We’ve all felt it. We all know it all too well.
Whether you are a creative or a professional just trying to find your place in this industry, it is difficult when trying to not to compare your journey to someone else’s journey. It is difficult to not listen to your parents’ voices in your head and over the phone saying they hope you have a back up plan if “music” doesn’t work out. It is all so difficult.
It is all so pressure-filled.
The further you go in your career, the more pressure you will feel. At the same time, the further you go in your career, the less pressure you will feel. This will forever be an everchanging rollercoaster. You will always feel the need to please everyone. At the same time, you will learn that you cannot please everyone.
Some people will always strive to please every single person in their life. Some people are the complete opposite and only live for themselves. Both are not wrong. Everyone is different. Everyone operates differently. It’s learning how YOU operate is what is important.
Learning yourself, your values, your core values, your way of processing information, whether or not you’re visual or kinesthetic, whether you’re proactive or reactive, or even learning the caffeine doesn’t work on you are all the things that can help ease that pressure you may be feeling. Learning yourself is the key to knowing how to minimize the suffocation one may feel from pressure.
STRESS AND ANXIETY
Stress and anxiety can take over our lives in an instant and then drag on endlessly. You may feel these effects in your stomach or hands. You may shut down or you may start going a hundred miles an hour. The way that pressure can trigger these feelings is not abnormal. Although pressure can be a big mind game to overcome, sometimes the physical effects are numbing enough.
The pressure we all feel to graduate, meet new people, get a job, write a hit, find our circle, get to class on time, get to work on time, even to get out of bed is all normal. It sucks that it’s normal. For some it is a much more familiar feeling each day. For some it’s a new feeling. Maybe you’re somewhere in between. Either way, it is okay to feel these effects. It is okay to sit in them. It is okay to not know how to handle them. It is okay to feel overwhelmed. It is okay to drive yourself to Starbucks every day to get a drink just to feel like you are doing something for yourself. It is okay. And it is always going to be okay.
WE ALL HAVE AN INNER CHILD
Here is a tactic that is simple but helpful in allowing you to take a deep breath and be there for yourself: listen to your inner child.
A friend, during a very hard time in my life, answered a phone call from me one day. She was at work, and I knew that, but I needed someone to call because I started to feel extremely overwhelmed by life and the pressure and stress began manifesting itself throughout my body, making me feel like I was spiraling. I was on campus and could not get to my car fast enough to breath, so I called my friend.
She answered. She told me to breathe.
And then she told me to go home. I was like “One step ahead of you. Really trying to get there.”
She said, “Jenna, go home. Order your favorite food from when you were a kid. Watch your favorite TV show from when you were a kid. Focus on that. No deadlines, no answering emails, no answering texts or calls. Watch TV and eat your favorite childhood meal.”
So I did that. I did that for literally three hours straight. I ordered Chick-fil-a and watched Nickelodeon shows.
I could breathe again.
The pressure was not only making me feel like I was trapped, but my inner child was freaking out because there was not a bit of innocence or happiness in that moment and as a child that is a scary thing. We all have an inner child to heal. We all have our favorite memories from when we were a kid. We all have that one thing that made us feel safe as a kid no matter what our situation was. Go to that.
Pressure is not for the inner child. Because, most likely, that inner child has been tucked away for quite a while. It already feels the pressure. It needs to be let out every once in a while. It needs to be thought about. Do not be afraid to release your inner child in order to release the pressure of adult life.
Pressure sucks. But pressure is temporary. Do not let it get to you. It may be easier said than done, but the more you say it and do it and then say it and do it again, you can overcome whatever pressure you may be feeling. It is all temporary. We are all going to be okay. We all have our own paths and our own journeys.
Don’t let comparison be a thief of joy. If you learned nothing else from this blog, you learned that you are not alone. You can take that and run with it however you please. No matter what is that is laying down weight. No matter how much you feel that you are carrying, you can always keep going knowing you are not the only one. It only means you are human.
In a way, the pressure we feel and the stress we feel as humans is a beautiful thing. We all feel it, so we all know at some point what one may feel like. Maybe not exactly, but we know that it is not fun. The most beautiful part about feeling pressure and stress is the feeling on the other side of it.
Once again, if you learned nothing else from this blog, you learned that there is another side. It is beautiful. It is rewarding. It is insane. But it is beautiful.