Are You Putting Too Much Pressure on Yourself to Keep Moving Forward?

By:Aimee Pearcy
Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

A while ago, I wrote about why it’s so important to keep moving. And I still stand by that.

But after spending the past few months following my own advice and zigzagging all over the place, I felt like the article needed a follow up.

So I thought I’d try again — this time re-framing it in a slightly different way.

Because recently, I’ve found myself wondering:

Why do most of us put way too much pressure on ourselves to keep moving forward?

It’s only natural to want to keep making progress, getting better, and always be looking up towards the next step of the ladder that we’re climbing.

But it’s not always the best decision. Even more importantly, such an attitude can seriously jeopardise our health, our relationships, and our overall quality of life.

Because the truth is, we can’t always be moving forward.

Sometimes we get tired. Sometimes a bird shits on our head. Sometimes we need to take a breather to stop and reconsider whether we’re even on the right ladder, and if we really want the thing that’s at the top or if we’re just mindlessly climbing because we’ve got nothing better to do.

A lot of the time, maintaining our momentum and going with the flow seems easier than actually sitting down to think and reevaluate what we want.

And if that resonates with you as much as it did with me a couple of months ago when I decided I needed a career change, stopped accepting new freelance clients, and enrolled in a full time TESOL course, you might want to consider pausing and taking a break before you get any further up your own ladder.

Because no matter how good (you think) the inevitable reward will be, is it really worth it if the journey makes you miserable?

There’s no doubt about it — getting off the ladder is difficult and uncomfortable.

Sunk cost fallacy is a real thing.

But in the long-term, not getting off the ladder can be far worse.

Because let’s face it, there are few things less disappointing than sacrificing everything to claw your way to the top of the ladder you started climbing years (or even decades) ago, looking around and thinking, ‘wow, this view fucking sucks.’