by PJ O’Clair
Commit to excellence not perfection.
Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a powerful presentation by a colleague in the fitness industry, Haley Perlus, a mental conditioning coach with a PhD in sport and exercise psychology and a professor at the University of Colorado. Haley shared her philosophy on success in sport and fitness and I ate it up! I was so inspired that I want to share her philosophy with you the reader to assess your goals and actions. Haley explains that if you strive for perfection, you will almost always be disappointed. There’s often no reward because your expectation is set too high. Instead, commit yourself and your actions to excellence. There is so much more satisfaction in knowing you put your best foot forward and you brought your “A” game to the table. Bystanders will feel your passion and they will respect your effort.
Committing to excellence is a discipline, a mindset. Here are some of my own basic tips to be successful on your path:
1. Be aware of your current state of ability, what is your baseline level of skill. Ask yourself; where are I in the realm of where I want to be or go?
2. Ask yourself, what path do I need to follow, what steps do I need to take to be the best I can be? What is required of me both physically and mentally? Do I need a partner or coach to assist me, or to keep me on track?
3. Then ask, what does excellence look like? What does it feel like? And, am I prepared to be a member of the excellence team on a solo level or do I need support? It’s important to know what it will take to keep you focused and committed.
4. Lastly, as if you will be able to pat yourself on the back? Will dialogue like this resonate with you “yes, I did it, I followed the plan, I did my best!” If that dialogue is not easy for you, then find a team or group of likeminded people to support you. You will continue to succeed if you celebrate your accomplishments.
Striving for perfection will not foster realistic outcomes and can set you up for unrealistic expectations or judgements. In fact, expectations often disappoint and derail excellence.
Finally, committing to excellence means you take personal responsibility for your actions. Every time you step toward your goals, you do so with passion. You live your truth, you recognize that you have nothing to prove or achieve, you do not have to be perfect. You simply walk your walk.