Pressure to perform
Whether you’re a mom, a business owner or a rockstar climbing the corporate ladder, it’s normal to set goals for life and strive to reach new heights in career, family and life goals.
I am a QUEEN goal setter. I’ve got vision boards and lists and break downs of where I want to be in life with step by step goals that I revisit often. I have a business coach, a sales coach, a counselor and a pretty awesome tribe that I lean on to help me reach the life goals I envision for myself.
See, I really do believe that God’s plans for my life are exceedingly and abundantly above anything I could ask or imagine. So I dream big. And I don’t want to stop striving until I’m surprised at what I’ve achieved. Until I’m flabbergasted with the outcome of my life. Until I can say – Only God could have done this and gotten me here.
While God puts his unique and personal callings on our hearts and speaks his will over our lives and tells us to PLAN and VISION, it’s easy to confuse what GOD wants to do in our lives with what WE want to do in our lives. And by “WE,” I mean “me.” Sometimes I think that when God said HE has prosperous plans for my life, I think that means: “I better create a prosperous life for myself.”
There’s a line of discipline and obedience required on our part to co-collab with Jesus to bring our highest and best lives to fruition.
But where are we getting our ideals about the lives we’re supposed to create in our short time on earth? Did God say to do XYZ? Or are we moving ahead without him?
My standard of success has been a moving target all my life. With each goal checked off the list, the target moves a bit further away. Milestone after milestone is crossed and yet another one appears to reach for.
This is something I struggle with A LOT because I tend to feel like whatever I do is not quite “enough.”
My relationship could be BETTER.
My sales could be BETTER.
My time with my kids could be BETTER.
Everything could be BETTER.
And God forbid, I really drop the ball, you know I’ll be digging myself out of a pity party hole for days or even weeks to come. #achiever
My struggles with not being “enough” are far deeper than comparing myself to others on social media and striving to APPEAR perfect. I think we can see through the fakes on social media by now. We know the highlight reel is not REAL. No, I actually desire to LIVE as close to "perfect" as possible.
See, I really love Jesus. Like so much. And disappointing him hurts my heart. He is my standard. And it’s been easy to forget that the whole reason Jesus came is because we could never meet the mark that Jesus did. His perfection is HIS perfection. We are not held to his standard. We’ll never meet it.
So my question for you is this: At what point are we holding our goals and outcomes so tightly to our hearts rather than embracing the journey on the way to them more than the outcome itself?
I don’t think the pressure to perform is something I was born with. My mom taught me that I could do anything, be anything, she told me I was beautiful, full of wisdom…she spoke life over me for years. I thought I was hot shit for a lot of years in middle and high school. #IYKYK.
It wasn’t until I became a mom at 18 that this NEED to succeed slowly took root. Suddenly, the pressure was on. To this day though, that “set back” was setting me up for all that God had in store for me. It sped up my growth and maturity with a quickness. And I’ve been striving ever sense. Not all in vain. But striving nonetheless.
So, maybe this is where my standard of success originated.
Where did your standard of success originate?
What happened in your life that causes you to strive so hard after certain things?
Your parents? Teachers? Bosses? Peers? Society? Social Media?
With mental health issues and depression on the rise, people are clearly feeling like they’re missing the mark from time to time. If we all had life completely figured out, maybe there would be less sadness in the world. But the truth is, we’re all missing the mark somewhere. Because we’re NOT Jesus. We’re human. Duh.
One of my favorite ways of connecting with someone is when they share a struggle or something really vulnerable. Not because I enjoy their misery but because I don’t feel alone in my own struggles when they share theirs. I get that feeling of “SAME.” “Me too.” “I feel you.” “I’ve been there.” I feel SEEN.
There’s comfort in knowing other people are missing the mark just like you. Millions of people all over the world feel exactly like you do. For the exact same reason as you. You’re not the first and you won’t be the last.
I heard once that people don’t relate to perfection, they relate to pain. Pain is universal. Your problems may be your problems but I want my people to know that they don’t have to go through their pain alone. I’m a listening ear and that’s really all we need. I heard once that a theory behind therapy is all about validating the person and hearing them out and directing them to truth. This is something that if we all immersed ourself in building relationships, we should never have to pay for. But we actually PAY for a safe place to AIR ALL OUR DIRTY LAUNDRY.
One of my favorite things about meeting with clients all day is learning what their “differentiator” is. Each client has a different value that they bring to their clients and a different way they serve. Most of them have achieved a certain level of success and others have achieved A SIGNIFICANT level of success. I’m often surprised by the clients that are the most successful. It’s generally not the slickest, sleekest appearing clients that are truly raking in the most cash. The most successful clients are the ones who are extremely authentic to who they are. They often come across with a quirk of some kind. And I ask myself “How are they so successful?” And each time, I’m reminded that they are not hiding their quirks. They embrace them. They are authentic.
Don’t get me wrong. I want my kids to side step pitfalls. I want them to make A’s. I want them to try their best. Start in football and succeed to the best of their ability in everything they do. I want them to be WINNERS. Internally and externally. Spiritually, mentally and physically. I want them to SHOW UP and give effort. But have we blurred the line between “showing up” and obsessing over hitting a certain goal that God never even told us we need to hit?
What if we all quit focusing on the outcome so much and start focusing on the process – because the process is here to stay. And the only way to reach the desired outcome is to focus on the here and now. The journey. The messy, quirky journey.
I’ve heard it before that success and happiness are not things to try to reach. They are byproducts of embracing the now. They are byproducts of humbly failing forward. Byproducts of authenticity.
Let this be your friendly reminder to do a heart check and make sure you’re on the right side of showing up vs trying to control things out of your control. Oh and if you’re a bad B*** killing it at work and family, give yourself a pat on the back. YOU ARE A QUEEN! And if you drop a ball or two…it’s actually okay! Totally and completely okay.
P.S. I would normally rewrite this blog 900 times before ever posting.
But you know what, this is #GoodEnough!