Replacing pressure cooker mentality

Dear Brooke,
This is my first month in SCSs and I am absolutely amazed by what I’ve learned about myself so far. I joined after my long-time search for “peace of mind” hit another roadblock – mostly because I focused on rearranging my external circumstances, which resulted in even more internal chaos and confusion.

What I’ve come to realize is that I have a constant ongoing mental battle between a pressure cooker thought pattern (do more, better, faster, now, and perfectly!) vs. a resistance pattern (I can’t handle it, it’s too much, I don’t want to, I don’t feel like it). And it’s only when the pressure overcomes the resistance, do I actually take action. What I want, more than anything, is for this battle to stop ruling my life – that’s what I think peace of mind means to me.

I crave some structure and routine in my life, simply taking actions for my health and well-being, getting things done pro-actively, clearing out the backlog of half-completed projects, and having some mental, emotional, and physical space in my life so I can learn and create and explore – all without the constant mental and emotional battle – I just do stuff because I decide to do it. The obstacles that I’m facing seem to be: i) the pressure cooker mentality has been in place for 40+ years, it’s so firmly entrenched that I can’t always see when it’s cranking up, ii) it is automatically activated every time I set a goal or try to make a plan, I don’t know any other way to get things moving in my life, and iii) it has worked in terms of career success, I can always push myself hard for big goals, so what will happen without it? I’ve worked on modeling these thought patterns (T. Do more, better, faster, F. Pressure, Anxiety, A. Work like crazy until it’s done R. Exhausted, worn out, frustrated – yet done successfully. Also as a consequence, other areas of my life fall apart) and (T. I don’t want to/I can’t/I don’t have enough energy, F. Apathy, A. Nothing done/waste time buffering, R. I don’t do things proactively, pressure continues to build). What I’d like to have happen is A. I take clear and decisive actions toward a goal (proactively rather than feeling it’s an emergency, and one goal or project, not 20 at a time) R. I make steady progress toward my goal). The problem is when I put Ts like – I take specific actions toward a clear goal, F. is blah, boring, not motivated, not excited. I think I’ve been so reliant on the pressure cooker mentality to motivate me that I don’t know what thoughts or feelings can replace that. Please let me know if you think I’m on the right track and any advice would be greatly appreciated.