Pressure alone doesn't make diamonds.

I've thrown a lot of ideas in the trash before their time came. I've thrown away more half empty journals than I can remember. I quit my first job out of college and used the excuse "because it wasn't in my field." The only thing I've finished in the last few years is a puzzle, despite multiple attempts at blogs, creative ideas, and even a master's program.

In all my quitting, I realized that I put way too much pressure on myself to be perfect.

Because we are flawed human beings, trying to be perfect overloads our brain. It drains us mentally, like trying to run a marathon your first day working out.

Imagine how running a marathon without training might be. You would probably break all the rules to running. The first couple of miles may go well, but eventually your pace declines. Then you're thinking about your time. Then you're trying to cut corners to make up for time loss. Then you find yourself mentally tired and soon after you're physically tired. You overcompensated by drinking too much water, so now you have a cramp and you're out of the race.

You may be asking, why would you try to run a marathon without training first? Yet, we all do the same thing in so many ways. We easily forget the old sayings "old habits die hard" and "Rome wasn't built in a day." The truth is, I felt pressured to be perfect and left a good job because I didn't think I was good enough at it. Instead of asking for help, I used the excuse, this isn't my field. I've had so many unfinished journals, because if too much time passed since my last entry, I would just start over with a new one. The one time I didn't try to be perfect, I finished a puzzle. In all honesty, it took way longer than I wanted it to, but it was worth it, to see it finished.

People will tell you pressure is good. We wouldn't have diamonds without it. However, pressure alone doesn't make diamonds. It takes pressure, heat, and, most importantly, time. I hope in whatever you do next, you give yourself permission to take as long as you need and make as many mistakes as you need to.

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