I feel a lot of pressure to “do things right” or to “be the best” in life. I think it’s just a part of the culture we live in. I remember feeling it as a young girl. I was walking home from school with my best friend in first grade chanting, “I’m in the red reading group. You’re in the bluuuue group.” Can you guess which reading group was higher? Yep, red—it was the highest group. And even at a very young age, that somehow elevated me. Well, it elevated me until my mom caught wind of the event and sat me down for a lesson on kindness.
I remember growing up feeling this pressure to excel. Making the basketball and volleyball team wasn’t enough. I had to work to get better so I could start. Making the top band was great, but now I had to practice to get a higher chair, and the celebration came when I moved up or got the solo part. When I got the solo, I wanted to play it perfectly. Academically, it was getting the A and being in the advanced courses. Then it was about getting into a great college and earning scholarships.
I’m not sure really where the pressure came from. My parents never sat me down and said, “You must be the best at everything you do!” They just wanted me to work hard and have opportunities for growth.
What I internalized though is this need to be more; to show through my accomplishments that I am enough and that I am of value. It shows up in my adult life as I wonder about my outfit after a sideways glance from friend, as I fill my schedule with projects and appointments, say yes when I need to set a boundary, or doubt my decisions as a parent because I’m worried about being the cool mom.
It is flat out exhausting, and at times I’ve run myself ragged trying to keep up and be more.
So what is true?
Is my worth dependent upon my accomplishments? Is it based upon the behavior of my children, or their accomplishments? Do they define my value? Talk about pressure—and a whole different conversation!
Click NEXT below to read what I believe is true.