Do you put yourself under pressure?
Updated: Dec 2, 2019
Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves?
Obsessive comparison syndrome isn't new, people have been comparing themselves to others for years. But back in the BSM days (before social media) for me this meant sitting with a magazine to get inspiration to be 'on trend' or be a bit more adventurous with make up (I vividly remember wearing multi-coloured eyeshadow on my commute to London and thinking I was super sophisticated). It also meant speaking to your colleagues and hearing how they were progressing in their career. Once they left your company who knows what happened to them!
We see the best because we're only shown the best
With the rise of social media, OCS has grown into an ugly uncontrollable beast, it's not just about comparing ourselves with other people on how we look, dress and live, we now compare ourselves to other people in business and how successful they are.
Linkedin is the best and worst of this, minute by minute updates of people achieving, winning and celebrating something or another. There's nothing wrong with being a little competitive, it gives us fire in our belly and drives us to succeed, but it's crucial to remember that people naturally only want to show the best side of themselves. We all know someone who has left a business only to report that it's the best thing they ever did and they wished they'd done it years ago. This engenders a couple of feelings a) they think you're an idiot for still being there b) they're not telling the whole truth.
We're all voyeurs through the world wide window
As a result of the WWW (world wide window) that we all have access to, how do we keep a sense of reality about the great things that everyone else is achieving? There's a natural drive in all of us, this drive propels us forward to get through life's obstacles and hurdles, when everything is going great we leap ahead but sometimes we hit a hurdle which slows us down or stops us altogether. This is the time that we shouldn't be comparing ourselves...but we do, we continually put pressure on ourselves to do more, do better or over analyse why we're not at the same stage as someone we don't even know.
To keep a sense of perspective we need to change our mind set and know that people who are succeeding have worked hard for it, they are just like you and me and have probably struggled to get there. We also know the struggle never really ends, as a nation we're not great at selling ourselves so there's also a bit of envy that someone doing the same as you has the cheek to shout about it, instead of feeling envious feel inspired by their boldness.
Celebrate today, there'll be a new challenge tomorrow
When people are celebrating a success, know that it's hard work, determination and personal sacrifices that got them there, that snapshot they choose to share is just that, a frame of time on a long journey.
So let's stand on our soapboxes, get out our loud hailers and shout about what we are achieving in the hope that we can inspire someone else who may be struggling.