Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain

Emma prefers to share her thoughts with a microphone rather than a physical human being, so thank god she has a podcast. Recorded from the comfort of her bed, Emma talks at length about whatever is on her mind every week. Anything really does go on this podcast. Sometimes philosophy, sometimes a random story from 10 years ago, sometimes advice, and sometimes nothing at all. You never know what you are going to get, but that’s what keeps it interesting. New episodes every Thursday.

the pressure to overachieve

the pressure to overachieve

Thu, 28 Apr 2022 18:06

ever get that feeling like no matter how much you do, it isn’t enough? ever since high school i’ve been beating myself up over that. i think a lot of us feel this pressure to overachieve and it really weighs on us. so i want to talk it through with you guys. i’ll share my tips on how i got past it, how to know yourself better, do you best (whatever that is) and to find a little joy in your life. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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Carvana is in the business of driving you happy, and with the widest selection of used cars under $20,000, you're bound to find a car that'll put a smile on your face. They even offer customizable financing so you can plan your down and monthly payments to shop thousands of affordable vehicles 100% online. Download the app or visit Availability may vary by market. Hello. So the other day I was having a hard time and I decided that I would go on a walk. And. While I was on my walk, I called my dad. And I was like, I'm having a really hard time. And he was like, why? And I was like because. I just haven't gotten anything done in the past three days and he was like. Who cares? Who cares? He even gotten anything done. That's normal. Like, sometimes you're just not going to do anything for a few days. And I was like, yeah, I know, but like, I'm a ******* loser. Like I am a loser. And he was like, no, you're not like it's. Normal human behavior to like not do anything for three days and to just like have certain days where you just can't get anything done except for like the bare minimum. And I was like, yeah, I guess you're right. But, like, it just makes me feel so bad about myself. And he was like, you know, this is really weird because you've been like this since high school. Where anytime that you decide to take a break, or maybe you don't even decide to. Anytime you just take a break, like you need to take a break and you just don't get anything done for a few days, you hate yourself. And he was like, why do you feel like that? You know, like why? Why is that such a bad thing? And it really made me start to think about the way that my brain. Has been programmed since I was in high school about how my time needs to be used in my life, and since high school I've felt this pressure to utilize every single waking moment of my day to working towards a goal of some sort. So in high school. Every waking moment of the day that I had, I was using to get closer to my goal of going to a good college one day. I would only enjoy those things like watching a TV show or hanging out with my friends. Once I was done with. All of the things that I needed to do that were going to get me closer to my goal at that time of going to a good college. The only time I would allow myself to do anything that was just simply enjoyable. Was. When I was done with. Everything I had to do. And if for whatever reason, I wouldn't get all of my homework done, let's say, or I wouldn't finish studying for a test, I would either not let myself go hang out with my friends. Or watch a fun TV show. Or I would let myself go and do those things, but I would feel such impending doom and guilt that I wouldn't even enjoy myself. I felt like a loser. Completely. And there were moments in high school when I just couldn't mentally study anymore. I just couldn't mentally do another page of homework. I just could not do it. And instead of. Letting myself go and take a break. And go hang out with some friends, or go and watch a TV show, or go and hang out at the mall. Instead of doing that, I would lay in bed. And I would stare at the ceiling and just loathe myself and just be like, why can't you do it? You need to get this done. Why can't you just do it? You're a ******* loser. And I beat myself up over it like there was no tomorrow. And I made myself miserable, you know, I made myself completely miserable because I was so. Afraid? Of not being successful in life. It was all rooted in this fear of not being successful in life. I was so scared that if I didn't utilize every single minute of my day to help push me in the direction of my goal, then I was going to fail. And if I misused one of those minutes and I went and hung out with friends or did something like that, if I misused one minute of the time that I needed to be using to get me closer to my goal. Then everything would fall apart. I have the same issue now, the mindset that I had as a high schooler. Completely has followed me until now, where I don't let myself just lay in bed. And watch TV. Unless I have all my work done, I don't let myself go and hang out with people. Unless I have all my work done, I don't. I can't. And if I do, I feel miserable and I hate myself. I feel like I'm not the only one that feels this overwhelming pressure. To overachieve. It feels like since I was in high school, I have been on this hamster wheel of just pushing myself so incredibly hard to overachieve at whatever I'm doing at any given moment. Because I feel like if I don't. That. I will be a failure and like my life will be ruined. I'm not pushing myself to overachieve. Simply to just overachieve, right? Like, I'm not pushing myself really