She is a tyrant who is never satisfied, she commands you, order you, tell you that you can and have to do better, that you must try harder, be more effective, more productive, she reminds you that you are not up to the task, she does not allow you to fail. She, she punishes you, belittles you, devalues you. She is self-demanding and she never has enough…until she drives you into anxiety. What is the price of wanting to be the best?
Anxiety due to excessive self-demand
Psychologists alert us that more and more people are coming to their consultations for an anxiety disorder. They do not need to dig too deep to find the main cause of this emotional discomfort: self-demand. If the price of wanting to be the best is anxiety, we may have to rethink our goals in life.
Because it is very good to want to improve, but without losing sight of the fact that we cannot be perfect. We don’t want to be perfect! But in today’s society it seems that the entire universe conspires to push us to be more, to be taller, to be prettier, to be skinnier, and to be successful. You have to be the best, you have to be strong, you have to be efficient, you have to be able with everything and, above all, you have to be happy.
All are demands, by society, by the family , by the couple, by friends and we assume these demands as our own to turn them into what we demand of ourselves. A self-demand that in principle serves as motivation to achieve our goals but when it gets out of hand the only thing it achieves is to paralyze us, block us. And if we look back, that self-demand does not even allow us to see what we have achieved so far.
The excess of self-demand comes with the gift of anxiety. We feel empty, exhausted from trying over and over again and never being enough. Frustration darkens our day to day thinking that we never achieve anything and fear comes later. Fear of not being capable, of not being good enough, of not being valid. And that is when we begin to judge ourselves with a harshness that we would not use even with our worst enemy.
The cure for self-demand
In the judgment that we make to ourselves for self-demand, the verdict is guilty. We deserve punishment and that punishment comes in the form of anxiety problems, anguish, panic attacks and, if we leave it a little longer, depression.
But there is a cure for self-demand and it is acceptance. Accepting is not resigning, it is loving yourself as you are, observing, knowing, changing, and if possible, what you want to change. The goal is not to be the best, it is to love each other and that love will inevitably and without demands leads us to be better.
To stop self-demand, it is necessary to learn to relate to ourselves in a different way, more understanding, more empathetic, more generous and more realistic. What if we try to treat ourselves as well as others? What if we try to motivate ourselves from spontaneity and not from pressure?
It would not hurt to review the vital and personal objectives that we have set for ourselves. Are our expectations really the ones we try to meet or have they been imposed on us by someone? Is the life we demand of ourselves really the one we want to live? Are the goals we set ourselves realistic or are they the product of the “if you can dream it, you can achieve it” philosophy? Perhaps the time has come to put your feet on the ground and make it stop shaking with a more realistic, more understanding and less demanding vision.