1. Everything you do is never good enough or holds up to the standards you put on yourself. It makes you feel like you’re dangling a carrot above your head that you keep moving up higher and higher, because you’re being a total asshole to yourself, like, much more of an asshole than anyone would ever be to anyone else.
2. When someone compliments what you do, you don’t take it as a compliment but as a challenge to one-up yourself in their eyes. At the very least, you feel like whatever you do has to live up to the thing that you got complimented on, so, in turn, what was a harmless compliment gets boiled down to even more pressure.
3. At least once a week, you’re like, what’s the point of all of this and can I just live in a yurt somewhere?
4. You honestly have no idea why you hold yourself to such a high standard and you know that nobody else in your life expects you to be perfect. It’s your own stupid expectations that keep making you fucking crazy.
5. If you are not naturally good at something new, you find a million different reasons to never do that thing again. Who wanted to play the damn guitar anyway?
6. Once you achieve something you had put your mind to, that looming panic of what you can do to top that achievement starts to creep in and you’re like, can’t I just enjoy this achievement for a moment before I have to start thinking about the next one?
7. When people say, “I do my best under pressure!” you look at them like they just turned into a one-eyed monster, because who would ever want to willingly put themselves under pressure?
8. You actually sometimes wish you could tamper down your ambition and just accept mediocrity into your life forever and ever, amen.
9. When you talk to your friends who have normal jobs they do for the money alone, you sometimes feel envious because they don’t have the intense pressure to be doing more for the work they love.
10. You wish it was possible to pursue your passion in a peaceful way, which you may be able to do for a few weeks, but then the pressure creeps in and you’re like, I HAVE LOST SO MUCH TIME TO PEACE, MUST DO MORE.
11. You have developed an intimate relationship to the lump that sits in your chest when pressure comes to visit your body.
12. When people say, “You are your own worst enemy,” you laugh, because they have no fucking idea how true that is.
13. You hope that the pressure you feel to do your best and the standards you hold yourself up to will someday pay off in a big way.
14. You are completely, acutely aware of how crazy you sound when you talk about the pressure you put on yourself and feel even crazier because you ferociously nodded your head to all these points in a perverse excitement because somebody GETS IT AND GETS YOU AND YOUR STRUGGLE.