Diagnosing My Current Stress & Performance Anxiety

by | Mar 17, 2019 | Journal, Mental Health, Personal Development, Productivity


I’m not sure the exact definition of a mental breakdown, but retreating to the basement to repeatedly slam my trusty yellow legal pad on my desk tells me I’m pushing the boundary.

As I’ve found in the past, simply sharing that story and my reality has me feeling better even as I type these words.

All Areas Impacted

No area of my life has been exempt from the struggle. I feel like I’m failing on all fronts. I feel overwhelmed with a seemingly endless list of “to-dos” on all fronts.

Performance Anxiety

Making things worse is the fact that as the pressure increases, my ability to focus and perform decreases. I sit down desperately hoping to produce only to spin my wheels, distracted by thoughts of fear and failure. I sit there paralyzed by my mental inability to perform and the lists continue to grow as new requests continue to flow into my inbox.

But that’s not even the worst part.

Awareness Without Action

No, the worst part is that I’m 100% aware of this failing and yet seem incapable of bringing about the change that is needed to end it. I know everything I should be doing, but swing and miss time after time. I know what I’m capable of and this isn’t the level of performance I expect from myself.

It’s so damn familiar to me and my struggles with addiction.

Impact On Others

Not only has this been brutal on me, but it also affects everyone around me. As a people pleaser, that’s soul-crushing.

“C’mon Jamie. Get your shit together!” I tell myself. “You’re going to fuck it all up again.”

I glance at the clock and realize time is flying by. This ratchets the pressure to higher levels as I know the only way out will be to disappoint someone. There simply aren’t enough hours left in the day to meet all of my obligations for the day. Someone is bound to draw the short straw and this reality pushes me into a deeper state of depression as I despise the fact that I’m letting my failures continue to hurt others.

Tick, tock. Tick, tock.


As frustrating as it is for me, I’m optimistic that I’ll figure it all out.

In fact, I really believe that I’m standing at the door and all I need to do is turn the doorknob. I think this post might just be the final nudge that gives me the strength to push the door wide open once and for all.

Am I delusion?

I hope not and I can’t even let me mind go there as accepting it as fact would bury me.

I have to figure it out. There is no alternative.

My Next Steps

As I said before, I know everything I need to do and now it’s time to do it. Or in the words of my guy Gary Vaynerchuk “Ideas are shit. Execution is the game.”

Once I finish this post, I’ll begin identifying things that I believe will help me to move forward and will be outlining a schedule to help keep me on task.

I’ll also be implementing “Monk Mode” to protect my time and increase my focus as I believe distractions have been a particularly stubborn thorn in my side.

When I quit gambling, the task in front of me seemed insurmountable at times and this feels similar. However, I’m comforted in the knowledge and reflection I have from that experience that tells me it’s not the difficult climb I see, but rather a very doable task if I focus on the taking the next step, one step at a time.


I’ll wrap this up by saying I’m extremely sorry to anyone that has been impacted by my struggles. I want nothing more than to be present with you and perform to the best of my ability.

I won’t stop trying to improve and I hope you won’t stop believing in me.

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