We all experienced pressures. They form us as we respond to them. How we respond to the pressures we experience says something about our values, our fears, and our goals.
Pressures can come anywhere – families and friends, institutions like churches or governments, or even from ourselves. The key here is to identify where the pressure is coming from and why it feels like a pressure. What are we actually fighting against?
Is it social pressure that works on our fear of being disliked by friends or kicked out of our peer group?
Is it institutional pressure, conforming to a kind of legal requirement which carries the threat of punishment?
Is it personal pressure, the desire to achieve a particular thing or be seen in a particular way for the sake of self worth?
Each kind of pressure works a particular angle of leverage for its power. There is an equal power – a greater truth – that works against it.
Social pressure loses its power when understand that our identity, safety, and provision is not primarily derived from how our family or friends see us.
Institutional pressure loses its power when the punishment is not seen as actually punitive.
Personal pressure loses its power when we come to know that we all have inherent value. Anything above this is extra (and actually bears a responsibility).
When pressure hits, identify it, recognize how it’s getting its power, then use the greater truth of the matter to undermine it.