“You’re Too Hard on Yourself” & other stories of my life

Alex Turner
5 min readOct 17, 2018

During a recent conversation with a specialist, he uttered these immortal words:

“You’re too hard on yourself”.

I mean, OK. I was in to see the doctor, complaining of anxiety, which may (or may not) be related to my desire to get superhuman strength, stamina and endurance and achieve all sorts of weird and wonderful things — I’ll leave that to you, or better — the medical professionals, to decide.

But I was shocked. After I left the appointment, I repeated this phrase to my fiancee in complete disbelief.

He just simply shrugged in agreement.

My mother echoed it a couple of weeks later. Completely independent and unaware of the conversation with my doctor.

A mentor had said it a year ago.

If you haven’t already picked up on it — because I hadn’t — it’s the story of my life.

Each time someone says this to me though, I laugh quietly inside to myself. And I reject it entirely.

Like, hahaha, that’s really funny — because if it were true, maybe everything would have been accomplished by now.

All the success. All the stuff. All the great sporting, academic & career achievements. And then, maybe then, I wouldn’t have to work so damn hard.

The dream would have come true already. I could stop chasing it. I could relax. Or put my energy into the next, bigger and brighter dream.

Right?

Well. Not quite, it would seem.

It’s confusing.

It does genuinely feel that this is how you are meant to do life — work hard, endlessly setting goals, being hard on yourself to meet them, and having impossibly high standards.

But some people seem to be telling me that it’s not the way.

I’d love to come at you with the answer here, all up on my high horse, like “of course there’s a better way to do it and I figured it all out.”

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Alex Turner

Founder, feminist, entrepreneur, coffee + self care