Are you a Perfectionist?
I am and here is a small glimpse at my journey as a recovering perfectionist.
The desire for perfection has been a constant road block throughout my life. I have always been a perfectionist. This often causes inner turmoil–a constant tug of war and indecision. I am a perfectionist AND a Libra. It always seems so hard to keep the scales in balance and to just BE.
When I was little my parents had to work with my a lot to help ease my frustration when something was not (as I defined it) PERFECT. The hours that I spent figure skating challenged the perfectionist in me because when you are learning to do new jumps (hurtle your body through the air over cold hard ice keeping your fingers crossed that you don’t land hard) you are bound to fall down a million times. In order to become a better skater I had to learn to fall down and to get right back up and try again (thank goodness for butt pads!). My mom said that with many things that I was learning I wouldn’t want to try until I had practiced something in “secret” so that when I officially did it for the first time with an audience even if it was just my coach or teacher I would not “FAIL.”
Operating in life constantly believing that you are not good enough or that it is failure if you don’t succeed the first time is like being stuck in quicksand. It is impossible to achieve success and forward motion in life. I continue to to struggle with this aspect of my personality on a daily basis. I need to overcome this constant fear of failing. What is failure anyways?
Since I began running after having my two awesome kids I have worked very hard to train myself physically to be able to achieve some big goals. As the Boston Marathon approaches I am reminded of how hard I have worked to fine tune my body like a musical instrument to train for the big race. Now as the days count down until Marathon Monday I need to continue training on the roads and trails but I also need to get my mind “in tune.” I need to focus. I need to meditate. I need to visualize success. I need to BREATHE.
When I am training I am constantly inspired by the people who I run with but sometimes intimidated by what seems to be unlimited strength (whoever said comparison is the thief of joy was right). I am working hard to not compare myself to those around me because the desire to achieve “perfection” sets in. Rather than running my own race or my own training run, feelings of self-doubt and weakness take over. I need to remember to try my hardest, to stick to my plan and to believe in my own abilities. I need to also take the advice of a very wise runner who I met recently (DangerGirl) who says that no matter what, her first goal is always to out and enjoy the race and to have fun! The hard work of attacking the challenge is not even a question!
How do you cope when perfectionism gets in the way of your road to achieving your dreams?
What is your “weakness” that holds you back?