Pressure is real, performance pressure that is. I have felt performance pressure all through my life. Sometimes, I have performed well, sometimes I haven't. However, conquering performance pressure isn't a test I have passed ever, forget winning. And, it has never bothered me much, the fact that I suffer from performance pressure, though the pressure itself is quite a deadly thing, leading to, amongst other things, severe anxiety, unending headaches and a constant fear of under-performance and ridicule.
The one common thread to all these situations is that they have all been under my control - school tests, exams, interviews, excel models, presenting to CxOs. If things work out, I know it is because I put my best foot forward. If things don't work out, I know I should have put a better foot forward.
However, pregnancy changed all of that. It is obviously an unknown, but the actual experience makes one realise how much of an unknown and erratic nine months it can really be. Every blood test became a make or break, every scan a do or die. I would beat myself up for every increase in blood sugar level, blame myself for any scan that showed any of the measurements of the baby outside of the normal range. I couldn't rationalise the pressure I felt because it was not rational. There was no explanation because I was doing all that was under my control right - healthy food, exercise, check-ups, supplements. In fact, I once asked the doctor what exactly I had done wrong to have ended up with this scan result. She looked at me as if I had walked down from Mars, and told me, in that matter of fact tone she used for pretty much any explanation, "Has nothing to do with you. Each female body is different."
And, I know it is just the beginning. There is a long road of pressure to be handled, longer pathways of irrationality to overcome. Then again, that's the thing about irrationality. There is no rational way you can overcome it to become a saner person.
So, cheers to irrationality and erm... motherhood.
P. S. This post is the sixteenth in the A-Z blogging challenge series for April.