All athletes are perfectionist. Well, to an extent atleast, it’s apart of the performance DNA, the competitive brain behind all that ambitious drive to not only be better but be the best.
Interestingly, I personally am aware I have a sense for perfection in training but this theory came to me from other areas in my life where I noticed that I hold myself to high expectations and standards.
So, Who sets the standards for perfection?
Us. You. Me. Ourselves. Yes, it’s influenced by people around us but ultimately we hold ourselves accountable for our success and failures. We find ourselves chasing a bar that is set sky high and always seems ever so slightly out of reach.
Looking at internal or self vindicated perfectionism creates a couple of questions. Firstly, why do we create unrealistic goals and what are the implications of the outcomes?
In a positive light, we do this to continue our growth by going beyond the normal and pushing out personal boundaries. Extending ourselves then creates new limitations until they are successfully achieved as well.
For sport you can already gather the positive and negative uses for constantly striving for more. Using the ideal amount of drive to gain more consistency, accuracy, execution and an overall winning status.
However, this can lead to great negative results as you can become stuck forever setting and chasing unattainable goals. The amount of unfair pressure that’s created by a sense of self doubt from being imperfect can do major mental damage to anyone especially an athlete as it’s their entire livelihood.
There’s a fine line between someone persistent to improve and someone perusing perfection. The difference, self satisfaction. The underlying feeling of just never being good enough.
Being able to shoot for the stars and accept where you land is your best effort is the only way to approach the situation. In other words, if your give something your everything then you can walk away feeling satisfied no matter the result, it is successful by attempting.
In summary, the idea of perfectionism is common amongst everyone but like anything it’s how we manage the situation and emotions at hand. Having awareness with understanding of both your realistic and unrealistic goals, remembering they are very different but both required for improvement. The only way to grow is to push our limitations and create new ones. Forgetting outcomes, the most important thing is to be satisfied you gave it your everything.
& That’s My Athletes Mind…