I have certainly felt self-imposed pressure in physical practice. The thoughts,"I should be able to do this by now!" and "Shouldn't this posture be easy?" These are usually met with a grimace. A dissatisfaction with myself.
I see this in my friends as we turn thirty this year. Somehow the new decade measures levels of success in adulthood. How far in career and an intimate relationship we should be or owning certain things. And when we haven’t met certain steps, there is a disempowering fear that without these goals or items, life will derail. Perhaps we will succumb to loneliness or an acceptance of weakness.
I see this in my brother and his friends as they graduate college. Pressure to figure out next career steps. They have studied for an extended period of time and yet it doesn’t create an obvious path. Even when they make plans, sometimes they realize that they no longer want what they thought they did. This fear that every step could easily prevent a chance for happiness.
Measuring our lack of ability to reach these “ideals” or goals that we ourselves or society has set doesn’t give us a chance to question our purpose. To pursue enough wealth that allows us to make our own choices. Why are these goals set and who set them.
Why is my inability to do “X” well, embarrassing instead of an area of growth; a steady evolution in my own time.
These fears of should-haves and weaknesses in character give opportunity to build strength. They are not shameful or another item to add to your list of faults. It is not something you should fix, but experience for yourself.
This is what I tell myself when I get entrapped in fear. I’m currently experimenting with my physical practice in such a way that might create lots of asana issues; exploring my physical weaknesses and seeing what shows up. Maybe what I thought could only happen one way can actually include so many more avenues.
This rule-follower is excited to throw away the should and research the why. Healthy questioning that I hope will permeate into my third decade of life choices.