The PRESSURE to be enough. Never a ceiling, a bottom. Was never satisfaction, like, yes! I have done it, I am enough. – I never quite got that recognition, realization that I didn’t have to be, do or have anything in order to be ENOUGH. The standards on “enough” were higher on me, higher than anyone’s. I wasn’t allowed to fail, to be less than perfect. Perfect looking, perfect grades, success in competition – always had to rank. Had to be faster, smarter, steps ahead of everyone, funnier, cuter, friendlier. But underneath, breathless reaching, striving. Like a BLACK CAT that slips around, getting things done, seamlessly, stealth – but always looking like everything is under control, sleek and purposeful….My very own invisible hell.
To never feel like enough, never feel ok, never feel at peace with who you are and what you accomplish is such a trap. There’s always something pressuring you, another task to prove yourself, timelines, the right audience (maybe now people will think I’m really something). Consuming thoughts about bulletproofing my efforts, intentions and knowledge so that no-one can poke holes through my works. No one will know that I’m really a mess and not really worth what I show people I am. I’ve thought of everything, prepared EVERY possibility, thought about my next moves.
All of this self-imposed pressure is exhausting. My adrenals pushed to the max.
I began to focus inward, pondering what it is that I really need. A new, softer, gentler me. That’s it. A me that is not consumed with “how it looks”. A me that doesn’t live “as if”. A me that subscribes to less pressure and lives “good enough” as though it was my job. I’ve learned to back off and just be mediocre. Yes, trying on -I suck- and see how that feels. Wow, the “I suck” experiment went better than expected. I encourage you to take a couple of hours and just be mediocre, leave things unfinished…. see what you would be forced to feel if everything wasn’t perfect.
Hmmmm, that’s gold right there – WHAT WOULD I HAVE TO FEEL IF I WASN’T PERFECT? WHAT IF I FAILED, IF I SUCKED? HMMM…For sure this will bring pause and comfort to the hyperventilating soul.
Learn to apologize, (without laughing) that you’re unprepared, late or otherwise shaggy. The only pressure I go with now is the pressure to talk nicely about myself, the pressure to make room for mediocre performance and the pressure to think of myself with loving kindness through it all.