Perfectionism: What it is and how to deal with it

Are you a perfectionist? 

Does it feel like nothing is ever good enough?

Are your expectations so high that they become unachievable?

Let me start by making a differentiation between a rider who is thriving to improve and has a high level of work ethics to become better and better and someone who is never satisfied and therefore never acknowledges their improvement.

The first one is the one we should all strive to be, a rider who recognises the gaps in their training and diligently works on improving them. They acknowledge and recognise each improvement and use this energy to propel themselves further towards mastery. 

The second one is a self sabotage behaviour, that is not a desirable trait. This rider constantly focuses on the shortcomings. Accepting compliments is difficult because nothing is ever good enough. They become more disillusioned and lose energy during training.

So, let's go a step back and talk about beliefs.

There is a great quote by Henry Ford

“If you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you are always right.”

Self sabotage, which perfectionism is as discussed above, develops as a behaviour of a limiting belief.

If your limiting belief is that you are not good enough then this will always be the dominant focus. You will do everything in your power to create scenarios that prove you right.

Perfectionism is unachievable and its only purpose is to reaffirm your limiting beliefs and doubts about yourself.

So, what do we need to do to get out of this rut?

The first step is your own realisation that this is happening and then there must be a WILL to change it.

When I say a WILL to change, I really mean that. I know this sounds crazy because most people say they want to change but when it comes down to it, the old behaviour easily wins.

How do we develop this WILL?

Firstly, we have to let go of the self inflicted suffering.

We must overcome the addiction to the emotion of our own suffering.

This addictive, familiar feeling of not being good enough, the poor me, or the ‘I am never going to be one of those riders’.

These are not just thoughts, these are feelings that are so familiar to us that they have become part of who we are, part of our identity. 

Which brings me to my next point.

If you overcome your limiting belief and you let go of these limiting emotions, what is left of you?

Who are you then?

This is where we must be prepared to recreate ourselves.

You literally become a different person.

Your friends might not recognise you anymore, your thoughts and actions seem strange and new.

You might not even recognise yourself.

There is suddenly no predictable outcome anymore.

You have entered the room of the unknown.

Are you ready for this?

So many people have goals they want to achieve but they are too attached to their familiar past that they find they keep creating their same reality over and over again.

Don’t you make that mistake.

Let’s start an AP (Anonymous Perfectionist) Group and you begin by saying:

“I…..confess that I am a perfectionist.”

“I recognise my past behaviour and I am willing to change.”

“My first step of change is…….” (I acknowledge myself daily, I focus on the positives and reaffirm them constantly, I get up and mix with the groups I want to be part of….) 

And you might find that this change is a bit uncomfortable. So, embrace it and do it anyway.

Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable is necessary to facilitate change. 

Happy riding everyone!