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Pressure to Excel – 3 Strategies to Succeed without Sacrifice

Have you ever felt the desperate need to succeed? In the competitively cutthroat environment of juggling school, extracurriculars, and social life, the pressure to excel has become the defining feature of young adults. As we navigate this time in our lives, it’s important to realize that success and well-being are not mutually exclusive, but rather function in a symbiotic relationship. The pressure to succeed is understandable, but it introduces a pressing mental health concern - burnout. By dissecting the highly nuanced nature of success, below are simple strategies to help you become the pinnacle of success without compromising your well-being. 


Are You Lazy or Burnt Out?

Burnout is not laziness, but rather a state of mental and physical exhaustion stemming from being overworked. Usually, it's found in professionals, but it could apply to people of all backgrounds, including students with a rigorous academic schedule. Studies have shown that burnout affects ambitious people at more significant rates; those who set high expectations for themselves, where the need to outperform oneself and others can manifest into something darker which negatively affects goals and productivity. 


Strategy One: Redefining Success 

We’ve all heard the word “success” but what does it really mean? Success is a multifaceted concept that is broader than the conventional measures of excellence, which is centered around growing your wealth and moving up in society. However, we must redefine success into what is gratifying for us; considering passions and values. Is success making a difference in the world? Is it making your parents proud? Is it saving a life? Recognize that success is not a one-size-fits-all, but rather molded to a person's unique experiences and desires. 


Strategy Two: Reevaluate Your Priorities

What truly matters to you? Sorting out your priorities will help you manage your time better, thus preventing burnout. Be realistic about balancing your current activities and responsibilities and sort out the essentials from the buffers. Practice deep thinking to see where your priorities lie, and in which areas you are overcommitting. Decide what are the key factors that are contributing to your burnout and how you can avoid this moving forward. Some examples may include attending every volunteer event, never turning down an opportunity, etc. What are some ways you can set boundaries for yourself to stop overcompensating? 

Analyzing your current mindset and the effect it has on your lifestyle is a major step forward to achieving a healthier, more productive lifestyle. 


Strategy Three: Make Self-Care #1

Dedicating time to restore and reboot doubles as an antidote in combating burnout. While many may view self-care care an occasional luxury, it is a fundamental aspect of sustaining success without sacrificing your well-being. Developing habits like a nutritious diet, committing to a consistent sleep schedule, and meditation are not just trivial things but essential in a self-care routine. Indulge in things that bring you joy and fulfillment, whether it’s binge-watching “Gilmore Girls,” or cherishing time with your family. Self-care is not limited to physical tasks and needs, but it's a constant state of mind. Self-care is accepting your situation, failures, and accomplishments, taking ownership and responsibility for them, and using it as a stepping stone for improvement. In essence, self-care is a deeply personal commitment to nurturing both our physical and mental well-being, a narrative we craft with intention and responsibility.


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Very good article , nice and simple . I read it with my daughter.


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