Pressure To Perform

Have you ever felt pressure to perform?

I’m sure you have

But what if that pressure to perform has become a lifestyle?

What if your identity, value and worth are wrapped up in how well you perform?

Well, you’re not the only one

I struggle with that pressure to perform too

By the time my performance brain has put on its tap shoes and zipped up the back of its pink, sparkly catsuit.

I realise it’s too late

When you have a performance based mindset you have to perform

In any situation

I have to be the funniest one

I have to be the happiest one

I have to be the perfect one

People NEED to like me!

Else I feel the sting of their rejection

So I need to:

Perform, perform, perform

Often I perform before God in my daily walk with Him

“Oh look God. Look at all this great stuff I’m doing –  for you!”

Silence.

Hmmmmm

Maybe God has forgotten about the promises He gave me years ago?

Maybe I didn’t do something right and so He’s found somebody else to fulfil that calling?

So I need to:

Pray more

Read my Bible more

Use a better devotional App on my phone

Fast more

Oh my goodness!

I haven’t done steps  1,2,3,4,5

That means God is mad at me!

Eat.  Sleep.  Repeat.

Eat.  Sleep.  Repeat.

Don’t get me wrong, I love performing

Drama, the Arts etc.

That’s good performing

Because you can bring ideas to life in the swirl of creativity

But when your performance fills a void that you so desperately need, that’s a struggle

The struggle to find my self-worth

The struggle to stop searching for my identity in the good or bad things I do

I know I need to stop performing and trust God more

But it’s a struggle

I can pin-point exactly how my performance based mindset started

I was about 5 years old and I suffered badly with nightmares.

Every morning when I woke up, I had wet my bed

Which didn’t stop until I turned 19 years old

I know. Right?!

Things like that are painful, but we emerge stronger and better for it

Like I said before, nobody has a perfect life

=)

Anyways, back to when I was 5 years old…

So, my mum tried to help by making a ‘star chart’

The idea was that if I had a dry night, then I would get a gold star sticker

3 in a row and the promise of a treat

Woo hoo!

Only that didn’t happen

I struggled to even get 1 gold star, let alone 3

My older sister had her name on the ‘star chart’ too, but she didn’t have issues with nightmares and bedwetting.

So my sister gained lots of shiny gold stars next to her name

Enter my pressure to perform

Which became a performance based mindset

Over the years I have been driven by a performance/perfectionism force that’s hard to come away from when your inner self tells you it works

When I get applauded for my ‘performance’ in whatever area of life I use it

It feels good when people except you

When you feel loved and wanted

But the pressure to perform becomes a hard taskmaster and it needs a willing slave to do its bidding

And because the drug of choice is so addictive

You find that you’ve wrapped your identity around how you perform or how perfect you try to be

Which is great while you’re tap dancing your little booty off

But when God drags you off that stage and shows you what damage your pressure to perform has done

That your relationship between you and God doesn’t feel like a child and father

More like, slave and master

Then it’s not fun anymore

Last year God completely stripped me of everything I had put my identity into

If it was anything I’d put my value or worth in,  God took it away

And it stung

Like a Band-Aid being ripped off your skin

All your left with is the scar and a red mark

For a few months I was angry and frustrated

Why would God do that to me?

But over time I realised that it was for my own good

God did what any loving father would do

He rescued me

From the treadmill of a performance based mindset and the pressure to perform

And I’m glad

I now understand that God doesn’t want a performance based relationship

with Him, or with anyone else for that matter

I don’t have to ‘perform’ to feel validated anymore

Because

My identity is in Him

 

Wendy xo

 

 

 

Author

Wendy Parker

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