hard, just. Because I wanna be really good at something. It's not that it's a it's rooted in fear. And that was something that I realized after discussing this with my dad when I was on that walk a few days or weeks ago. I don't even know what it was is that I'm not operating out of excitement and passion. When I'm overworking myself like this, I'm operating out of fear. Fear of what would happen if I slacked a little bit and how that would impact my future and my well-being. I remember one day recently I woke up and I was like, alright, I'm gonna go to the gym. And so I get into my gym clothes and I'm walking around. My room. And I was like, I just feel exhausted. I can't do it. I just can't go right now. So like, alright, I'm gonna get back into bed and I'm just going to start, like working on my computer, on some stuff. And I start working on my computer. And like my brain just couldn't focus. Like I just couldn't focus on anything. And I started to get really angry at myself. I put my computer away, I lay down, I stare at the ceiling and I just start. Beating myself up in my head, just being like, you're a loser. You can't do anything, you know, like, **** you, you idiot. Like you can't go to the gym, you can't get any work done. Like, what are you doing? And I looked at the clock and it was like 10:00 AM at this point, and I was like, you just wasted the first three hours of your day. Doing what? Getting ready for the gym to just end up not going and then staring at your computer screen and not sending one e-mail and not ******* reading one e-mail? Like not doing anything? You know, you just wasted 3 hours of your morning just basically not doing anything right? And I got so angry at myself and I got so angry at myself that I I got upset and I just, I cried a little bit. I took a nap. I woke up. At this point, it's like 2:00 PM. I'm even more angry at myself because I'm like, am I now? All you did was you didn't get any work done, you didn't go to the gym, you got angry at yourself, you started crying. Then you took a nap. Now it's 2:00 PM now you've done really nothing. Now we've wasted half the day of you doing nothing. And then that anger. Resulted in more crying and more just sleeping. And then next thing I knew it was 7:00 PM and I had done nothing. Because instead of forgiving myself that morning for having a slow start, and instead of just saying to myself, you know what, you need a few more hours this morning before you can get started for the day. Maybe read a book, maybe watch a TV show, maybe watch a documentary. Just relax. Do something that will make you feel good instead of saying that to myself instead of allowing myself to do that. I just got angry at myself and then 7:00 PM rolled around and I had done nothing. I can almost guarantee you that if I would have just let myself have another hour that morning, if I would have laid myself down in bed, made myself a coffee and just watched YouTube videos for like an hour. I probably would have recharged myself enough. To go to the gym and then to come home, shower and get all my work done for the day because I allowed myself to have that moment of a break. But because I was so angry at myself for not having a **** *** day from the start and not utilizing every single minute productively, I just ended up throwing a whole day away. I think that this pressure. In fear that young people feel to be overachievers. Is detrimental. In so many ways, it's insane. I have some friends and family members who wear contacts, and honestly, I can't imagine how much of a pain it must be to always have to go to the eye doctor, go in for unnecessary tests. When you know that your prescription hasn't changed. It's so time-consuming and so stressful. I truly can't imagine one 800 contacts has been making people's lives so much easier and delivering contact lenses for 27 years. They make getting contacts super fast and easy. 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And then you have a super flavorful sip. Right now, Circle is giving all of my listeners up to 35% off their order, plus free shipping on all orders of $15 or more. Plus, as an added bonus, we're throwing in my favorite flavor, strawberry Kiwi, for free. Just visit drink circom to get this limited time offer. Today. Again, that's For kids who are naturally overachievers, right, kids who just naturally feel inclined to overachieve and maybe things come easy to them. Kids like that. Feel this constant pressure, this debilitating pressure almost to upkeep this level of success and of overachievement and that pressure can drive a kid insane, right? On the other hand, we have kids where overachieving doesn't come naturally to them. They maybe aren't so good at school. It's not something that comes naturally to them. And maybe, you know, their passions lie in things that don't have potential to make a large amount of money in the future. Those kids feel so far removed from the world of overachievement, they feel like it's impossible for them to a point where they just feel worthless. And they feel like they'll never amount to anything because. They know that they will never be looked at. As. This overachieving type of person, it's toxic on both sides. And then if you lie somewhere in the middle, you might have a combination of both of those issues. I feel like I kind of fall in the middle where. I've never been like a super, super, super highly achieving person. But I also have. Had some things that have come easier to me. I was. Pretty good at school. It came relatively natural to me. But I was never the smartest kid in my class, so I was kind of somewhere in the middle. I've also never been somebody who dedicates my whole life. To anything like I I just don't do that. I don't put all of my eggs in one basket. I know a lot of people