How Runners Can Avoid Perfectionism
Perfectionism can sabotage results of runners who already tread an imaginary line which is between wanting to perform better and celebrating success. However, there are ways to avoid being sabotaged by perfectionism.
Avoid the never satisfied syndrome
A lot of runners, especially high-level athletes, keep wondering if they might have achieved better results and this is known as the never satisfied syndrome. This syndrome occurs because there is a slight confusion between complacency and satisfaction.
Avoid being too self-critical
When a runner becomes too self-critical, he/she can isolate themselves from valuable support. Most runners fall into the trap of believing that it’s only the result of the race that matters. It can be likened to watching a game and only caring about the end score of the game. The experience of living through the game is the most enjoyable part.
Shift your thinking from the final result to the drama of the event, starting from when you’re training, through to the day of the race preparation and then the race itself. By doing so, you can realize that racing can be enjoyed so much more. Try to change your focus from seeing the race as a tough and punishing test and focus on the reward of the race experience.
Do not think positively in an excessive manner
Studies have revealed that some types of positive thinking, in particular, visualization can improve the performance of an athlete substantially. However, research by Gabriele Oettingen has shown that too much positive thinking can hinder your success. People who hope to achieve their objectives with an excessively positive manner often forget to put in that extra bit of effort. Try to keep it balanced.
Set a realistic goals
This is the key to avoiding disappointment. Set a realistic goal and have a backup plan. The goal should be lofty but not be unrealistic, and plan B should be a bare minimum which would give satisfaction to the runner if the first goal fails.
Photo by David Baird