Why Embracing Your Humanity Helps To Overcome The Pressure Of This World

Today, I had the feeling of being a novice at life. Regardless of the years of experience I’ve had in being a mother, a coach, and a partner, regardless of the progress and growth I’ve achieved. My reactions towards difficult situations were followed by the frustration of knowing I could’ve responded better, done better, or been better. So often this is our response to the pressure of this world.

The truth is, we live in a world that demands progress. In some ways, it’s absolutely justified: life is developing at a rapid pace. We need to keep up with the times in order to stay relevant. Parenting doesn’t look like it did even 10 years ago. An office job doesn’t mean you sit in a designated office anymore. What was a ‘stable job’ a few years ago might just be obsolete in a few years. These are just a few examples.

But in other ways, the pressure for progress and in specific, perfection, is uncalled for. We’re expected to juggle our home and work life with the same poise as an expertly trained ballerina whilst adapting to the changing world without so much as a miss-step. Society looks down at us and tells us exactly how to run our lives, pursue our dreams, and how to respond to the pressures our life presents.

This expectation for flawless progress and perfection is crippling and denies us a fundamental right: to be human.

I know I’m one of many who lay in their beds last night and questioned every reaction they made towards the happenings of their day. Telling themselves they could’ve done better. Yes, some of these things do need some contemplation and deserve a better response. But I also know that half of the the pressures in our world are not even based on realistic measures. 

So here’s the big question:

How do you find that balance where you can embrace your humanity without losing momentum in growth - so you can have a healthy relationship with progress?

Why Embracing Your Humanity Helps To Overcome The Pressure Of This World

Our reactions towards the situations we’re in play a vital role in this journey. Today I got angry with my son because he didn’t clean his room in time for school, which is an agreed part of his daily chores. His attitude this morning was incredibly nonchalant, as if the whole world could wait for him to get ready in his own time. I was so grumpy and disheartened because he did not do what I expected him to do.

But in retrospect, he did what a child would do. That’s the point of chores – teaching your child over time (not overnight) how to be responsible. It’s a daily walk. My reaction towards that situation impacts me and my son, and my entire day after. My responsibility is towards my response, since I have no control over how he reacts to a given situation only how I do. I’m not failing him as a parent because his room isn’t clean; my response towards that situation is what will teach him and influence me.

The key principle here: trying to master your response towards the given situation, the knowledge that it might not change the situation or others within it.

A prime example of this is the response to a crying baby or an angry boss. You can make as many calm responses as you want. But no matter what you do, you may not stop that baby from crying or that boss from raging. You are only able to control your response in life. 

Now, what if you take that principle and apply it to your work and all areas of your life?

It’s in times like these that we need a generous portion of tools to choose from so that no matter the situation or our inner state, we can find our centre, appreciate our humanity, and pause long enough to choose a response.

Why Embracing Your Humanity Helps To Overcome The Pressure Of This World

Here are a few tools which have proven to be effective:

Find your ‘reasons to believe:

Wisdom can be found through remembering past achievements and challenges overcome. They can highlight your capability and the resources you have, providing hope that whatever you’re facing can be overcome. We have a great video called “Believe You Can Achieve” that peeks into a card from CAFE Life’s product Resilience In A Box, and it gives you some pointers on this.

You can also ask yourself:

  • Have I, or someone I know, been in a similar situation before? How was it handled?  
  • What resources do I have in my hands?


Your breath is intertwined with your state of being. You can lift your energy, calm your nerves, create peace, ease depression, and so much more just by using different breathwork. Most importantly, it allows space for perspective and ease in situations where our reactions could get the better of us.

Connect with nature:

When the world is bearing down upon you, returning to the simplicity of nature has a way of pressing the reset button. There are many benefits to being in nature. Contemplate what ways you most enjoy connecting with nature and make time for these.

  • Become aware of your triggers. When agitation or frustration arises, take the opportunity to go connect with nature. 
  • Consider intertwining some of the other practices, such as breathwork or stillness, with time out in nature. 

Simply be still:

We’re pressurized to be human doers – but we mustn’t forget that first and foremost we’re human beings. Vitality is found through a balance of doing and being, of sprinting and resting.  

  • Allow moments to find stillness. Contemplate how this will look for you. Is it prayer, meditation, music, complete silence and solitude, taking a meandering walk?
  • Nourish the emotions that show up when you wander through your stillness.
  • Notice your thinking without judging or solving. Simply be.
Why Embracing Your Humanity Helps To Overcome The Pressure Of This World

There is an ancient Japanese saying: Wabi Sabi. This is a notion towards the beauty found within the imperfection, impermanence, and incompletion of all that is alive.

There is an absolute peace found within the realization that “Wabi Sabi” will forever be present within this world. That the pursuit for finality, perfection, and completion, is fruitless. 

Let it set you at rest within your walk of life, knowing that it is a great purpose to grow wiser as we grow older, whilst always understanding that perfection is never meant to be within our grasp; and this is just as it should be.

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