who, you know, are in the same career path as me who literally put 120% of themselves into their job. I don't do that. I I can't do that. Like. As much as I care about my career, I just don't have it in me to put 100% of myself into it. I can't work on things 15 hours a day. I just can't. And so I kind of again when it comes to my work life falls somewhere in the middle where. I definitely work hard at things, I would say, but I'm not an overachiever to the point where it's all that I do. It's my whole life, but also I work. Hard enough that I don't feel like I'm necessarily like an underachiever. I'm just somewhere in the middle. Yet I still feel this intense pressure. To constantly be doing more. Even when I mentally cannot do it, I feel like I'm never doing enough because I kind of fall somewhere in the middle. I've always felt like I'm not doing enough. Right. And I could be doing more and that I don't deserve to basically have any free time or any life outside of. The things that are getting me closer to my ultimate goal in life, whatever that may be at any given time. I was thinking too about where this all comes from. Why is there such a pressure, now more than ever, to overachieve in life? Where is this stemming from? I was talking to my dad about. When he was younger. He was a teenager in the 80s, which sounds honestly like a total vibe for the record. But anyway, he said it actually wasn't. So to those of you out there who were like, I was born in the wrong decade, I should have been born in the 80s. My dad said it's it wasn't really like as much of a vibe as you think so. I don't know. We're just gonna have to trust my dad on that one anyway. I was talking to my dad about whether or not there's more pressure on kids now or if it's kind of always been the same. And he said that as much as there was a pressure when he was a teenager to succeed, it wasn't remotely as intense as it is today. And I started to think about why that might be. And I really think it all comes down. To you guessed it, the Internet. Because. The problem with the Internet is that the Internet just. Breeds insecurity, competitiveness and bragging. And before the Internet was around, you know, I think people kind of lived for themselves a lot more, and their number one priority when it came to what they were doing in their lives was. How is this going to serve me, you know? Is this gonna make me feel good? Whereas now it's like. No one's thinking about that anymore. Everybody's thinking about what's gonna look the best to everybody. Who's peering into my life through the Internet? You know what I'm saying? And and people aren't. Making decisions or doing things based on what they want to do anymore. For example. When I was in high school, I wanted to go into the medical field. I wanted to be a doctor of some sort that was like my. Goal. Because I liked biology and I liked chemistry. I liked science. I didn't like chemistry. Let's not say that, but I I was decent at chemistry and I felt like that was enough of a sign that maybe I should go into the medical industry. Yeah, I wanted to do that. That's what I thought I wanted to do. What did I really want to do? I wanted to open a coffee shop. Like like if it was up to me and like what I really wanted to do. I wanted to open a coffee shop. I wanted to be a barista. I wanted to. Do that like, that's where my heart was. But I didn't even listen to that voice in my head saying, Emma, but you, you would rather work at a coffee shop, then go and be a ******* doctor. Hello? You would way rather go and be a barista, but in my head I was like, well. Going and being a barista or opening a coffee shop. That's not going to make any money. And that's not going to be impressive. Nobody's going to think that that's as cool as if I go and be a doctor. I wanted to go to a really impressive college as well. When I was in high school. That was a huge goal for me. Why? Not for the education, but because I wanted to brag. That was it. And I kind of knew that deep down. But I just ignored that because I was like, well, isn't that what everybody wants anyway? I didn't have a lot of money. I didn't have a lot of money. I didn't have the money to afford the types of colleges that I wanted to go to. I I really did not. Not only did I have no money, because I. I didn't have a job in high school, but also my family, you know, didn't have like money spilling out everywhere to go towards some sort of ******* fancy stupid college. Sorry, not that college is necessarily stupid. I'm just saying that, like, my mindset was stupid anyway. I didn't have the money to afford the types of colleges that I wanted to go to, and if I were to have gone to one of those colleges, it would have been solely for bragging rights and then I would have been paying off. My student loans for like the next 30 years, just so that I could have. Four years of bragging rights. You know what I'm saying? Like, that's where my head was at. Instead of prioritizing. Like, hey, maybe that doesn't matter, and maybe I should find a school that could give me a scholarship. It might not be as much of a prestigious school, but I might be able to get a scholarship at a school that will give me equally as good of an education, and I won't have as much. Debt to pay off later, you know, like but this pressure to succeed and to. Be the absolute best. Was mainly for bragging rights for the Internet and for other people to see on the Internet. That's really like where it stemmed from. And the fear? Was rooted in if I don't have these accolades to brag about on the Internet, people aren't going to care about me. I'm not going to stand out, and I'm just gonna disappear. Nobody's going to care about me. And I'm also not going to compare to everybody else because guess how easy it is to find somebody smarter than you, richer than you, more accomplished than you on the Internet. Guess how easy it is? It's the easiest thing on the planet to find somebody who's doing better than you. It's so easy to find that. And so in your mind, when you're thinking about what you want to accomplish in life, you're thinking, well, I need to accomplish a lot if I want to stand out on the Internet against all of these other people. That are all richer, smarter and more accomplished than me. Do you see what I'm saying? Clothes are one of the many ways that we express ourselves and we're constantly switching up our wardrobes. To reflect our interests and styles. 