own worst critic and that we are usually the “why” behind the overwhelming, unneeded, unappreciated pressure.
4 // Rest.
This may seem odd, but when we get overwhelmed and stressed out, we need to allow our bodies to rest. Rest looks different for everyone, but make sure that during those times when you can literally feel the pressure, take a day off. I promise the world will go on if you take a day, or two, or a week off. We don’t function at our best when we neglect our time to rest, to recharge, to reevaluate. I suck at resting, but I am really trying to embrace the principle of rest this year.
As we enter in 2018, let’s embrace our uniqueness. Let’s give ourselves some room to fail. Let’s give ourselves some space to grow, but at our own pace. We are addicted to busy in this culture and being better than someone else. Let me tell you friend, busy will get you nowhere and there will always be someone better than you, as well as someone worse off. All that is required of you is to be you. There is no pressure with that because there is no other you in the world.
If you have some ways that you give yourself some freedom, a safe space to fail, or alleviate some of that unwanted pressure, share them with me in the comments!