Are You Under Too Much Pressure?!

Stop putting so much pressure on yourself!

I always put a lot of pressure on myself to immediately be a rockstar at a new job or anything I do.

It’s not any external pressure, and I’ve never had a boss who tried to insist that I make sales on Day 1 or make me feel like I was on the verge of going right back out the door.

It’s an internal pressure, a feeling of needing to prove myself.

Prove to the company that they made the right decision when they hired me, prove to my new boss I was a good choice, prove to myself that this was the right move for me.

Pressure in Jobs

I’ve been told by almost every boss I’ve ever had that they have “taken a chance” on me. On the one hand, it’s completely awesome that I showed something in the interview process which told them I probably had the elusive factors which could make me good at the job. But on the other hand, that also means they were a bit unsure of me. And because they were at ALL unsure, I feel an inexorable need to prove that I can and will kick butt at this job. I will make your company money. I will work hard, smart, and ethically. I will MAKE you realize how right you were to hire me. And I will do it right now.

It was something that niggled at the back of my mind. I had to prove myself and prove the bosses right! They needed to know I’d walk in the door and sell something the first week, go out on client meetings, and learn the industry TODAY.

As a salesperson, this was not a bad thing at all. In many ways, it was a great thing, because, in sales, the urgency is a huge piece of being successful. Urgency is what keeps sales interesting. When every day there is a new important urgent request or project, it’s hard to get bored. Sales is many things, but it’s not boring!

Urgency is to sales as cardigans are to Mr. Rogers. It’s one of the most important parts of the job! And maybe that little voice in my head saying that I need to sell all the things right now is what makes me so good at my job, and why sales became my career for 10 years.

Entrepreneurship Pressure

And when it comes to entrepreneurship, that internal pressure is even worse.

I am constantly putting pressure on myself to get more clients, do more, find more revenue streams, be more creative, have more ideas, be better.

Being an entrepreneur, it is even more personal and real and necessary to kick ass every day.

I put a TON of pressure on myself to make more money, especially. I make a good salary but significantly less than my husband, which has been a source of insecurity and pressure on myself to do better. Not because I care much about money — but because I worry that he will feel burdened and resentful as the primary breadwinner.

Sometimes the pressure is good, as it keeps me determined and ambitious.

Sometimes that pressure is bad. It will stress me out and make me overwhelmed. It will actually keep me from reaching my goals or being creative.

How to Stop

Once I was able to clearly see how much pressure I really put on myself and how it can sometimes negatively affect me, I made a conscious choice to lower the pressure.

I started by reminding myself that if I made a little less money one month — we’d still be 100% fine.

I then began to comb through my actual current clients, tasks, and responsibilities. It turned out that I was taking on basically ALL household related tasks and chores because of this insecurity over being the lower earner. My husband had never encouraged me or pressured me to do so, it was all my own pressure.

I talked to my husband, my life partner. I explained this pressure and determination and stressful overwhelming feelings I was having. He immediately reassured me he is not feeling resentful and then started listing chores he could do.

Of course, his words are very much appreciated but did not dispell my individual pressure. They did, however, allow me to talk through my feelings, share them, and have someone support and love me. And someone who would take on a few tasks!

Over a couple of months of reminding myself daily that the pressure wouldn’t help and reminding myself that I am OK and it is OK to take a break of a few hours off, it started to sink in.

I don’t have to work 24/7.

It’s ok to wait to respond to an email until morning.

It’s ok to take the afternoon off and get out of the house.

And slowly but surely, it’s helping me.

Pressure can be a great thing, but too much on yourself can paralyze you.

Are you putting too much pressure on yourself?

Are you picking up what I’m putting down? Check out my story and freelancing guide, “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” with tons of practical info packed into a short book! I also have a brand new writing course called “How to Write a Book in 3 Months.”