Do we have to be stressed to be successful?

Do we have to be stressed to be successful?

I was sitting on the bus, listening to a podcast on the way home from work and I had that rush of emotion that seems all too common these days. Am I doing enough?

With social media, it’s easy to follow those we admire, I catch glimpses of their lives on Instagram stories, listen to their thoughts on podcasts and peer into their worlds on youtube. It’s inspiring, seeing how so many women are creating successful lives in careers they love. They’re consumed with work, yet seemingly unbelievably happy. At the same time though, it leaves me with the feeling of should I feel more stressed, am I pushing myself hard enough?

I want to be successful in my career. I flit between ideas of what that career is, the classic “Where do you want to be in five years time” question. Right now, I don’t know.
Queue the panic googling of inspiring women and how they got to where they are.
If I’m to be truly successful, shouldn’t I have a goal to work towards? Should I have created a ten-step plan on how to get there? Why am I not working from 9 am until midnight? And so the spiral begins.

When chatting with friends I constantly catch myself making sure they know that I’m busy. It’s as if that will justify my feeling tired/ distracted (or the fact I’m unbelievably socially awkward). I’ve seen others do it too. We all want to show our triumphs and achievements, to mask the ugly, boring side of life. We all want people to know that we are on our way to that ‘succesful’ lifestyle.

Everything is an Instagram feed.

I’m aware most of this is just my own insecurities about the future. I mean, if you’re happy, who cares? Right? But I want to achieve something. I want to look back in awe at how far I’ve come. I want to be able to tell my children about how I went from a waitress and grew into a [insert cool feminist job title here]. 

I’m stressing because I’m not stressed enough. That’s so dumb.