The definition of perfectionism is: refusal to accept any standard short of perfection. While a “perfect” performance may exist at times, the concept of perfectionism can actually hinder performance.
For one, perfectionism has been shown to lead to low confidence, anxiety and burnout. It’s exhausting to expect perfection and leads to constant disappointment.
Perfectionists have extremely high expectations, which can lead to self-doubt when these athletes do not perform up to their high standards.
It has also been noted that perfectionists often desire approval from others. If they don’t think they are gaining approval from others, their confidence can sink.
You can’t expect to make zero mistakes…it’s unrealistic and leads to you dwelling on mistakes rather than using them as opportunities to learn.
If you find that you are a perfectionist, even wearing it as a badge of honor, try to change the narrative by focusing on:
- Self-improvement (the ‘ol progress, not perfection). Be your best today.
- Realistic goals
- High personal standards
- Acceptance of mistakes as learning tools
Want to read more? This in-depth scholarly article, The Perils of Perfectionism in Sports, is a good one.