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In sport, we are judged on every aspect of our performance. While striving for your best is a natural and necessary part of competing, perfectionism can become toxic and lead to poor mental health. In fact, perfectionism has been linked to a number of mental health conditions.

It is important to recognise when your perfectionism is becoming problematic. Ask yourself some of the below questions, which may be signs of this;

  • Are you unable to regulate negative emotions when you do ​not meet a target or goal?

  • Do you find yourself obsessing over achieving aims?

  • Are the aims you set often unattainably high?

  • Do you often feel like you are not good enough?

  • Do you find it difficult to be flexible around your goals?

  • Do you equate your value and self-worth only with what you achieve in the sporting field?

  • Do you feel constant anxiety about your performance?

Here are some tips for letting go of perfectionism;

  • Remove yourself from the competition. But not literally! In a competitive sport, there is no avoiding competition, but try to refocus yourself to remember the pleasure of competing, and try and think of your technical performance rather than the outcome

  • Do a reality check. Often perfectionism becomes toxic when we set unrealistic expectations of ourselves

  • Don't be afraid to value mistakes - they are, after all, the biggest learning points

  • Break down your large goals into smaller ones, and permit yourself to celebrate the small success en-route to your overall aim

  • Make your wellbeing a priority and recognise when you are burning yourself out

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