“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence”— Vince Lombardi
While all of us have a right to live our lives in pursuit of our dreams, the pressure we now put on ourselves to be special or great can lead to insecurity, narcissism and an actual decrease in our performance, abilities and football mental game.
Perfectionism can take its toll on your quality of life as well as what you are able to accomplish.
Recent research on football psychology revealed that it can lead to burnout for young athletes. Burnout is marked by extreme stress, chronic fatigue and increasingly poor performance, which counters the idea that perfectionism will naturally result in more success.
Growing up in an increasingly competitive world, young athletes feel high levels of stress and a pressure to be the “best “or to be “special” in some way that distinguishes them from the rest.
Recent studies on sports psychology for football have shown overly ambitious parents can lead young athletes to intense anxiety and hinder their performance. This focus on accomplishment can have disabling, even dangerous, consequences.
Parents who excessively drive or push them to “succeed” don’t realize the anxiety and self-doubt they’re likely imposing on them. They can develop the belief that they are unworthy, undeserving or failures if they do not live up to perceived parental expectations.
While many elite athletes have some perfectionist tendencies, their drive for excellence doesn’t hold them back. Some sports psychologist describe these high achievers as “adaptive perfectionists,” although other researchers insist these outliers aren’t true perfectionists.
True perfectionists—also called maladaptive perfectionists—actually struggle to succeed. Their need for perfection hinders their performance and prevents them from ever feeling “good enough.”
Excellence, unlike perfectionism, is about lovingly pushing yourselves to act, think, relate, and create from the highest part of yourself.
Perfection is about controlling the outcome in order to receive love and acceptance. It’s all about fear. Surrender is about accepting where you are at any moment, knowing that you are a work in progress.
Ways to Overcome Perfectionism
1. Have a Sense of Humor – About anything. Do it often. Having a sense of humor about yourselves and your actions, especially embarrassing or disappointing experiences, doesn’t have to be a shield or form of protection. Humor can heal or at least create enough dopamine and endorphins to get you through the tough moments.
2. Forgive Yourself – Forgiveness releases you from fear-based thoughts and emotions. It is the gateway to surrendering your perception of control over your lives and over the actions of others.
3. Surround Yourself with Positive People – If you can’t find football minded people in your circle, then read about them or watch biographies about dreamers and risk-takers—people who’ve failed or made huge mistakes only to overcome them and create an even better life than they could have imagined.
In a world where we are constantly struggling to boost our self-esteem, it’s hard to figure out how to build confident.
To build your confidence you must change the way you think. A 100% of the time it is 90% mental.
Confidence is a mind-set skill that doesn’t just happen by chance. You must work at it.
To build your confidence, specific strategies are required. These strategies can be found in my workbook – An Athlete’s Guide To Peak Performance Series– Building Confidence
Go to www.sportspsychologyfootball.com. Click products and get started on Building Your Confidence with Sports Performance Top Mental Game Coach.