I feel like my entire life, people have had this idea of me being this perfect person simply because I’m a good student. I’ve never quite understood how getting good grades meant that I had to be good at everything. Am I not allowed to have my own struggles in life?
I could always feel this pressure put on me, turning into a little voice in the back of my head – not such a good thing for someone who already has high anxiety. It was like by failing, I wouldn’t only disappoint myself but also the huge amount of people who had faith in me. To them, I wasn’t allowed to doubt myself, because I had always been « so good at everything ».
The perfect example for this, is my journey towards getting my driver’s licence. That was a really big deal for me, and I was really anxious about driving – especially because I’ve always thought I’d die in a car accident for some reason – but everyone told me I was being stupid and obviously I was going to nail my driving test because I was so good at everything. Knowing that by good at everything, they really mean good at school – because what else am I good at, to be honest? – I realised how stupid it all was. How does being a good student mean I’m going to be a good driver?
And guess what? I failed my driving test. And it felt like the end of the world to me, not only because I had failed but mostly because I felt like I was letting everyone down -they were all so sure I was going to do so well ! They even seemed more affected by this than I was. The people I was the most anxious to see after my failure were my driving instructor, who I avoided until I had to come to book new driving lessons shortly before my second driving test – that it to say 5 months after my first one.
I tried to joke about it all and for some reason, they thought it meant that I was devastated. They tried to blame it on the examiner – they can be so unfair, you know? – even after I’ve told them I was the only one to blame for my failure.
I think it’s funny how everyone around me thinks it was good for me to fail because I’m not used to it and it made me realise it’s not the end of the world. Truth is, without all this pressure put on me since I was a little girl, I wouldn’t have gotten so worked up about all this. I knew that there were way more important things in the world and I was blessed to be able to have access to this luxury that is driving (let alone being able to try multiple times even in case of failure !).
Since I am working on my anxiety, I have decided to work on my fear of failure & disappointement. I know I work my butt-off to make sure I get what I want (which is the main reason why I’m not used to fail) but I’m also aware of what I’m capable of, which includes my limits and it’s not fair to me to add some pressure because of what other people expect from me. I try to put things in perspective and remind myself that everything will work out for me in the end. I’ll be okay.
Turns out, ignoring the pressure people put on me & focusing on myself and what I want seem to be working because I had my second driving test this week & passed ! Just another reminder that some things may take time but they will happen eventually if you put your mind to it !