trying too hard to get it right

Why Are We Always Trying Too Hard?

Date

May 9, 2023

Do you often find yourself trying too hard to get things right the first time? Do you put yourself down when things don’t go to plan straight away?

The world is not as it used to be, it’s changed so dramatically in the last two years, that can’t be right, is it only two? Things seem more difficult.

I seem to see more and more young people feeling the pressure to make lifelong decisions earlier and earlier in life. Why do they feel they have to make these decisions now? Why is there such a focus for young adults to feel they have to know their next step. What are you going to do with your life? What are you going to be? Who are you?

Our brains are not fully developed until we are 25 years old. What message is society sending to young people that implies they must know now?

All of this pressure amalgamates in a generation of young people trying too hard too soon to get things just right.

Getting it right takes time

I don’t know about you, but as a child and young adult, I had no idea who I was. The most difficult decision I made was, do I become a new romantic or mod? (I went with mod in case you were wondering). In fact, at 55 years old I am only just getting there.

But it’s still not set in stone. I might manoeuvre some more, shed a few more skins, that’s the beauty of being an adult, you have choice. Is that part of the problem, we are giving children too much choice too early?

Why do people try too hard?

My friends laugh at me when I get annoyed with the young mum asking their toddler where they would like to sit in a cafe, “here darling, would you like to sit here? Or maybe over there by the window? Perhaps outside, would you prefer outside?”

For goodness sake! Just bloody sit down. They don’t need to be making those decisions, you are the adult, you decide where you are going to sit. Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.

I wonder if that’s an early example of why young people are feeling overwhelmed and ruminate about getting every little decision right. Maybe they just don’t know, but the expectation is, whether real or imagined, that they musthave the answer. Working out what we need for our well-being is a skill that can grow and we can hone and develop.

But are there more reasons why people try too hard?

Societal pressure

There is such a pressure on young people to get it right, they never consider they can make a decision and change it. Or heavens forbid, get it wrong. Our failures do not define us, nor do our successes. We focus too much on the reward, our successes, we don’t spend enough time enjoying, reviewing, challenging ourselves on the journey to the success or failure.

“Destination” mentality

Is that why we are never satisfied? The latest deal, the newest phone, the latest bike race, 10K, the new fad diet and so it goes on. Some of us are constantly chasing that dopamine hit, it can be addictive. But then what?

Here’s a thought, why not enjoy and celebrate the journey not the outcome? 

How present are you with your family, friends, work colleagues, whilst you are focussing on the reward? Could the journey to your success or failure have been more enjoyable, more inclusive, a shared experience? Sometimes, we are so focussed on the outcome that we are absent while we get there. However, we may sometimes justify this, ‘it was worth it for the outcome’. Was it? Was it really? For who; you or those around you?

I once remember a client telling me that their drive and commitment to their work forcing them to be absent during their family growing up, would be worth it when they retire and had created a luxury lifestyle and could take their kids on amazing holidays. Unfortunately, when they retired, their kids didn’t want to go on holiday with them as they didn’t have a close enough relationship with them.

Live in the moment

“The journey is the reward” (Steve Jobs), or in other words, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.

I guess what I am saying is, let’s work on who we are and not what we want, because the latter is not lasting or fulfilling long term. Let us accept our decisions right or wrong and review them and allow ourselves to change them if they are not working for us. We will learn more as we persevere. Trust me, I think success will come from this change in mindset. Right?

Find more support

If you feel like you are struggling with trying too hard to get things right, Head Agenda are here to support you. See our services for more advice and support on how and what we can do to help you. Alternatively, if you are not sure what help you need, please contact our team.

 

Disclaimer: This article has been designed for entertainment and informational purposes; it is not personalised medical advice. This guide may be a useful read to generate some ideas, however, please take advice from a medical professional.

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