Are you putting too much pressure on yourself?
“Those parts of yourself that you desperately want to hide and destroy will gain power over you. The best thing to do is face and own them, because they are forever a part of you.” — Janet Mock
Let that quote sink in for a second. The world’s obsession with scrutiny and perfection can become quite a damper on our self-esteem. We strive for perfection, yet can’t see the flawed logic in doing so. We can never achieve perfect flawlessness simply because humans were made to be fallible. We learn by making mistakes; if we never failed, we couldn’t absorb the lessons or grow from our experiences.
By design, humans are imperfect, so please stop being so hard on yourself! Yes, you should have goals and standards for your life, but beating yourself up for mistakes will only set you back. Putting too much pressure on yourself only adds stress to your life, which can easily lead to a nervous breakdown if you continue to see yourself in a negative light.
Below, we’ll discuss some key behaviors that signify you’re being way too hard on yourself. If you recognize these behaviors in yourself, you can start today with changing your thinking patterns to more positive ones.
Here are 5 behaviors that reveal you put too much pressure on yourself:
1. You let your failures stop you from trying
We all have to fail at some point. In fact, failing is perfectly normal and healthy! Without failures, we wouldn’t know success. No one achieves their goals and dreams by snapping their fingers. Sometimes we need to put in high levels of hard work, dedication, and perseverance.
True success also requires a certain level of risk-taking. Limiting yourself to the familiar won’t get you beyond your comfort zone, and it is only beyond that where you can see a limitless horizon. So many people live within the limitations they set for themselves, and therefore see limited results. If you’re only looking at where you’ve failed and not maintaining healthy pride in how far you’ve come despite the setbacks, then you’re putting too much pressure on yourself.
Remember: failure is nothing to be ashamed of. Just because you didn’t hit a home run this time doesn’t mean it won’t happen next time. If you keep trying, your efforts will be rewarded in due time.
2. You don’t think you’re good enough
In an article from Psychology Today, Andrea F. Polard Psy.D., says that we often lose our ability to extend compassion when it comes to ourselves. In other words, we talk down to ourselves all the time but would never utter those same words to a good friend. We truly are our own worst critics at times, failing to give ourselves the love we so easily give to others. Why is self-love so darn difficult?!
Well, take a look around you. As we touched on in the beginning of this article, society seems to thrive on negative judgment of ourselves and others. Many businesses would literally fail if we all decided to love ourselves. The beauty industry, for example, couldn’t survive if people didn’t believe their appearance was flawed somehow and that a cream or a surgery could make them more beautiful.
However, just because the world runs on negativity doesn’t mean that you should constantly berate yourself and put so much pressure on yourself. So many people think they’re inadequate and deeply flawed, largely because the consumerist culture in which we live profits from our self-doubt. So, be a rebel and love yourself!
3. You feel stressed out all the time
Stress levels around the globe have reached an all-time high. Some stress can help us achieve our goals and keep moving when we feel like quitting. However, too much stress can literally kill us. Stressing about anything will not solve the problem; in fact, it usually just makes the problem worse.
Stress often arises from overthinking, which also has become quite an epidemic. If you fixate on all your perceived flaws, you will only feel worse about yourself and start stressing out about all the things you think you need to change. Practice being gentle with yourself. Learn to take things one day at a time, which is all we can really do anyway.
4. You have unrealistic expectations
Putting too much pressure on yourself will cause you to have unrealistic expectations, and when you don’t meet them, you’ll only harbor self-hatred. This quickly develops into a vicious, negative cycle. We all let ourselves down from time to time, but feeling disappointed in yourself the majority of the time isn’t healthy for your self-esteem.
If you want to start a business, for example, don’t expect to have it up and running in a month. You have to set small, achievable goals and break things down into smaller steps if you want to succeed. If you tend to set a high bar for yourself and then get angry when reality doesn’t match your dreams, you are probably placing too much pressure on yourself.
5. You always want more
Wanting more for yourself is commendable, but losing sight of all the good in your life by focusing solely on what you don’t have is a recipe for disaster. The world never seems content, and this angst can cause us to view ourselves and our lives as inadequate. If you never feel satisfied in life, this means you’re putting too much pressure on yourself.
Just because modern society operates in a constant state of dissatisfaction doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. If you notice the above behaviors in yourself, take a step back and really find out why you put so much pressure on yourself. Once you get to the root of the problem, extending love and compassion toward yourself will become second nature.