Don’t underestimate your potential to do great things

Why are some people more hard on themselves than others? From mothers to office workers, students to even children. From athletes to fathers, friends to foes, no matter who you are or what you do for a living there comes a time in your life where you may put too much pressure on yourself.

“Why can’t I get an A?” “I should be able to work a full time job, raise the kids and pay the bills all by myself.” “I should lose all my baby weight 1 month after I have just had a baby.” “I am the sole provider for my family and everything depends on ME.”

Where do these pressures come from? Is it a personality trait that we are born with that makes us more susceptible to putting pressure on ourselves? Or is this something that we learn from our parents and are shaped into a being of worry?

Psychologist are always contemplating on whether a human being’s personality is shaped from either nature or nurture. It is an ongoing debate. One thing is for sure is that personality and temperament is innate which means that it is something that you are born with.  And, with that, life takes that and shapes you. In other words, there is no right or wrong answer.

I remember growing up as a school girl and my mother saying ‘if you get a C in school you get a C- as long as you tried your hardest.’ All I heard from that was it’s okay to get a C. Therefore, I never put any pressure on myself to achieve an A. I knew that if I read all of my material and paid attention in class I could achieve an A. I know that because I tried it. After I got a few A’s I thought, this is easy. I wonder what would happen if I came into class blasted? I definitely pressed the boundaries a bit at university admittedly. I knew I had the potential; therefore, I did not try. That is my personality as well though. I don’t like pressure if it requires me to do something significant, but if I were faced with it I would, as Dave Matthews would say, “I would go in this way and find my own way out.” (#41 Lyrics, Dave Matthews Band)

Perhaps when people put pressure on themselves they underestimate their own potential. Perhaps people who put too much pressure on themselves need to learn to value themselves a bit more. The English overuse this word ‘confidence.’ They like to use the word any chance they can get. “I gained a lot of confidence after I …” “She/he shows much more confidence in school.” In a way, it is annoying when people overuse that word. It’s annoying because I believe people have more confidence in themselves then what they give themselves credit for. I think culturally, people should not feel confidence is a ‘bad’ thing, but a thing that could make you achieve your highest potential. Confidence is something that gives you that foundation of finding your dream job, asking that hot girl out that you’ve been secretly crushing on for a while and provides a strong foundation for whatever life throws at you. After all, the only person who judges you the most is yourself. So, stop judging! There are plenty of people out there that will do that for you. Save your energy and focus on your strengths and your talents. And, in this way you will find your own way out.

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