Are you the first-born child? Congratulations. You have all the glory and a heck of a lot of responsibility. If you are the first born child, chances are you are the child your parents made all their mistakes with – so you have a lot of scars. From good ol’ dad walking with you on his shoulders not realizing that this added height has consequences of many knocks to the head (oops), to finding out that not all the cabinets in the house are baby-proofed… you have survived all this!
You are also the one that all the fundamental errors were made with as well. To top all this off – you also may have the responsibility over looking over your younger siblings, being the first one out of the house and also being the ‘example’ for your other siblings to follow. You may also be the first one responsible for going off to college or going out into the work world or maybe even responsible for financially helping your folks out to raise the rest of the kids. Such pressure!
But don’t despair – you have an opportunity to shine without having to be the super star.
First, take the pressure off of yourself. Just because you are the first born doesn’t mean you are expected to ‘do it all’ and ‘be all.’ If you think THIS – then you will certainly turn out to be the unhappy perfectionist.
And if you are a perfectionist…This is why you are not happy. And this is normal. Over-achievers are just that... they want to over achieve.
Thus... if you got a 92% on a test, you are not happy because you really wanted 100% and think of yourself as failing somehow, EVEN THOUGH YOU DID NOT.
You have to realize, that perfectionists always perform or desire to perform at an A++ level. The average person who has a healthy perspective is 'okay' or 'satisfied' and content, as well as accepting of anything over a C+.
Even when you are performing at what YOU think is a C level at any given time, it is always an A level to most people.
The 'acceptance' part of your over-achieving personality is your life lesson and what needs the work.
You have to also be thankful for the gifts that you have.86% is great and wonderful!!!! You have to learn that happiness is about acceptance. Accept who you are at any level of performance. This is the secret to real success.
Later on in life, this will become more vital... particularly in team situations, where each person will need to be a team player and carry equal parts of the load on a work project or whatever.... you will have to learn at that point that you have to come to a point of 'doing the very best you can' and knowing you carried your share of the work and being content with 'how you showed up' and how you contributed and what the end result was with YOUR performance, regardless of anything else.
Critiques/criticism…. Whether it’s from a boss, a teacher, even a loved one - it only makes you stronger, gives you room for growth and evolvement/development as a person, but also gives you insight to how you accept and receive criticism and praise.
Don’t make the mistake of declining your birth role either. You do not have to make yourself invisible for the pressure to be off of you, either. Don’t make the mistake of being an under-achiever, just to get all eyes to be off of you. You can take on a supporting role as much as you can take on the role of a leader. And the sooner you learn this, the better off you will be.
The only ‘pressure’ is one that you enable and allow others to put on you. You have to accept yourself as you are – and know that as long as you show up in life and do your best – this IS INDEED GOOD ENOUGH. It doesn’t have to be A++++ and blue ribbon 24/7. Such behavior can only lead to disappointment later in life and a horrible midlife crisis.
So enjoy your role as the first born and instead be a system of support to your younger siblings and a support system to your parents. This alone is of great value without having to be all things. Support and love go a long way and the more you exercise this on yourself, to put give yourself the place of strength, the easier it will be, to be the first born. The only real pressure is the one you place on yourself. So let that go and you will be free to be the best that you can be as you are without the added laundry list of things that come with being first born.
***** STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO ***** MIDDLE CHILD SYNDROME
© 2010 Queena Verbosity 100% Real Words
Media Monster Communications, Inc.