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I think that that's why the Internet has played the biggest role in this pressure that young people feel to overachieve is because we're not living for ourselves anymore. We're living to brag on the Internet now. And when you do anything in life. For someone else, you will be unhappy, and it will be more difficult than it needs to be in. The most unfortunate thing about that too, is that you'll end up unhappy. Doing things not from your heart and not for you does not fulfill you. The only thing that truly fulfills you in life. Is making decisions solely for yourself. In regards to yourself, you know what I mean. If you're making decisions about yourself and what you are doing in your life, they need to be for you. They can't be for other people. You know you can't be making the decisions to impress other people. That's not going to be good. When my dad was younger and there was no Internet, there was so much less pressure because. People could kind of choose their life path privately. If somebody was really passionate about traveling the world. And they wanted to take a few years off college and just get some easy jobs around the world for a few years instead of going to a prestigious college right outside of high school. They could do that without anyone even knowing because there was no Internet to check in. Nobody would be like, well that's a bad idea because you need to go to college right away and traveling the world is very in and getting like low paying jobs is very stupid and that is not smart. And my son, he went to Yale, and now he's going to be a doctor. Like, do you see what I'm saying? Like, there was, there, there's. That conversation didn't happen in the 80s when my dad was younger, because it was like everybody kind of minded their own business, whereas now no one's minding their own business. And that's where this pressure is coming from. It's coming from the fact that every decision that you make about your life. Is public knowledge now. In one way or another, people can figure out what you're up to. They can look on your LinkedIn page, they can go on your Instagram, they can go on your Facebook. They can go on your take talk. They can figure out somebody can figure out in some way or another what you're up to. And oh, how terrible it would feel for that kid from your math class to end up on your Instagram page and see that you ended up going to a less cool college than them. How embarrassing would that be? No, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. This feeling that young people have. To overachieve. And be the absolute ******* best is rooted in. The matrix of the Internet. It's not rooted in reality at all. Because let's really think about it like what is really important when it comes to. Working hard. And living a fulfilling life, what's really important? OK, let's really break it down. What does it mean to have a successful and good life? In my opinion, it's having good people around you, having time to do things that. Make you excited, whether it's a hobby or it's exercise, whatever it might be, having those things in your life. And last but not least, doing your best. As much as you possibly can, doing your best. Can mean a lot of different things. Because sometimes doing your best means working on something for an hour, and sometimes doing your best means working on something for three days straight. Because you just can't stop thinking about it and you just want to get the work done. There's no exact definition for doing your best. Whereas the definition of working hard is like working every single day, nonstop, 15 hours a day. No breaks, no sleep. Getting it done, grinding and hustling as **** like that's what working hard is. That's not necessarily healthy. Doing your best simply means doing your best. So let's say. You're at school? Do your best. You know what I'm saying? And if that means only studying an hour before your test, great, you did your best. If that means studying for a week before the test, great. That's doing your best. I think we need to learn to be satisfied with doing as much as we can. To succeed in life without any expectation, I think that a lot of distress comes from expecting yourself to be the most productive human being on the planet. A lot of pressure comes from that expectation that we have for ourselves. But if you remove that expectation from yourself and you say, you know what? I'm just going to do my best. I'm just going to get into the best college that I can that makes the most sense for me in my life. I'm just going to get the best job that I can that makes the most sense for me in my life. I'm just going to do my best, whatever that ends up being. So be it. I don't care what other people think about it. I just care what I think about it and I know that I did my best and that's it. I think that the pressure that we put on ourselves. To do more than our best ends up leaving us feeling either overwhelmed and. Emotionally unstable. Or it makes us feel worthless and like we should just give up and not even try at all, whereas if you remove the expectation from yourself and you