Organic Runner Mom

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How can I be successful as a perfectionist?

A recovering perfectionist sharing tips for achieving goals. Boost self-confidence!

I'm a perfectionist. How do I achieve my goals?

I’m a perfectionist. How do I achieve my goals?

I am a born perfectionist.

I strive to get everything “right” on the first try. Success is all about how you view it.

I struggled with this from the time that I was a small child and still battle with perfectionism as an adult. It is in human nature to want to do well, to want to be first, to be the best or to want to be the winner. Most things are not easy and they require practice, and training and effort.

When I was little I was a figure skater. No jump was ever perfect the first time that I tried. In fact most jumps for a long time ended in me landing on my rear end and sliding across the ice but I learned to pick myself up of the ice and try and try and try again.

I see the frustration of perfectionism in my kids. It is hard watching them work through this and being in the shoes where my mom once stood. Sometimes the easiest way to avoid perceived failure is to simply avoid trying at all. But that is not how we learn or how we get better at something.

A perfectionist needs to make a decision that an accomplishment WILL happen and to find the motivation to keep trying again and again.

Steps for working through perfectionism:

Here are some steps that I have learned to take to help me to move through the obstacles to success that I often create for myself:

  1. Set a BIG goal. This is the end goal.
  2. Set small goals. Use the smaller goals as checkpoints and celebrate the little goals.
  3. Create a plan for reaching your goal.
  4. Write out your goals and write down your plan. Having a visual plan or checklist is sometimes enough to keep you on track.
  5. Take time to reflect on perceived failures or mistakes. This can be done through journaling or with a friend who is an accountability partner who is a positive who acts a a support but can also offer valuable critiques and positive criticism that helps you to learn and to grow.
  6. Banish negative self-talk. Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts or mantras.
  7. Learn to laugh at yourself and pick yourself up again.
  8. Share the positives AND the negatives with your community. Don’t be afraid to share your frustrations. We can learn from our experience but only if we share it and own it.
  9. Always give yourself another chance to try again! If a goal is not met there will always be another opportunity.
  10. Don’t allow others to convince you that you can’t. Believe in yourself because at the end of the day success is found because of you and what you do with your experience.
The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy, the pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time-Edwin Bliss

The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy, the pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time-Edwin Bliss

Are you a perfectionist? Do you let it get in the way of your goals? What steps do you take to stay on track with your goals in life and running?

Organic Runner Mom

Stonyfield Official yogurt of the Boston Marathon

Stonyfield Official yogurt of the Boston Marathon

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12 responses

12 responses

  1. OMG I love this post! I am definitely a perfectionist and I struggle with taking it slow when I try something new. My current struggle is with swimming – I just want to be good, so I try to do it as much as possible so that I can start seeing progress asap! I need to do a bit more work with #6 because I definitely let my brain talk me out of success when it gets too tough.
    Kristen recently posted…The Tri Newbie Chronicles: How to Feel Comfortable in the PoolMy Profile

  2. I struggle with this too. Yet, as I get older, I realize I can be perfect at everything and some things have to give. So some years, I am able to focus on running and achieving PRs. In recently years, I’m more focused on my career and continuing to progress despite the challenges associated with being a military spouse. Honestly, by picking one thing to focus my “perfectionist attitude” on, I stress out a whole lot less. It’s just too exhausting to try to be perfect at everything!
    Lisa @ Lisa Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…KT Tape Launches Products and Support for Rio 2016My Profile

  3. I do not think of myself as a perfectionist but when it comes to my running and training. I come a lot closer than in real life! I will do whatever it takes to try and juggle life and training! No easy task! Great tips!

  4. Blogging has helped me to be less of a perfectionist. Well, blogging and a busy life. If I want to “do it all,” I have to lighten up on myself. I think accepting that everyone makes mistakes and most of them are inconsequential and banning negative self talk are SO important to becoming less of a perfectionist. This does not impact my running because… well. I will never be the fastest or follow training to a T. I try to be grateful for what I can do.

  5. this is such a great reminder..i m always striving for the best and it really frustrated me when i can’t get done things that way…my dad does tell me to reward myself for little accomplishment rather than feeling like a failure..reading these tips is like my dad telling me things.thank you for sharing.

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