I've always been doing well in school; to the extent where my family and friends have so much belief in me that I will do well and better than others in my exams. Yet I have never enjoyed their attention when they offer it to me, "I bet you got A*" or "You probably did amazing!" or "If that's what you got, then it must be right". They don't seem to question, at all, that the reason I worry so much about exams is because I do not perceive myself as able as they do. Sometimes their comments fuel me to be smug while other times it makes me feel guilty that this time, I might just shock everyone. Their belief in me doing well has built a wall of high expectations.
They expect me to do well and I expect to meet it. But when expectations are set so high, you can't blame life for not giving you what you wished. Instead, well-meant comments turn into perilous pressure and nothing which would help me to find these expectations.
Sometimes it heightens performance. However, it only has the opposite effect on me. It's hard not to feel pressure when it seems to come from every direction, pressing hard.