The Pressure to Succeed

As the first day of the year comes to a close, I image myself on the edge of a cliff that is up high in the sky. I am able to look out at the setting sun, see birds soar through the air and clouds billow alongside them.

Beyond that, it is all uncertainty.

All of my usual worries are spinning around in my mind. The main one is a question I’ve asked myself forever: am I enough?

I’m 25 so I’m classified as a member of the motley group of millennial assholes.

For a while I’ve been feeling this millennial pressure to always be working. Maybe it’s the Instagram accounts I follow or what I see from my Facebook friends, but I feel like there is this idea that we have to always be working in order to succeed.

That if you are not making a stride towards making money or achieving your goals, you’re wasting your time. That you are lazy, unmotivated and worthless.

I worry that I am falling behind because I am “not enough.” That I would be some sort of success if I stopped letting myself rest.

For a long time I did not take enough time to rest. It really weighed on my mental health which is why I have started to relax after work and make time for fun on weekends.

But then my anxiety makes me feel guilty about it.

It says, “Megan, you would be so much more successful if you were working harder. You would be making more money if you got another writing gig. Instead you go home to watch anime and YouTube. What a waste of time!”

Something a former friend of mine said to me rings in my mind. She rattled off all of these other mutual friends who she found to be successful. I was not on her exclusive list which still makes me feel like a failure after many months.

I wonder again and again, is she right? Am I a failure because of the choices I have made? Have I already sealed my fate as someone who will never accomplish anything?

I plan to discuss this all with my therapist on Friday. We have had this conversation many times but I think it’s time to have it again.

I’m not sure if it’s the “new year, new me” mentality but it’s got me quite anxious.

Wishing all of you a wonderful 2019! May we all continue to surmount our problems and make peace within our minds.

11 thoughts on “The Pressure to Succeed

  1. Hi there, your writing resonated with me. I’m also 25 and there are times I feel behind in life, especially when I see my peers’ accomplishments and highlights on social media. I’m working on letting go of this comparison game this year. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Megan, it sound like you’re beating yourself up about so many things; I’m familiar with much of what you’ve written. Firstly, don’t believe social media everyone posts a sanitised view of their life on there, not everyone had the best Christmas ever, or has the greatest job in the world. Real life is often hidden under a fake portrayal of happiness and over achievement. Secondly, you only have to like you, it doesn’t matter what other people think… that is the hardest thing to come to terms with.
    Wishing you a happy and healthy 2019.
    Karen x

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m 43, and I also have a lot of guilt around letting myself rest, so I think it might just be a people thing, not only for millenials. Just try to remember that social media is the highlight reel of people’s lives, and they don’t share the bad stuff (well, some do, but you know what I mean). If you looked at my FB or my Insta, you’d think my life was damn near perfect. I can tell you that is not the case. I wish, at your age, I had decided to think hard about what a successful life meant to me- because you are allowed to define that yourself, it is very personal. I would often strive for things that I thought other people would admire, and thought very little about whether it was right for me. Now, at this age, I have a life that is good, but is probably not what I would have chosen. At 25, you have so much time to explore and make mistakes, and most of all, have fun. Don’t beat yourself up. Enjoy it! And if you need to, stop following people on social media that make you feel less than. It’s totally okay to do that! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Megan, excellent post but what you say about people’s attitudes to ‘milenials’ was recycled from the 1980s. Being your age back then, the attitude in 80s Regan America was that if you didn’t work three jobs and take evening classes on top, you were some sort of lay about. God forbid if anyone needed government assistance! What you and your contemporaries could be experiencing is a backlash of resentment from my generation, which is something I apologize for on their behalf. Pay no attention to these people and have a happy 2019.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, I had no idea that sort of pressure was around back then! I know my mom experienced that after she had me because she was working part time instead of full time.

      Maybe it is some sort of resentment. Hmmmm. Happy 2019 to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It isn’t just work! Even when we are having fun, there is the pressure that it has to be great, that we align ourselves with out awesome hobbies, and of course record that for the world to see through photos and social media. The pressure to have awesome lives is tough and I don’t think we can ever measure up to a standard that no one actually measures up to. Loved this post.

    Liked by 1 person

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