Setting and achieving goals – how much perfectionism is too much?

Perfectionism can be an advantage, but also a disadvantage. If you are too perfectionistic, this often leads to problems, especially in competitions, because you cannot control all variables (e.g. weather, water temperature, competitors, form of the day).

EVERYTHING CAN’T be perfect. You have to accept that and make the best of it. Some circumstances you have to adapt to, if you can’t do that you may lose a competition.

In sport, goal setting and perfectionism can be an advantage and a disadvantage:

Advantages e.g. are:

  • To gain high motivation and inner drive and to reach his goal.
  • Strong work ethic that supports the inner drive.
  • Determined to achieve goals and improve at all times.
  • To be highly motivated to go through each session, even in training.
  • Ability to analyze training and training progress to improve.

with all the other disadvantages:

  • result-oriented thinking (winning, reaching a certain place, a certain target time) instead of process-oriented thinking (heart rate target values, effort level, catering strategy).
  • Too much nervousness and tension in competition.
  • Too much in training mode, no confidence in good performance in competition.
  • Too exact an idea/expectation of the competition.
  • Little confidence/self-confidence in competition.
  • Strong will to reach your goal, often an obstacle because it leads to much tension and tension
  • Too much thinking about what others think about you.

Am I too perfectionist? If you answer the following questions with YES you should change something:

1. are your performances generally better in training than in competition?

2. do you want to deliver the perfect competition?

3. Do you want to win so much that you feel so tense?

4. do you think about what others think?

5. do you divide your performance into GOOD and BAD?

6. are you quickly frustrated if you don’t reach your goals immediately?

7. do you find it difficult to enter a competition with confidence?

BUT: How can you change your competition setting?

The following strategies will help you to overcome your perfectionism and still achieve your goals:

Train your self-confidence so that you feel strong even on the day of the competition. So even in training you have to face challenges that don’t seem feasible and sometimes aren’t feasible.  At certain intervals, imagine the competition situation and pretend that this is part of your competition.

Allow yourself to overcome great hurdles and accept heruas demands. Competition is also developing and changes are taking place. Be prepared for other conditions than you expected, e.g. technical defects, weather changes. But look forward and focus on your here and now and not on what was.

Be effective and not perfect. Don’t focus so much on improving to be better at the next competition, focus on performing well today. Turn your mind away from doing everything perfectly and correctly towards doing it at all. Use the skills you have already acquired. Work continuously and relaxed, not tense.

Evaluate your performance in competition objectively. Don’t be too self-critical and don’t spend too much time on what was bad. Be more objective. Focus on what was good. Then you will go to the next competition with more certainty.


A perfectionist way of thinking has advantages and disadvantages. Used the good sides to your advantage, like a high work ethic and motivation, but try to leave things behind that hinder you. You don’t always have to do 100%, a few percent less is often more than enough. Do not set your goals too high, be realistic, then you will rarely be disappointed and remain more self-confident. You are a human being, you will make mistakes and enjoy the challenges you face in the here and now.

#believe #challenge #change #performingperfect #followmy passion