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Why do I feel so much pressure?

Updated: Feb 19, 2020

Does it ever feel like there are so many people telling you what they think you should do, where you should go to school, what job is the best, who you should date, and when you should get married? Or maybe they tell you their story and act as if that is the only way? So many decisions and so many people telling you what they think you should do... No wonder we feel pressured and overwhelmed! But why do we feel pressured when people tell us what to do?

Pressure could be categorized as a feeling. So what does pressure feel like? Google defines it as "persuasion, influence, or intimidation to make someone do something." In our bodies, pressure often can feel like weight on our shoulders or our mind in a spin. So the feeling that we are being influenced to do what someone wants us to do is pressure. The interesting thing is, if pressure is a feeling then there is always a thought that creates that feeling of pressure. Stay with me here.... Let's take for instance the subject of which college to attend. That is a neutral fact = going to college. It doesn't really have any emotion tied to it or pressure. It is only when we think something about going to college that we have a thought that creates a feeling of pressure. So what is your thought? It could be, "my mom and dad want me to go to college", or my dad says that " ______ is the best college and that I would get the best education." Or "I have friends telling me that if I want to have fun in college, or find cute guys, or be free of my parents, I should go here." And it goes on and on. So the question is, when you think of going to college, what is the thought you think? If it is something like, "my parents want me to go to college," then that kind of a thought will make us feel pressured. If we are doing it to please other people, we will always have a feeling of pressure and may even resent our parents. So is college a bad thing? Of course not! But you want to ask yourself why are you going? How will it help you personally? What do you hope to gain? What school do you feel most drawn to and why? And let the opinions of everyone else go. Now if you are a parent and you are paying, you might want some say, but coercing your young adult to go when and where you went, or doing what you want them to do, they are going for you and not for them. And when you show up at college with thoughts that you are trying to please your parents, you may feel resentment and you might not do as well because you don't have a choice. I've seen plenty of young adults feel pressured to go to school and resent their parents for making them go.

So what thought might help you get to a place of confidence or peace about college or any of the decisions you are making? First ask yourself, do I want to go? And why? Then if you choose to go, find a thought that will help you be successful and not feel pressured. Let's say you want to feel excited for college. Then what thought will you need to have? Maybe when you are looking you could think, "College is going to be amazing!" or "I want to improve myself and be educated so I can change the world." Would that help you be confident? Think of how it would feel to you to if you went to a college you were interested in and your thought was, "This is going to be amazing!" What feeling would you have? I would dare say you would enter with excitement or confidence! And wouldn't you rather make that decision based on excitement and not feeling pressured? It's possible you know! So be aware of the thoughts you have about any decision you are making and then choose the thought that will help you feel good or at peace or excited! It's all within your mind! So no pressure!!! If you are interested in talking to me about pressure or overwhelm in your life, go to and sign up for a free no obligation mini session. We can talk about how to move forward. Anyone can learn to make decisions, including you!

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