Pressure is everywhere; sometimes it is good and can be used as a very handy motivational tool and can get results. As a teacher I am constantly put under a certain amount of ‘pressure’ and it is something that I thrive on to be the best teacher that I possibly can be. I tend to flourish in circumstances where all hands need to be on deck, the adrenaline is pumping and the creative juices are well and truly flowing. I make sure I am planned and ready for any scenario that pops up and if I haven’t planned for it; then I just jump right in and ‘get my hands dirty’ so to speak.
But I have also been plagued by the ‘wrong’ type of pressure which has led to me losing confidence in myself, my value as a person and as a member of society. Ever since I have been a child, I have been aware of this pressure and have seen the impact of it on both myself, my family, friends and the outside community.
I would define this ‘pressure’ as resulting from a basic need that grows within every individual; the need to be loved and accepted. As a human race, we are social animals and this need within our DNA to be ‘social’ has led to the need for acceptance and love from others. What person does not want to feel like they are cared for and important to others?
In my post ‘Keeping up with the Joneses‘ I talked about the comparison trap and how we can all get caught comparing ourselves to others around us, we look to people who are deemed to be ‘loved’ and ‘accepted’ and then berate ourselves for not being like them. This is where the ‘pressure demon’ raises its demented head and tricks us into believing that we are less of a person because we are not as ‘accepted’ as other people might appear to be.
This post came about when myself and Mr. T were talking about teenagers and the pressure to wear ‘designer’ clothes. I feel sorry for teenagers today as I feel this pressure to impress is at epic proportions, not only with clothes but also phones, tablets and all other technological devices. As teens ourselves, we never really felt this pressure as we knew the value of things; both of us being sensible, we knew that we could get there times as many ‘budget’ items for one ‘designer’ item.
However, we were lucky enough to not be surrounded by social media and ‘too much choice’ and are very grounded when it came to material possessions. I feel that we are constantly bombarded now with pressure from every angle possible; pressure to look good, the pressure to ‘have it all’, to be loved and accepted by people.
It feels like high school all over again only everyone is under the pressure; if you look great you have to keep up the facade and not let it slip, if you are less than your best you are pressured to ‘improve’ yourself, if you have a job, you should be working all hours aiming for a promotion, if you have a family, you should be spending quality time with them.
The pressure can build and become so immense that people develop unhealthy addictions and their life spirals out of control. On the other hand, some people simply shut down and become apathetic to it all because the battle to live up to this pressure becomes such an overwhelming mountain of hatred and inadequacy.
I have felt this pressure my whole life and as someone who has experience the spiralling chaos it can cause and the feelings of loathing and apathy I want to give one piece of advice; step back from the situation and view it as if you are someone else, ask yourself ‘who is causing the pressure?’ If the answer is yourself then why are you imposing these things onto yourself; would you act this way to a friend you cared about, if they felt the same thing would you agree and add to the pressure?
If the answer to ‘who is causing the pressure?’ is the media then ask yourself ‘what is in it for them?’ Are they trying to sell the newest ‘wonder’ product; if they are then they are making you feel inferior enough for you to buy their products, they are not worth your custom. They might be doing it to scare people into conformity as individual thought and self-expression can lead to defiance and anarchy.
Is the pressure being created by other people, if so, then why is their opinion so important to your happiness? Why do you have to fit into the mold of what other people think is ‘beautiful’ and ‘worthy’, isn’t your opinion just as valid as everyone else?
So, my beauties, please trust me when I say, do not let anyone make you feel pressured into being anything other than your true self, you are worth just as much to humanity as the next person and you have the right to do what makes you happy without feeling the pressure to change by others.
Remember; things do not have to be perfect to hold value in the world, you should hold yourself up high and celebrate yourself rather than letting pressure change who you really are. I am not going to let others tell me how I should feel about myself and try to force me into a mold. I’m going to do what makes me happy, not what serves other people’s agendas.
Ciao for now my beauties xx