Avoid this *trap* to achieve longevity

Posted Ella Villas Articles

I mentioned the idea of perfectionism in a previous message, and wanted to expand on that a bit.

I’m not suggesting that you have this to an extreme degree… I likely don’t know you!

However, I know that as a subscriber or customer of Tri Swim Coach, you are someone who values achievement.

By itself, striving for achievements is a healthy way to be.

But sometimes, the desire for achievement can be the outward manifestation of a desire for perfection.

It feels good to set and hit goals. I think specific goal setting is awesome, as it can set you on the right path to actually achieve those goals, rather than having general desires like “I want to get faster”.

But let’s do this. Think about why you want what you want. Let’s say it’s “swimming faster in my next triathlon”.

Maybe you have a more specific goal like “finishing in the top 20% of my age group in an upcoming race”.

Or as it’s off season for many, it may be “Losing 10 pounds”.

Okay great, you’ve got your goal in your mind now.

Next, think about this: What is the reason for your goal? It could be a number of things, such as:

A) Personal satisfaction
B) Getting healthy & fit
C) Proving yourself to others
D) Proving that you are worthy in some way

If you fall into the C or D category, or something similar, you may have a little perfectionism kicking around in your brain.

Not to worry! One way to calm this down is to do this exercise:

1. Ask yourself what would happen if you didn’t achieve this goal or set of goals.
2. Then ask, “What if that happens? Then what?”
3. Then ask, “What if that happens? Then what?”

Keep going until you have no more answers. Maybe the final answer is you will be all alone starving on the street (this is actually the end result of what many perfectionists believe).

But at that point, you can start to see that there are so many reasons why the end result of catastrophe is not true, and there is no need to be perfect- in your race, in your job, or in your close relationships.

When you can connect with this and “expose” your inner perfectionism, things will become easier- and you will become better!

But it does go back to that “Getting to why” that we talk about in The Fit Triathlete Transformation. Once you can get your “why’s” to the forefront, success (your version) is right around the corner- and training plateaus and “burnouts” become much less of an impact in your life. 🙂