Pressure to Still Yourself

Jun 25 / Shelley Finerty
Navigating the duality of stillness and action can be a formidable challenge, especially when you possess the intrinsic capability to deeply concentrate and focus for extended periods. The tension between the need to act and the ability to be still is a unique struggle, a balancing act that can leave you vacillating between restlessness and a sense of purposelessness. This blog post explores this intricate dance, delving into the pressures and strategies for finding equilibrium.

The Power of Stillness

Stillness is a powerful state. It is in these moments of quiet inactivity that we can access deeper levels of concentration and focus. This ability to still yourself is akin to a superpower in a world that often equates busyness with productivity. In stillness, you can connect with your thoughts, reflect on your experiences, and generate new ideas. It is a space where creativity can flourish, and solutions to complex problems can emerge.

However, this ability to remain still for long periods can also become a source of internal conflict. While stillness allows for deep focus and reflection, there is an inherent pressure to move, to act, to do something tangible. The challenge lies in finding a balance between these two states—between the urge to move forward and the need to remain still.

The Need for Action

On the other side of the spectrum lies the need for action. The world is constantly in motion, and there is an ever-present pressure to keep up, to contribute, to achieve. This can create a sense of urgency, a feeling that you must always be doing something. This drive for action is not inherently negative; it is, in fact, necessary for growth and progress. However, when not balanced with periods of stillness, it can lead to burnout and a feeling of being perpetually unfulfilled.

The Struggle for Balance

Finding balance between these two states is a delicate and ongoing process. The struggle often manifests as a cycle of restlessness and depression. In moments of restlessness, you may find yourself bouncing from one task to another, unable to commit to any single activity long enough to make meaningful progress. This can lead to feelings of frustration and a sense of being unproductive.

Conversely, when you do manage to still yourself, there can be an accompanying sense of inaction, a feeling that you are not doing enough. This can spiral into depression, where the weight of inactivity feels crushing. It is in these moments that the ability to concentrate and focus can feel like both a blessing and a curse.

Strategies for Balance

Bringing awareness around these moments of struggle is the first step - noticing that you're struggling. Recognizing that it's okay to be still in the moment and focus and let go of the struggle within. Reflecting on how a mountain is always still and needs no specific action to just be. The mountain never moves even with all the activity going on around it - it remains still. 

Stop and take a few deep breaths and let go of the artificial pressure to keep up. This will bring you into a state of mindfulness so you can enjoy the stillness and allow you to focus the internal activity on something that you connect with deeply.

Follow your decision-making strategy to know what to spend your time on in the stillness to remove the jittery feelings of anxiousness that typically happen when you're doing something you don't really want to do.

Knowing how your own energy works by understanding your Career Type is important for knowing where to place your deep and concentrating efforts. Allowing yourself to 'be still' like the mountain can bring great fulfillment to your efforts.


The ability to still yourself is a powerful tool, but it must be balanced with the need for action. By finding something that deeply engages you, that your energy draws to you, that your body tells you is correct for you, can help you navigate this delicate balance more effectively. Remember, it is not about choosing between stillness and action, but about finding harmony between the two. In this balance, you can find both productivity and peace.