No one has ever described me as “low-key.” I’ve always put pressure on myself to do more and be more, and the result is often…nothing. I call this “pressure paralysis”: when the pressure of what could happen and what people will think is so great that instead of trying, I do absolutely nothing. The times when I do get up my nerve to try something new often are often filled with stress from taking on too many tasks and worrying what others will think about my imperfect attempts.
Pressure paralysis is a large part of the reason why I stopped blogging at JourneyChic, my home on the web from 2008 until it got hacked several months ago. I finally let it completely die when I chose not to renew the domain name. I stopped writing and sharing projects long before my blog met its demise because instead of being fun, it became a chore. I felt pressure to generate more content and better-looking photos than I felt capable of producing, to spend a lot of money and time on projects that I didn’t have time to spend, all while feeling hopelessly inadequate compared to all of the talented bloggers who I admired.
I caved to pressure and let go of something that had once brought me joy.
I didn’t think anyone missed my little blog, but then something funny happened: friends and colleagues started to ask if I was still blogging. They expressed disappointment when my answer was, “No, well…you know…life got in the way.” (This was also true – it’s a lot to work full time, and be a decent wife and mother while maintaining a blog).
I’m quite sure that I’m not the only one who lets pressure get in the way of creativity and creating a style that suits us.
- Have you ever not started a project because you worried it would take too long, or wouldn’t look right – even though it would have brought you joy or helped you in some way?
- Have you ever hesitated to host a party because you were worried about what people would think of your home, or that your party wouldn’t be “good enough” for your guests?
- Do you have rooms in your house that are incomplete because you’re paralyzed by indecision?
- Do you have trouble finding things you need but are worried that you’re not an “organized” person, so there’s little hope?
I’ve been there. In fact, I’m still there a lot of the time. My husband tends to break into a sweat when I suggest hosting a get-together because he knows that hosting turns me into a crazy woman. I want to get better. I want to have a home that’s organized sensibly so that I spend more time having fun with my kids and less time digging through piles of paper searching for camp registration forms. I want to have a comfortable, put-together home that reflects my family’s personality and values and makes guests feel welcomed (and not like “Oh shit, I just spilled red wine on her white tablecloth – she’ll never invite me again!”).
The good news is that I already have so many tools in my style and organization toolbox. Now, the trick will be putting them all together – and using them regularly.
Won’t you come with me on this journey to achieve a life with less pressure and more style?