Pressure to Perform


This happens to me pretty much every morning. Most of my days are usually quite productive though, but I never seem to get through ALL I would like to accomplish on any particular day. Some say that this is because I set ridiculous expectations of myself when it comes to ‘things I need to do’. I like to say that when it comes to what I do each day, I like to makeΒ every day aΒ Norman Vincent Peale day!Β Every morning, with my first big, beautiful cup of coffee, I think about what I’d like to achieve. And although I accept the realities, I still list those many tasks. I shoot for the moon, and then every night I smile contentedly because I know I have at least landed among the stars! (Yes, my house has a roof and no, I don’t live in the sky πŸ˜› )

Admittedly, a lot of these beautiful early morning coffee goals for the day end with me feeling something like this :


This is partly because of all the running I do. No, not running as in exercise. I don’t run. I don’t even jog. So if you ever see me running, you should run too, because that means something is chasing me.

(I don’t know who originally came up with that quote, but according to the hyperlink it was Kristen Proby. It seems it was used in her book, and the name of the character who said it? Meg! Although that Meg is described as a sexy rocker chick πŸ˜› but having the same name still makes it mighty coincidental πŸ˜‰ )

By running, I actually mean driving around in my car for what I count as too many hours in my day, playing Mom’s Taxi. There’s the school run, and then there’s the extra curricular activities run. During the extra run, I usually end up hanging around in my car for a couple of hours. I live about 20 minutes away from where her activity takes place, but fuel (like everything else) is very expensive, and I don’t see the sense of driving back and forth in such a small time frame. My daughter is a dancer – she has been chosen three years in a row now to represent our country at World Champs. So I guess I’m a dance mom (just nothing like what you see onΒ that show!) The joke in our studio is that we all ‘live in our cars’.
(We have a non-existent public transport system, and the little of it that exists is far too dangerous to even consider.)
So from the list, I usually select things that I can do from the discomfort of my car.

The reason I am telling you all of this (other than the fact that these were a collection of Facebook pictures I had liked and saved, and discovered and was amused at how they all kind of fit together?)…..

These days there seems to be a lot of pressure to perform. Whether it’s as complex as achieving some greatness and stature in our careers, or as simple as being a ‘better, closer to perfect’ parent, the stresses that come from this overwhelming pressure can be detrimental to our health.
The sad thing is that it is not only society or other individuals that put this pressure on us. We have a tendency to do it all by ourselves, to ourselves.
We push ourselves into overachiever mode, in an attempt to do more and be more. For me personally, this is related to the fact that I am often told I can’t, I won’t, I don’t.
And so there is this itch inside me that often causes an ‘overdrive’ scratch…. the results are usually less than desirable, and I wind up in a place that is nowhere near the achievement goal I had set out for myself.
I don’t go into overdrive as often as I used to, thank goodness.

I have learnt that my brain has limitations and that sleep is necessary. I canΒ never be effective if I am dead on my feet.
I have learnt that it is sometimes necessary to take a step back when I am feeling stressed. To breathe deeply and think carefully. And use the energy that stress can create in a positive way – controlling the stress instead of allowing it to control me.
I have learnt that having a to-do list and planning ahead in certain circumstances does not make me a nerd, or detract from my spontaneity. Instead it prepares me and creates a better environment in which to perform.
I have learnt that sometimes acknowledging the small wins can open doors to greater things.
My biggest obstacle, I know, is to ask for help. When there is pressure to perform, the best thing you can do for yourself, is to ask for help (even if it’s just with menial tasks). For some silly reason (perhaps because I have always been the carer and helper, and it feels weird to ‘have the shoe on the other foot’) I struggle to reach out and ask others for any form of help. I really need to work on that!

I always end my night like this though, no matter how the day behind me unfolded….


Are there any of these that you struggle with?



11 thoughts on “Pressure to Perform

  1. You are going to do so well in that business! πŸ™‚ Great post (again!)

    I’ve learned not to struggle with sleep – i just give in to it nowadays! πŸ˜‰

    it’s my way of dealing with the ‘pressure’… unfortunately it’s not as effective at getting things done as i would prefer! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sometimes the sleep is the only way to get things done. Sometimes we need a few days of complete rest in order to completely rejuvenate ourselves and tackle whatever other tasks are waiting!
      Nothing is ever carved in stone, and works for some may require a lengthier, or shorter time period in order to work for others.

