Most of us put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We strive to be the best, to see the fruits of our labor doing good in the world. We want to make an impact and an impression. And while we will say casually to others that we “can’t be good at everything” to console each other, we carry on putting pressure on ourselves to be “good at everything!”
This year I am taking my blog in a new direction, opening up the subject matter to include many of my passions beyond dating. I love to write and I love life so I may as well continue to sharpen my writing skills by writing about whatever interests me. I am also hoping to build the audience of my blog and sharing other passions of mine may help me connect with more readers. After all, this is a blog, not a diary and it is the interaction I am after. That’s how I learn. That’s what excites me.
So, I read a fellow blogger Jack Murphy‘s recent post Early Victories in a Long Game: My Third Month Stat Wrap Up giving a recap of his progress blogging and his struggle with writer’s block and it sparked some discussion, and this post, about the pressure to be great and how we handle it.
I posted this comment on his post:
As for the pressure, I was talking to my boyfriend recently and he said something that really surprised me. I honestly couldn’t believe he said it at first then it made sense.
He’s a coach and he trains athletes of all levels from youth through high school and a handful of pro athletes. His athletes go on to be state champs, all Americans, college athletes with full athletic scholarships and some pro. Basically, the people he coaches take their sport very seriously and so does he. So the other day when he said he wouldn’t wish an undefeated season on his best athlete, I was shocked! Why not?!?
You see, for him, and the value he instills in his athletes, being the best is great, but it should never come at the cost of loving the sport, being passionate and having joy in the process. The pressure of an undefeated season, in his experience, is so great it can rob the athlete of the fun and joy of competing and growing. There’s not just the pressure of doing his best and the competition at hand, but also the pressure of the whole season when you’re undefeated.
Often, the best will still be the best, even with one loss, but to have some of the pressure off so their love of the sport can still be felt is important.
With that’s said, in dating, I have often recognized that first date pressure is useless. It can ruin a date with a perfectly awesome person. When I’ve been out with someone who is very nervous, I have at times created a failure or an embarrassing situation. I’ve spilled my drink, I’ve dropped a fork then pretended to almost fall out of my chair. And my favorite is to pretend I’ve caught my heel crossing the street. It makes me clumsy and flawed breaking the tension while also giving me an opportunity to grab his arm for safety and be rescued! Oh lala! I also happen to be a total klutz anyway so I know this is bound to happen, why not get it out of the way. I snort when I laugh and like to shock with dirty jokes that you would never imagine me saying if you saw me. These things make me human and create opportunities for me to connect with someone which can’t happen if we are both trying so hard to be perfect. Laughter, even at ourselves, connects us!
So maybe the key now is to bomb. Just post something awful! Or maybe post something humorous. Or tell us about a failure.
To me, I enjoy the pressure and I do want to strive to be better, but drawing the line on how much I put in or how much I worry so that I don’t sacrifice the passion I have for what I’m doing can be difficult. Similarly, if you put so much pressure on yourself that you ruin your chances to move ahead; for example, being so rigid and inhuman on a date as to push your date away, then what is it worth?
Fearing failure is usually a bigger hindrance to success than failure itself! I wrote about my desire for all of us to fail more, fail bigger and fail spectacularly in this post “I hope you fail!” and it’s still true for me. It aligns with three of my core beliefs
- Be a big failure. If you aren’t failing some of the time, you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough
- Build your character. Circumstance is temporary, character is forever
- Broken is better, stop protecting yourself from change or pain when it is our flaws that connect us
So, like Jack Murphy, I will be challenging myself this year with this blog. I aim to write far more frequently on a variety of subjects, build my character and hopefully create a community where we all are striving for self-improvement and make myself open and vulnerable to what comes my way as a result, good or bad.
What I will not do, however, is quit. Quitting is not failing, quitting is giving up when the going gets tough. I may have to make some adjustments along the way so that I can keep my passion alive but I won’t quit. And therefore I can say that I am committed to producing quality posts that reflect my experiences, opinions, sense of humor and interests. I won’t cater to the masses for clicks, I won’t recycle junk and I won’t write what people want to hear: I’ll write what I want to write, as I always have. If you like what I write, thank you. If you don’t, feel free to stay and debate or go on your way.
Much love and inspiration to you!
PS if you have a blog you want me to read, please post it in the comments!