On the pressure to be it all

Hello Lovelies! 

I have a friend who is one of the most beautiful people I have ever meet, on the outside and in, and to top it all off is very intelligent too. She's the sort of person you would meet and think that she has it all. But she's also the friend I have that seeks to improve herself the most.

She's always talking to me about her goals, and how she wants to be 'x' by a certain time so doesn't really have time to socialise or procrastinate. But I don't think she takes enough time to realise she's already enough as she is. 

I can relate to that feeling. I always want to be more. I'm always thinking about what I should create or achieve next. So after turning 23 on Thursday, I wanted to write a post that is very much about being an adult and the pressure that comes with that. And I'm hoping that someone reads it and thinks *phew* at least I'm not the only one, because honestly the pressure we put on ourselves can be ridiculous, and we all owe it to ourselves to have a break from that.

And maybe this post will make you feel better about it all, which is really my aim.

'There's never enough time'

If there's one thing that's true about me, it's that I live my life as if there's a ticking clock constantly telling me I'm running out of time. I'm obsessed with counting hours, minutes and sometimes even seconds and translating that into goals and tasks that should be completed in that time. Recently I realised that if I wrote 1,000 words a day, I could write a 365,000 word book and realising that fact really made me feel like I was using my time ineffectively. 

Adding to that I live with a very unrealistic idea of where I should be by a certain time. Kind of like when you're 10 and you think by the age of 20 you'll be married, have your own home and be living the dream. Life always has other plans...

I often get frustrated that I haven't done something by a certain point in my life, and that's probably due to not setting realistic goals.

Really the key is discovering the thing that matters to you the most, and focusing on that as your main goal. Because if you spend all your time trying to do everything, there will never be enough time.

Someone remind me about the point above in the future, because I should really take my own advice. 


There's a saying that I heard from Sara Tasker @meandorla that productivity is really a case of 'ebb and flow.' If you're constantly going at 100, then you're eventually going to end up burning out. Basically you shouldn't beat yourself up about not always being productive, or having a bad day because guess what that is really damn human. And actually it's a big part of being productive.

Isn't it true that often the best ideas come often when you least expect such as when you're in the shower or about to sleep? Taking a break does us all good, and can sometimes be the best trigger for creativity.

Burnout on the other hand always makes me think of that extreme campaign by Fiverr with the quote: 

"You eat a coffee for lunch. You follow through on your follow through. Sleep deprivation is your drug of choice. You might be a doer."

Spoiler: That isn't a healthy lifestyle*.

*Can we stop glamourising it? 

'What do I have to show?'

I went to an exhibition recently at the Tate Modern of Dorothea Tanning's work. She's basically this surrealist artist, who in her 70 year career created an amazing body of art. She literally was doing it all - from sculpture, to grand canvas. I had never seen a single piece of her work before going to that exhibition, so to see someone so brilliantly accomplished really took me off guard. This lady, really was amazing. 

Seeing an exhibition of an artist's work, as a reflection of their life is an interesting experience. You are very much seeing their destination, and not so much their journey. 

We don't see the steps of how they get there, but rather like Instagram, the highlights. Social media is always making us feel like we have to show something, whether that's our lives going well or our latest success.

My point is that we can't all expect to paint like a genius, without creating a few awful drawings. You wouldn't tell a toddler that his crayon drawings meant they could never be a great artist.

Within us all is a kid who had dreams. So be kinder to yourself. You owe your kid self that.

'Maybe they're not all that'

'Comparison is the thief of joy.' To be honest I have heard that quote so many times in the blogging and creative world that it's become a cliche. But that doesn't make it any less true.

Comparison is definitely my biggest demon when it comes to blogging and social media. I spend far too long thinking about how 'x' person has such perfect photos, or 'y' person writes like a dream to the extent that I will openly admit it has stunted my blog progress.

For blogging it's kind of made me feel like everything I write is a bit irrelevant. I think that's actually what makes it hard to blog so much nowadays. I've become so caught up in feeling like no one cares about my perspective, that I write posts I never publish.

On Instagram, I play the comparison game with me about a year or so ago. My account used to get about 4 times the amount of likes, and actually grew! Whilst now my follower account has been stagnant for about a year, and the blow to my confidence has been pretty big (which it needn't be!). If I didn't compare so much, I would enjoy the experience so so much more. 

Self Improvement Books

I have a theory that sometimes self improvement books don't really work, but it's actually the process of reading them and feeling like you're in control that is the beneficial part. That's not to say that some don't have good advice, they do, but I have read a lot of them that I haven't taken anything from. 

That said, sharing books that have helped me find direction and feel like I CAN DO THIS, felt like a good way to end this post. So here we are:

1) The Skills by Mishal Hussain - Mishal created this book to share the skills she has learned as a successful woman. Not only does she share a lot of interesting statistics and studies about being a woman, but there's a lot of good advice and pointers in there too. 

2) Hashtag Authentic by Sara Tasker - Oh I adored this book so much. It is very much specific to photography and Instagram, talking about how to really flourish with creativity but in the most human way. It also has some great little tasks in the book that you can put into practice and try out yourself.

3) How to get from where you are to where you want to be by Jack Canfield - File this book under American style self-help, with lots of big promises on how YOU CAN BE A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE, AND PERFECT HUMAN. But funnily enough I have found the first half of this book super useful so far. It gave me a lot of confidence when I was looking for my current job, and I feel like it actually has some quite good advice. The main reason why I liked this book is that it has a lot of stories of people and their own success, which have really stuck with me. Just take this book with a pinch of salt.

4) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising by Marie Kondo - Mess stresses me out, and yet, my room is an actual tip. Honestly I don't know why I do it to myself. But then it's a problem that a lot of us face. I loved Marie Kondo's book because it gave me easy to follow steps and didn't make me feel like an awful human for being messy. She has a lovely, forgiving voice that is what a lot of us need to push ourselves to a less cluttered and over-whelming life.

5) The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters - I love this book because it's a really simple and accessible, complete with illustrations and easy to read chapters. At the heart of it is a very simple concept, but since reading this book a few years ago, I think about it a lot. In fact I've recommended it to a lot of people who have said the same. It won't blow your mind, but it helps to really put your thoughts and decisions in to perspective. 

Love Vicky x

1 comment

  1. I really loved reading this post and I defo feel a slight pressure on general expectations, but I'm learning to try and live in the moment and appreciate the little things while enjoying what I am doing currently.



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