I'm a perfectionist. By this, I don't mean that everything I do is perfect. What I mean is that if I don't believe that what I am doing is going to be perfect ,then I will often give a half ass effort or come up with some lame excuse as to why I did not give it my all. Excuses like: "I was up late with my sick kid." " I did not recover well." or "Work got in the way." or what ever excuse keeps my ego feeling okay. Anything that seems legitimate enough for me to say " Well I did that well with only training "x" amount. Imagine if I could train like a professional, then I would totally crush it." Anything that made me feel better about not achieving my goal. Basically, anything that made me feel better about being a quitter.
Perfectionism for many of us is the fastest road to being a quitter. I expect a lot from myself, and if my ego has to actually face the facts of where I am, I, many times would rather quit or not put in that full effort, just to save face.
Perfectionism and striving for excellence are two completely different things. They may look similar but the end result is completely different.
In the pursuit of excellence you must put your ego aside and face constant failure. If you do not do this, then excellence can never be achieved. To achieve excellence you need to be able to accept the truth and move ahead, deal with your weaknesses and insecurities and pursue your goals.
The brother of perfectionism is often fear. Fear of falling short, fear of actually being less than what you had led yourself to believe you are, and fear of being less than what you think you have led others around you to believe that you are.
In kettlebell sport, there is often a point in your lift when fear starts to set in. Maybe you are uncomfortable, maybe your rhythm is off or maybe doubt just starts to creep in. This is usually accompanied by some type of physical pain. This is the point of where we have a choice to either quit or pursue excellence.
Pursuing excellence is a scary endeavor. Just getting to the doorway of excellence took an incredible effort, but that effort can be ego fueled. To step through the doorway of excellence you have to let go. Let go of expectation. Let go of pain. Let go of fear and let go of ego. This is the point of which you are fully exposing your true self. Accepting it and embracing win, loose, or draw.
Often in competition I have a mantra that runs through my head, "They don't know who just stepped up to the platform, It's time that they find out who I am!" This ego, adrenaline filled motivation can last for quite a while and help me get to the door of excellence. But it is that same motivation that got me to that point, that will prevent me from moving ahead to actual excellence. To cross the threshold I need to surrender to the moment, drop ego, fear, expectation, and be fully present. Accept the result and accept my self at that present moment and keep pursuing excellence.
Don't let perfectionism get in the way of you becoming what you want to be. There is no perfect, but even better than perfect there is the road of excellence. This road is a road of many deaths, and many glorious rebirths. The reward of this path is unimaginable and the gifts will last a lifetime.
" There is a difference between quitting and failing. Quitting is when you let fear stop you from giving it your all. Having an excuse why you were not able to accomplish the task at hand. In failing you have laid it all out there, everything you have, and you were still not successful. It is in this process that growth happens. It is in failing that a true champion mindset is formed. YOU MUST EARN FAILURE. It is from the ashes of failure that you can be reborn and rise as the phoenix."
- W. R. E.