just let yourself simply be. And let yourself. Do your best. And not have any expectations about what doing your best may look like at any given time, you're going to be a lot happier. Now there might be some of you out there who are like. Not only am I not overachieving, but I'm not achieving at all. I'm getting nothing done. I don't care about anything. And I don't get anything done. And like, you know, it's actually a serious problem. There are definitely some of you out there who feel that way, where you've just kind of given up and and you don't even want to try anymore because either things didn't come naturally to you or you're just wired this way naturally. For those of you who feel like that, I think that the mindset needs to be I don't care what I get done, I just need to get something done today for you. Instead of the goal being I need to take the pressure off of myself and just let myself do my best. The goal for you needs to be I need to teach myself what it means to do my best because I haven't given myself the chance. To even try, I just gave up before I even tried, and so for you, it's exploring how far you can push yourself in a healthy way. And what things inspire you to get up in the morning and get **** done in order to reach some sort of goal? I also think for those of you who feel completely uninspired and don't care about anything and don't want to do anything. And don't even feel pressure. You just don't ******* want to do anything, which I completely understand that as well. I think the first step for you is finding what your goal is because a human with no goal has nothing to get up for in the morning. You need a goal in life, you know what I'm saying? So I think that's the first step. You need to find that goal. And then the second step is that you need to make sure that that goal is for you and not for anyone else around you. It's solely for you. And then from there you can learn day by day. How to do your best at getting closer to that goal? I just wish that all young people. Including myself could. Collectively. Change our perspectives from what does this look like to everyone else, to how does this feel for me? And by that I mean. Instead of feeling this pressure to succeed, to brag about to everyone else, I wish that we could make our goals and work towards them simply for ourselves, and only for ourselves. Because I think that if we made goals for ourselves and did our best to get closer to them every day. For ourselves. And not for the Internet and not for our parents and not for our teachers, not for anybody, for ourselves. If we could do that and we could figure that out, so many issues would be resolved. The kids who are overachievers. Wouldn't feel as much pressure to overachieve. The kids who are underachievers wouldn't feel worthless and wouldn't feel like a failure. They would just reroute their energy to something that they care about. The kids that fall somewhere in the middle could find a healthy way to work towards their goal, where they feel that the effort they put in is enough. I don't know. That's just me. You guys. Yeah, that's just me. I don't know. I just wanted to talk about that today because I know that there are probably so many of you out there. Who struggle with this feeling and I've struggled with this feeling for so long and. I just think that if we all remember. To just do our best and to do it for us, whatever it is. We could just be a lot happier because when you take the pressure off of yourself and you make decisions. For you, life just goes so much smoother. There's so much less mental turmoil. Things just fall into place so much better, and you feel fulfilled by it. You feel fulfilled, you feel. Proud of yourself, because I find that so many young people don't feel proud of themselves on both ends of the spectrum once again, those who overachieve and those who underachieve. Nobody ever feels proud of themselves, and I think that that's because nobody, it seems, feels like their work ethic is sufficient. And. It's just so unfortunate because I think that getting up in the morning and doing anything is something to be proud of, like just getting up and doing anything. It could be whatever it is, if it's even just slightly inching you closer towards your goal in life, whatever that may be, then you're doing an amazing job and that's all that matters. And if you take three weeks. Off of everything and you just let yourself relax. That's OK. And if you get no homework done one day because you just mentally can't do it, and you maybe even get an F. So be it. If you just couldn't do it, then you just couldn't do it. That's all I got for today. Thank you guys so much for listening. I hope that you enjoyed. I hope that what I said made sense. I never know. I never do. I just sit here, I stare out my window, I look at the trees, move around and I talk for 45 minutes and. What? I say I don't know. I black out. But thank you guys for listening. I love you all so much and appreciate you all so much. You can follow anything goes on any platform that you stream podcasts. You can also follow anything goes on Instagram at anything goes or on Twitter. At a G podcast. You can leave a review on the streaming platforms. You can check out my coffee company, Chamberlain I've been drinking. In instant coffee today, I ran out of almost all of my coffee. Today. And so all I had was instant Coffee, Chamberlain coffee. Instant sticks. And so I poured a little one of those in my water, shook it up, put ice, put a little bit of. Almond milk. It's delicious, actually. Even though it took like 3 seconds, it shouldn't taste that good. It should honestly taste like ****. But it doesn't. So you can check out Chamberlain Coffee. And that's all I got. I'll talk to you next week. Thank you for listening. Love you.