“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”
Raise your hand if this quote hits close to home because you tend to hold yourself to the standard of either “Perfect” or “Abject Failure”.
This is definitely something that I struggle with, especially when it comes to my running.
I’ve talked before about the half marathon where I set a 7 minute PR and instead of being excited at the result I was pissing and moaning because I missed my “A” goal by 5 fricking seconds.
Honestly, to this day I still beat myself up over the fact that I stopped at one point to pour water over my head, which definitely cost me more than 5 seconds.
But you know what, even if I had come in just under my “A” goal I probably would have still gone back and dissected my race to figure out how I could have shaved a few more seconds on that particular day instead of just celebrating the fact that I ran an excellent race on that hot and humid summer day in Central Florida.
Why are We Striving for Perfection?
Follow up question, is striving for perfection a bad thing?
I know that perfection is an impossibility, and yet I try to hold myself to that standard because I want to be the best I can possibly be at whatever it is that I’m doing.
I mean, I’d rather aim for 100% and “settle” with 90 than aim for 90% and wind up with 80.
Where we get in trouble, or at least where I get in trouble, is that whole being happy with 90% part.
What is the Solution?
Point blank, I don’t think I can stop yearning for better.
And clearly that frame of mind is equal parts blessing and curse.
Wanting to improve is a good thing.
And there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve in any of those areas (or in most any other area of life for that matter).
The problem arrives when I don’t live up to being better, and I (harshly) criticize myself for falling short of an impossible goal on any one particular day.
As runners, we are going to have less than perfect days!
We are going to have bad workouts. We are going to have bad races.
But we can’t beat ourselves up every time we fall short of being perfect.
Achieving perfection may be an impossibility, but that doesn’t mean that striving for perfection is foolhardy.
We just need to be ok with the fact that catching excellence still qualifies as a success.
Are You Your Harshest Critic? How Do YOU Overcome the Negative Self-Talk that I Definitely Struggle With?
Link Up–Attempting my first ever link up today with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs. I’m probably going to break a rule or two, but I promise it won’t be on purpose!