Pressure to Perform

Gabrielle typing at her computer

My husband Richard got this blog of mine ready technically over one month ago. He has gone to great lengths to explain to me that the wonderful thing about a blog is that you don't have to do anything at any particular time - you just contribute to your blog when you feel like it.  NO PRESSURE!  He repeated it several times to make sure I got it - and I did get it:  No Pressure. Got that.

So why has it taken me nearly five weeks to start writing anything?  Why have I felt anxious, near paralysed, whenever I have thought of blogging, even though my head has been overflowing with words that were screaming to get out?  What has been going on?

I cannot blame anybody else for 'making' me feel like this:  I, me, Gabrielle,  have been making myself scared.  I have.  Why?

As the good coach that I am (still am?), I know that asking 'why' often encourages us into a defensive justification rather than a helpful clarification.  So I rephrased my question to myself:  what was I doing that was so important to me by keeping myself scared?  

Hhhmmm...  The answer eventually came to me in a flash:  I was protecting myself against the Pressure to Perform.  Ahh, yes... I recognise her (I will refer to Pressure to Perform in the feminine simply because it feels that way to me).  She is a tough cookie. She looks a bit like a dragon headmistress in a highly regimented school.  She is Knackering Agent No1 – one of the best.

So how did I overcome her?  I have tried many different ways but this is the only one I have discovered that I can truly depend on:

  • I Acknowledge her and Greet her – she gets really pissed off when she is ignored!
  • I Ask her this Question:  ‘what have you come to protect me against?”  Surprisingly, although she is dragon-like, it’s not me she has come to slay.  She is after anything in the outside world that could do me harm.
  • I go through the Answers with her one by one, gently dismantling any perceived Threat.   At this stage, I have found that Humour is a very effective dismantler.
  • I Take the remaining Truth with me into anything that I need to do, which is why I started writing my blog with this authentic rendition of my initial battle with Pressure to Perform.  Beginning anything with my Truth appears very tough to start with but it ALWAYS brings a deep sense of liberation and relief.  It enables me to put down any unnecessary fear-inducing baggage.  No more weight to carry.

How brilliantly helpful is that when I am focused on avoiding Knackering Myself :0) 


It's late and I need to go to bed as I have an early start (don't I always!) but I wanted to let you know that I have been following your story over the months and it's lovely to think that, finally, we can maybe interact albeit across the ether. I've missed you Gabrielle - you gave me much. Guided, bossed, liberated, inspired and always with love. You are a lovely human and I look forward to contributing to your blog........x
Ali (lots of people have called me that over the years, special people, yet I always introduce myself as Alison. She is my Protector and when I don't need her, it's just Ali. Increasingly I am Ali and that feels really good! x
Ali ;-)
aka Alison Beech

Ali The Protector

 Hello Lovely Ali!

It is great meeting you :0).  Please continue to take good care of Alison because, as I remember her, she is truly worthy.  Big Love.  G xxxx


Good morning Gabrielle

This is just what I have been waiting for, for so long and, it is good to see that at long last you are once more in the 'real world' and with a lot of help from all sorts of people and foremost amongst all those is him, the 'GENIUS' - Richard

'Abou Ben Adhem' - James Leigh Hunt comes to mind

'I Ask her this Question: ‘what have you come to protect me against?” Surprisingly, although she is dragon-like, it’s not me she has come to slay. She is after anything in the outside world that could do me harm'.

Surely it is knowing that there is always a possibility of being in'harms way' that will make you not only aware but more knowledgeable about the dangers that surround not only you, but those who love you.

Oh dear, I am away with the fairies once more

Lots of love and all the encouragement in the world, from

'Him in scarlet'

Your Loving Encouragement

Thank you John - you have now been one of my most trusted Cheer-Leaders for over twenty years.  May you continue to wave your pompons for a very long time!:0)  G xxxxxx


Yours friendly

as a Quaker friend of mine signed herself the other day.


I must say that it has been a privilege to struggle with you for so long and now that the pressure is off, it will be good to follow your creative urges once more and be able to learn from them once more.

I'm sure everyone else will be overjoyed to have you back with us - much love, Mike

Your message

 Thank you Mike - very much.  I feel so supported and encouraged.

G xxxx

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