Shared Journal Entry #6
February 18, 2018
I’ve always been a driven and passionate person. I set goals for myself and more often than not I achieve them. I know I put a lot of pressure on myself I always have. As a child I wanted to be the best, better than the best really. I had a father that pushed me academically with one of his favourite lines “You have to be twice as good as them to get half as far.” I remember report card time when he would show his disappointment that I wasn’t a straight ‘A’ student. He would say “85% where did the other 15% go.” I didn’t realize it then but I was on a race to perfection where my father was head coach, pushing me and seemingly motivating me to do better. But sometimes motivation can be pressure in disguise.
That’s how I always felt, an acute awareness of pressure and bone deep anguish that came when I fell short. I’m still this way after years of conditioning. I strive to be the best at everything I do. There is no father around to point out my mistakes (I ended that relationship years ago). There is no one looking over my shoulder pushing me to strive for excellence. There is just me pushing myself in the right direction toward ultimate success. I am my toughest critic but I have learned over the years to also be my biggest cheerleader remembering that every misstep on my journey is part of a greater plan that will lead to my ultimate happiness.
There is one person I can’t discount and that is my mother. She has always believed in me and my talents and often told me I could do anything I set my mind to. She took me from my home in Guyana when I was four because she knew the opportunities were too small for someone as big as me. She had the foresight to know I was destined for something greater than my Third World home could provide. She believed in me at times when my belief in myself faltered. She is my champion in all things and over the years I have learned to appreciate that love and unconditional support.
This is not to say I don’t still put a large amount of pressure on myself. I’m hard on myself yes, but I haven’t yet figured out how to change this toxic quality. I’m sure there are many people who feel the same way. That constant pressure to succeeds, constantly worrying that you aren’t good enough to achieve. We all have goals and dreams but on our pursuit to fulfill them we need to make sure its motivation and not the pressure to perform that drives us.
Nobody’s perfect, certainly not me so I try to remember to take my time, to be kind to myself on my journey of success and self-discovery. I choose to believe my failures are an opportunity to grow and ultimately I have learned that pressure can create diamonds but its motivation that makes them shine.