You Are Under Too Much Pressure

Olabanji Stephen
5 min readMay 14, 2024


Everybody wants something from you. Expectations everywhere.

Your family has expectations

Your partner has expectations

Your boss (or even staff) has expectations

Society has expectations

Your age has expectations

And no shit… you have expectations of yourself too.

None of them are really giving you the time you might need to build and unfold.

Society is characterized by speed.
Speed to wealth, speed to build, speed to grow an audience, speed to succeed.

And social media makes it look like it’s as easy as bread and jam

On Twitter (does anyone really call it X?), you’d see threads like “How I made $100,000 from my newsletter in 3 easy/proven steps”
Or, “How I built my startup from just me to $2m and 60 people in 18 months”

And you’re wondering, am I that terrible at getting things done?
I’m working my ass out, why the hell am I not experiencing this?

I see you.

And that much pressure can drive you nuts.

Are the stories false? Well, not all.

But it doesn't change anything.
You need a fix and you need it fast.

You need to do three things

1. Evaluate

Where you are is where you are.
You don’t want to be there but it does not change the fact that you are currently there.

You evaluate by asking:

  1. Who’s in my life?
  2. What am I doing with my life?

The answer to the first question might need you to make a list of the most important people in your life. Your family, friends, partner, and all the people you feel the need to either care for or prove something to.

Pressure comes from two sources.
It’s either we are putting ourselves under pressure, or it’s coming from people we care about or care to prove something to.

It could come from society but it’s not nearly as heightened as when it’s from someone close to us whether they are upfront about it or leaving clues or we’re just assuming.

So, that’s one.

The answer to the second might be a difficult thing to confront especially if you’ve not been doing very well. But you have to do it still.

What you’ve done before now is not very important. What you do next is what is critical.

So let’s think.

  1. What do you do with most of your time?
  2. What do you do for work?
  3. How are any of these working out?

2. Decide

We now know where you’re coming from, but where are you going?

What do you want your life to look like in 6 months to a year?

Be ambitious but realistic.
If money is a problem, you might need to evaluate the skills you currently have and how they can make you money.

You might need to change the way you offer them, to whom you offer them, or how you present them.

Of course, this might mean that you sacrifice what you love but that’s okay, you’ll come back to it.

Right now, you need a quick turnaround.
And sometimes the quick turnarounds are in things we already have. We just need to use them differently.

This will help move you forward.

Let me teach you something. You owe me one for this. Ready?

The relationship between positive and negative emotions:

They are neither good nor bad — they are simply indicators.

You don’t want to be happy when a lion is approaching. You need as much fear and anxiety as to get your legs moving at optimal speed.

You also don’t want to be sad when you make your first million. That’ll mean that something is wrong.

Your life is like a map.
You set a goal that dictates your direction.

When you get closer to the goal, you feel positive emotions like joy, pride, hope, and amusement.

When you get further from the goal or you experience an obstacle on your path, you feel negative emotions like sadness, anger, and anxiety.

This is true with any goal you set from getting a girlfriend to winning a game to making your first million.

So, negative emotions are not necessarily a bad thing.
They are an indication that something is not going well and your body gets ready to protect itself from something worse. Or you troubleshoot to find out the cause of the problem, fix it, and continue on your journey.

So, you don't want to be too happy or too sad.
You need an appropriate measure of both.

It’s important that you feel bad when you say something terrible to someone, your partner let's say, because that’ll constitute an obstacle to the beauty (or continuity) of that relationship and you need to fix it.

So when you hear people say I just want to be happy, what they mean is I want to be appropriately happy (which doesn't come without any sadness)

So, the pressure you feel right now is an indication that something needs to change for you to move forward. Period!

And that’s what I’m helping you with.

You might need to learn a new skill if you can't get a quick turnaround from where you are. It’s okay.
Just set a goal and decide that you’ll pursue it


Sometimes, you have to move back to go forward.

You’ll need to take care of redundancies, people, and activities that do not support your decision.

Let’s start with the trickiest — people.

With people, what you want to do is have conversations. Sometimes, difficult conversations.

Hey mom, or dad, or babe, or who the eyjspfzbitys else!

Here’s where I’m at and i know that this is how you feel about it.
I’m taking a few steps to change that but I'll need something from you so i can be productive
I would appreciate it if you don’t do or say this (whatever the trigger for the pressure is).
Please give me some time and i’ll give it my best shot.

Most people are kind and they’ll listen (or support you).
You might even find out that you’ve been wrong about a few things.
Either way, you put them straight
In rare cases, the conversation might escalate and you might lose them
But that’s a bet you’re going to have to make.

With activities, you’ll need to stop doing the things that do not directly support your decision.
You might even enjoy them
You might be addicted to some. In this case, get help.
But you’re going to have to drop them.

Double down (bonus)

There’s a thing called the region-beta paradox

The RBP can be defined as the phenomenon that people can sometimes recover more quickly from more distressing experiences than from less distressing ones.

You don’t go lower from rock bottom.

Now that you have the advantage of clarity and determination.

Don't stop until you create a life that better than what you have now.

If you want to talk about the pressure. It can be helpful to call a friend or text me here

I’m creating a community for people who are tired of DREAMING and want to start DOING even if they don’t know how.

No monthly subscriptions.
You’ll get access to my new course and direct help from me.
Join the waitlist here



Olabanji Stephen

I see the world differently and attempt to interpret it in ways that inspire genius