You might be a person who loves competition and putting yourself under pressure. But you can take it too far. If you set yourself targets that are just too hard to hit you’re not doing yourself any favours.

Fear of not meeting expectations can bring on anxiety. Set your goals too high and you might feel a sense of hopelessness about ever reaching them, and that can make depression worse too.

Sometimes it’s other people who expect a lot of you. You may feel pressure from whānau, your school, or a coach. And it’s easy to worry about letting other people down.

Nobody’s saying it’ll be easy but here are a few ways of doing it:

  • Ask the opinion of someone who isn’t involved in the situation, like a friend or counsellor, to get a little perspective.
  • Talk to the people who are setting the expectations for you. Tell them that you’re finding them too tough to handle
  • Look at your own expectations. Maybe you’re just being too hard on yourself. Don’t be afraid to adjust them.
  • Take a break from your goals. Your body and mind need time to relax, so be sure to give yourself time for that, too.
  • Write down how you’re feeling. It can help you see things more clearly.