The Always On Pressure Cooker

pressure

 

Tonight Jessica shares on feeling constantly under pressure and what we can do to change it …

 

I recently had a conversation with a friend when something somewhat disturbing occurred. This wasn’t something new. In fact, I experience this too. Often. The discussion was about the insurmountable pressure we are finding themselves under, to the degree that we start to question what we are doing with our lives, feeling incredibly doubtful, anxious and sometimes depressed.

Many of us have reached a point where we’re constantly re-evaluating our lives as result of this always-on pressure to be more, have more and achieve more – this shouldn’t be confused with ambition and the drive to excel. This always-on pressure that we carry daily is largely attributed to social media, because at any given moment your fingers can tap-to-open one of many apps which expose you to individuals your age, living all over the world who are achieving at the highest level on a global scale.

Now you may be thinking that this is nothing new. Individuals have been achieving amazing things for centuries. A decade ago, it used to be incredibly inspiring to read a story about someone who had accomplished something remarkable, whether it was an athlete, a business tycoon or an exceptionally talented dancer. And these stories were often about individuals who had spent years working towards their accomplishments. But today there are a far great number of people who have the ability to succeed across a wider variety of industries within a smaller span of time and these overnight success stories are published across a multitude of online platforms.

Couple this with our addiction to social media where these stories live and you’ll realize that we have become overexposed. As a result, content that was once inspirational now feels like the norm and if your successes aren’t aligned to this “norm” then you are left feeling highly disappointed in yourself.

In my experience the accumulation of the above is what activates this on-going pressure. The below is what fuels it.

For many, social media functions as an online stage for people to share “all that glitters” in their lives. In saying this I’ll admit, I am one of those people and you may be too because who would want to post anything negative which will only make us feel vulnerable? But the ongoing absorption of these glamorous snap shots eventually starts to distort our vision of reality, leading us to compare our own complex lives with these shiny glimpses of everyone else’s. Before we know it, we’ve forgotten that behind every beautiful picture is someone who also has insecurities, vulnerabilities, has suffered some sort of loss and is facing challenges we don’t know about.

So how do we turn down the pressure?

1) Be selective of the quantity of information you consume and the quality thereof. Don’t believe everything you read. Remember not everything is what it seems on Facebook!

2) Exercise common sense.
“It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without comment sense.” – Robert G. Ingersoll.
The next time you read an article about a twenty-something year old whose start-up generated millions of dollars in an unusually short period of time, be highly impressed. A ton of hard work and sacrifice led to that. Then remind yourself that realistically the percentage of individuals reaching this level of success so quickly is incredibly small.

At the same time know, there are no limits!

3) Stop comparing yourself to others.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” – Franklin Roosevelt. It only results in confusion and disappointment. We all have our own path in life, so stay focused on sticking to yours.

 

Can you relate to how Jessica feels? What has helped you to combat it? Please let us know, sharing is caring!!

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Jessica Chait

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