Thursday, 24 March 2016
THOUGHTS ON BEING A HIGH-ACHIEVER
I've been wanting to write this post for a while now but I haven't been really sure on how to do it so today I just thought - fuck it, I'm just going to write it and we'll see how it turns out!
I've always been a high-achieving and stubborn person. When I put my mind on something I'm not giving up until I get to where I want. I've always set high goals and pressure on myself to achieve the highest grades or always to aim for the best. And it has been stressful and probably not so good for my own well-being at times, it's so hard to find a good balance on how hard you can push yourself without pushing too far.
So that's pretty much what I want to talk to you about today. Achievement, pressure and well-being. From one high-achiever to another. How I've tackled stress and how I deal with the consequences (and also how I NOT deal with consequences). Because I think it's important to talk about our well-being and stress overall.
In school I've always been one of the top students and always has been the one that teachers tend to push since they know I have the potential to go that extra mile. I've played flute for 8 years, done street-dance, worked but mostly studied through my entire "youth".
I got very high grades through school and up until my first year of upper secondary school, but then something happened. I crashed, very hard. A lot of things happened at once with family, a big break-up from my current boyfriend and it was everything just came crashing down at once. I started to get chest-pains because of stress and an inflammation in my sternum, my mood was everywhere, mostly down and either sad or angry and I felt completely unable to do any work for a long period of time. This of course affected my school work and everything else that was a part of my life, I lost weight and very few things could make me happy at times.
I struggled very hard with school my last two years of upper secondary school, I felt like I barely managed to get grades at times and I broke down countless times just because I wasn't able to work as much as I wanted. I completely crashed. And moving abroad might just be the best thing that I've ever done. I desperately needed to get away from everything even though that meant leaving friends and family.
Today, I must say that I'm much better than I was just a year ago. I'm still getting very stressed at times and I almost feel on the edge of crashing again at times. But knowing how it turned out the last time I'm desperate not to go back to that period in my life, I do not want to be that unhappy and sad again.
As a high-achiever it's hard for me to "just let things go". I don't, I always want to handle everything no matter what consequences it has on my well-being. And it has taken a lot of will-power from me to learn that it's okay to fail at times, it's okay not knowing what to do and it's okay to say no. I still tend to take on too much still but I'm learning and I've also learned that this will take time to recover from. It's not possible to rush myself to a calmer, better life. I need to learn, relapse and re-do things to get better.
I think that there's a lot of factors in our lives that can make young people crash because of stress, and it scares me that more and more young people are getting depression, panic attacks or other stress-related consequences. It scares me that so many need to suffer this at such a young age. If it's school or personal issues doesn't matter. It's still not right. And I actually don't have a solution. I just want stress and other mental illnesses to be more talked about, for people to pay more attention to early symptoms before it's too late.
I know that this post is probably all over the place, I just wanted to get it out there. Mostly to those who are like me. It's OKAY to say no. It's OKAY not to get the highest grades. It's OKAY not to be employee of the month. And it's also very much OKAY to do whatever the hell you want to do with your life.
Remember to take care of each other,