SmileTutor Blog Students Advice For Students 5 Tips for Overcoming Self-Imposed Pressure

5 Tips for Overcoming Self-Imposed Pressure

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Life can be stressful. Oftentimes, we put pressure on ourselves with or without knowing it, just to strive to achieve that sense of “I need to do better” and meet a certain standard.

Pressure can be beneficial for us in the sense that we would feel motivated to work harder, but it can also lead to several negative consequences, including burnout, anxiety, and depression. 

Instead of causing ourselves so much suffering, why not take a step back and just give yourself more room to breathe?

Learning how to put less pressure on yourself is a daunting task, especially if you are a perfectionist or a high-achiever.

Here are some tips to help us get through it together!

Seek Support From Others

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This is one of the most important tips on this list. It is vital to build a good support system for everyone, especially in times of need like this.

The support can come from anyone you trust, such as your friends, teachers, and parents.

Several mental health problems can arise from putting too much pressure on yourself, and you may feel isolated. However, by seeking support from others, you will realise that you are not alone.

There are people who are willing to help you, so don’t be afraid to open up to them about your struggles. Sharing with them also helps them become more aware of your signs, enabling them to recognise them in the future and provide support more quickly.

Set Realistic Goals and Expectations

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One of the many reasons why we tend to overpressure ourselves is because we set goals or expectations that are not realistic and sometimes even impossible.

An example would be setting a target to finish three mathematics ten-year series papers within an hour. 

By breaking down your unrealistic goals and expectations into smaller and more manageable tasks, you will not feel so stressed and overwhelmed.  

A tip would be to set SMART goals. 

  • Specific: What exactly are you trying to achieve and how exactly are you planning to achieve them?
  • Measurable: How are you going to track your progress toward achieving your goals?
  • Achievable: Are your goals actually possible to be achieved? If not, how can you change them?
  • Realistic: Do your goals contribute to or align with what you are trying to do?
  • Time-bound: When do you want to achieve them realistically?

Take a Break When Under Too Much Pressure

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Yes, it is important to ensure that your work is done well, but it is just as important to take breaks. In fact, without taking a break, you will end up losing steam and having multiple breakdowns.

This is especially the case when our mind gets filled with so many pressuring thoughts piling up.

Taking breaks will slow down those thoughts and may make them disappear. Try your best to force yourself not to think about it if it’s hard.

Doing some meditation can be very effective in helping you concentrate and clear your mind of any negative thoughts.

As long as you find something else to focus on, it won’t be as stressful and draining, and don’t worry, you can always return to your work later.

Practice Positive Self-Talk

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Many people tend to just accept negative thoughts as they come, never questioning them or attempting to turn them into positive ones.

How frequently do we tell ourselves that we are not good enough, and how frequently do we tell ourselves that we are?

It is important to practice self-love, and a way to do that is by filling your mind with positive, affirmative thoughts.

Be nicer to yourself. You are strong, and you can do it.

At the same time, we are not asking you to completely avoid or replace your negative thoughts, as they highlight key issues affecting you that you may or may not be trying to avoid confrontation with.

Instead, question why you have those thoughts and what you can think or do differently to prevent as many pessimistic thoughts from crowding your mind.

Always remember and remind yourself that you are doing your best and that mistakes are what make you human!

And Lastly, Accept Your Perfectly Flawed Self

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You have probably heard this phrase numerous times: “No one is perfect.” Yes, no one is and no one can be.

Each of us is born with different weaknesses and strengths, which makes us who we uniquely are.

It’s okay to fail; your whole life will not be ruined.

Without making mistakes, we will have much fewer opportunities to learn and grow.

When you start accepting yourself, you won’t be as critical of yourself and will have a healthier self-esteem.


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It’s understandable that we always want to put ourselves in a better light, but over pressuring ourselves is neither healthy nor that effective.

I hope this article can help you adapt a better and healthier lifestyle and, most importantly, help you accept and love yourself more!

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.