      Well that’s just my two cents worth anyway πŸ˜‰

      Thank you for the encouragement re the business πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It feels really strange but I feel as though I have known you forever, and I say this because today I was wondering what to write about and I thought of three very different things which relate in a lot of ways to what you have written about.
    I thought at first about writing about two complete opposites fear and hope, I thought about this because of our earlier conversations especially about my admitting to attempting suicide, I too am grateful that for whatever reason God chose to keep me alive, I guess that now it is a time for me to find my purpose in life and live it.
    The second thing that I thought about writing was my thoughts on music and in particular 3 songs which are very close to my heart and the reasons why, the first song is what used to be my signature tune, My way by Frank Sinatra – this was going to be the tune that signified the way that I lived my life, the personalised number plate on my Bentley and the song that my coffin was going to be carried into the church to, and yes I found out that you can get funeral singers if you are willing to pay for them.
    The second song was the Dance by Garth Brooks, have you ever listened to a song that really resonates with you, this certainly did for me although I have only ever been heartbroken on two very different occasions, the first was in 1975 when my Grandfather who was my hero, best friend and confidant departed this earth, gone but not forgotten.
    The second occasion was shortly after Kath and I had met and although I was sure about her, I became flattered by the attention of someone else on the internet, Facebook in particular and we flirted outrageously, one day I had gone out to a meeting and unfortunately I had left my tablet logged in and Kath had read our exchange of messages, she was in tears and we argued and she left the flat. The thing that I remember thinking was how stupid I had been and then the realisation of how much I actually loved and still love her, even for those few hours that she was gone I cried and felt really lonely and lost, fortunately she came back and we worked through things and now some 4 plus years later we are planning our engagement, I must be the luckiest man alive.
    Anyway back to the song the Dance, the main part of the lyrics talk about the fact that the singer could have missed the pain but he would have had to of missed the dance. How true to life is this we cannot have it sweet and happy all the time and sometimes painful things happen but then we cannot avoid the pain if we want to experience the pleasure. You mention your daughter and I remember the pain that my first wife went through in giving birth to my eldest daughter who is 34 now, but she is the apple of my eye and yet it hasn’t always been easy with her especially after her mum and I divorced.
    It has often been said that if a man was too give birth then there would only be one child and I can only think that this is probably the case.
    the 3rd song is also a relatively new song Titanium this always reminds me of the way that I have always viewed myself indestructible, tough as nails, never ever staying down and always coming out fighting or showing a great deal of strength and courage.

    The other thing that I

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The other thing that I was gong to write on was about two other things and again they have been touched upon by you, the to do list although I prefer to use the thought of Richard Branson who ditched his to do list for a to be list, I think that it is a better approach because by being we are actually doing.
      I used to use a Franklin Covey planner and the size was a Monarch almost desk size and slightly bigger than A4 and I used to fill the to do list from the top to the bottom of the page, a friend of mine and a Psychologist to boot suggested that I should cut down the size of my diary because I felt that every hour had to be filled with activity or doing something.
      The other thing that I would say is that I was also going to talk about selection and connection, after all apart from our births which we don’t have a lot of choice in everything else is about selection, the captain of a school team will select the players that he or she thinks will win them the match.
      We select our foods, partners, you mentioned that your daughter is a dancer and therefore she would select the best dance partner, the best music to dance to and the best dance school to give her the best chance.
      As parents we select the best schools that we can, we select the activities that will give us the best position in life even down to clothing, I know that in my sales career I used to spend lots of money on designer wear but I also used to have a matching tie and pocket silk to make me stand out but I also used to wear a red or white buttonhole each and every day.
      When you think about even things like social media or wordpress what draws two people to make a connection rather than following someone else who may write similar material, as I said previously I like your style of writing, your humour really shines through although I think that you have a serious side also, in many ways it is as though you are being playful in your writing and that I think draws people in, you have a genuine warmth about you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You have so many great blog posts in your messages above! πŸ™‚
        And a wealth of life experience to share with the world, and make a difference in someone’s life. For me, that should always be a purpose we strive to achieve. Making a difference. Even if just to one person. It’s one person less who is unhappy or lost πŸ˜‰
        When it comes to blog posts that are similar to mine? I know some people get offended when they write a post, and somebody is inspired to write their take on the subject. (Of course I am not referring to the awful people out there who steal your words, and pass it off as their own – THAT IS offensive!)
        I am not offended if you write on the same subject as me. We all have a different take on things, and it’s always nice to read, and expand your knowledge by reading, other peoples research and opinions added to your own.
        I think that’s actually the advantage of blogging – the connection and inspiration we gain from others! πŸ˜‰

        Kath is an amazing woman, and I am glad you have each other. I look forward to wedding pics πŸ˜‰

        You are absolutely correct that I have a serious side – there are a lot of things that I take seriously which others treat with light amusement. I do, however, try to find the humor things. I’m often considered ‘different’ in social circles, and I often feel that I don’t fit. It used to bother me, till I accepted that it is not possible to be everybody’s cup of tea – with humor, I can sometimes be their shot of tequila though πŸ˜›
        On a more serious note, it’s been a difficult adjustment but I accept and know that not everyone will like me or care for my opinions, views, and the small amount of wisdom I am accumulating along the way in my journey. But if I can touch/help/inspire or motivate just one person a day, then I am satisfied that I am well on my way to fulfilling the purpose I believe is part of my reason for being here.
        Many of the people I meet along the way find me to be a very warm person – so I am glad that that shines through in my ‘online persona and writing’. I have been told, on occasion, that I am sometimes ‘warm to my own detriment’. But the alternative, being cold and aloof and too wary? That wouldn’t help me to connect to people, and people are my passion!
        Have a great day, and thank you for commenting and sharing. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post and thank you for sharing all of this insight and reflection. It’s comforting knowing that we all struggle with certain aspects of life but that confidence and accepting things just as they are is a way to continue moving forward.

    Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s definitely helpful seeing others struggling with the same sort of issues as us. Although we know that we’re not alone and there is always someone out there that has the same ‘problem’, it’s nice to actually ‘see it’ or read it firsthand, and gain other insights and possibly glean more hope and help for the situation.
      I trust you will have a lovely Sunday πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I *always have to pray over my indecisiveness 😁. I use to feel bad about it, then I shortened my list by half of half ….and I still only get to a few things on the list. I had a huge laugh at the part where you mentioned, if your running then the person that sees you better run because that means something is chasing you🀣. I am a speed walker….when my knee is not messed up. You are doing a fantastic job! Congratulations with your daughter!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s