I know I'm not the only one who feels this constant pressure to get ahead and do more. No matter how much I accomplish, I feel like I'm still behind. I've graduated college with a degree, have a career now, and I own a house. Yet, I still feel like I should've been opened a business or I should've been able to get a house in a better neighborhood or have a nicer car. I feel like I should have thousands in my savings account or I should've traveled at least 3 times this year. I know a lot of people who feel this way too. Where is this pressure coming from? In my opinion, the biggest culprits are family and social media.
I grew up in a strict household where good grades were the biggest priority. I was expected to get all A's. I would get in trouble if I got anything lower than a B+. Even after high school, the pressure was still on in college. My mom wanted me to be a physician's assistant because she thought money was the most important thing. I wanted to be a journalist or psychologist but I put my plans aside to try to meet my mom's expectations. After I met all my prerequisites and started doing classes for PA school, I realized I had no interest in it and it was stressing me out. I finally told her I didn't want to do it anymore and I started pursuing what I wanted to. I had wasted time and money when I should've just did what I wanted to do in the first place.
I know a lot of us have parents who pressure us to pursue money instead of passion. We become unhappy trying to meet their expectations and make them happy. They always compare us to other family members or themselves if they're successful. They always telling us what we "should" do. They think they're motivating us when they're actually bringing us down and adding unwanted pressure. They think they know what's best for us and disregard our interests. Stop letting them get to you. You are your own person and you are in charge of your life. You are responsible for your happiness so you should do what YOU want to do. Even if you don't know what it is yet, keep trying to figure it out. Try different things until you find something you have a big interest in. It can even be multiple interests. You have the rest of your life to be who you want to be.
So we're always on Instagram or Twitter and we see people our age driving expensive cars and traveling to foreign countries. They wear expensive things and live a lavish lifestyle. They seem to be getting rich just from existing. OR we see people who are like us but they're getting married or they're doing really well for themselves in their craft. They graduated with that master's degree. They're financially stable enough to have kids. There's a lot of examples. Then we start to questions ourselves in where we went wrong. You start thinking about how you wish you could've done things differently. Sometimes you might feel embarrassed to talk about yourself when you run into an old colleague and they have a lot more going on. I used to get a little bitter when someone was excelling in something that I wasn't. I started viewing life as a competition, instead of as a journey. I was motivated for the wrong reasons and so I definitely didn't acknowledged my accomplishments like I should've. It was always "ok, on to the next thing."
But I was tiring myself out and adding on pressure that I created. I learned to slow down and acknowledge I'm doing enough. Not everyone has the same life. Some people go through more setbacks or have less resources. Some people figure out later in life what they want to do. Some people fail numerous times before succeeding. Life doesn't have to be a competition. Do what you need to at your own pace as long as you don't remain stagnant for a long time. It's okay to relax and take a break sometimes. You don't have to prove anything to anyone but yourself. Work on the things you need to and always strive for more, but also give yourself time to rest and enjoy things. You'll get to where you need to one day. You'll accomplish goals, one by one. You don't have to put yourself down or compare yourself to other people. Life is about the journey, not the destination.