Unless you had (or are) one of those ranting parents at a baseball or football game,
loudly screaming at encouraging your children to do their best win-win-WIN, damn it or requiring perfect marks in school or playing the violin every day or anyone of the pressures a parent can and will (inadvertently) place on a child, any pressure you may feel probably comes from within. (Instead of the pressure of a parental acceptance, I mean.)
I must present this report better than anyone else in the history of presenting reports.
If I don't finish this 85 mile run with a smile on my face, I'm a failure.
I have to find the perfect kinky partner, fall madly in love, never make a mistake, and never get into an argument. If not, I'm a BDSM failure.
Whoa, hold up there.
I'm no stranger to pressure. I nursed on it from the cradle. Growing up with high expectations of the people around me and from myself felt natural. It still does. Sitting still means letting something go undone, letting someone pass you in something, or not trying hard enough to do All The Things.
But, hell, y'all, that's just bullshit.
For sure, some of us thrive on pressure. Pour it on, and I'll stretch myself to not only meet expectations but beat them, too. I get kind of a high from it, when I see the impressed look on someone's face or hear it in their tone. The "I didn't think anyone could do that" look and tone. It's kind of addicting.
Others of us run from the pressure. It's scary. It's hard. It's silly. It's not meant for me. Let other people do that.
Really, though, we're all a mixture of both. When something is important to us, we accept the pressure, work hard, and do our best. When it's not - or when it scares the hell out of us (regardless of how important it may be) - we'll hide from it, ignore it, or just make excuses about why we can't, won't, or shouldn't do it.
For people hard-wired like me, we pile on the pressure, add another goal, grow our to-do list, and move forward. The ability to do this is good or not, depending on your perspective. (If you're the one waiting to eat dinner, have sex, or go to sleep while your pressure-loving partner is grinding away on a new project, you might not love this ability.)
The pressure isn't a bad thing.
The new goals and projects aren't a bad thing.
The ability to forget that life isn't as much of a competition as we think it is, can definitely be a bad thing.
"I want to be the best."
"I want to win."
"I want to never make a mistake or do something wrong."
Those sound like nice goals to have, but can we come back down to reality for a minute?
Someone will always be better than you at something. Always.
You don't learn near as much from winning as you do from not winning.
How can you expect to grow or change if you never make a mistake?
I sound like a sage, a kinky woman filled with wisdom, don't I? Don't believe it for a second. I know these things because I have to verbally remind myself of them every single day. I have to literally say the words, "This isn't a competition" or "Yes, that writing is better than yours. Enjoy what you're reading and stop worrying" or "Well, you tried that thing and it didn't work. Move on." The new one I've added to my daily reminders is "It's okay to take a break and rest. It's necessary. Relax. Chill. Chillaaaaaax."
How do I combat this weird feeling that I have to go-go-go, be-be-be all the time? Well, I try that "chillax" thing. But I also try to celebrate the people around me. My journey in this "thing" - kinky life, writing life, existence, pick one - is different from the next person. We all have something to learn from one another. We're all just trying to make it from day to day, find a little love, maybe have some good sex, take care of the people we love, and have a life worth living.
I find it's easier to remember there's no need for all the pressure, no need to be "the best" when I celebrate what other people are doing. Celebrate differences. Encourage good work. Join in the community. Sit still and listen. Instead of worrying about what I'm doing (or how I'm doing it) so much, I remind myself that other people's goals and pressures are just as important and worthy of attention. It reminds me that this isn't a rat race as much as it's a journey, one we're all on.
So while giving my best is important (I like to say I'm not trying to beat anyone else, just myself), it's equally as important to not let the pressure rule our hearts, minds, and lives. Don't let the pressure of being the best derail you from also being wonderfully flawed and human or from remembering that life really isn't a competition, and none of us are getting out alive, so we need to enjoy each other more and compete less.
Welcome to Wicked Wednesday, and a happy Week 200 to Marie Rebelle for this amazing meme going for so long! The prompt was to share "our best" or "our best side." My mind went somewhere else - as you can tell. Being our best is a worthy endeavor until the pressure we pile on turns us into anything but our best. For real smut, click on the button, y'all.