There was a great book written by Dr. Bob Rotella called ‘Golf Is NOT A Game Of Perfect’. It was one of the first books that really helped me to understand that mistakes happen, when they do it’s not a disaster, and it doesn’t make you less worthy, but it’s how you respond and recover from those mistakes that matters. That’s what illuminates your true character.
Sport reveals character
There’s a great saying, “sport doesn’t develop character, it reveals it”. It’s always easy to look strong when everything is going well.
If we start to accept that there will be good times and there will be times that are trying, we can start to appreciate the good times more as the gifts they are, and understand that the times that are more trying are going to happen anyway so we may as well take the lessons that they offer, versus wishing our lives away because they are difficult.
“Life isn’t a game of perfect, and the expectation that it should be is what causes so much discontent.”
– Kathy Keats
Competent doesn’t mean perfect
Particularly for women, this can be a difficult to embrace because women tend more towards perfectionism. I know this is a generalization but women in particular tend to equate confidence with competence, so to feel more confident they try to build more competence. Yet because they aren’t perfect they still often feel like they aren’t good enough.
You can be highly competent, and highly successful without being perfect.
The curse of competence
In any given performance, whether it is sport, business, or music, there will be moments that are less than perfect. As a matter of fact, the irony is the more accomplished you are, the more aware you become that it ISN’T perfect. It’s almost a curse. For example, a talented musician I knew with perfect pitch (the ability to hear exactly what note is being played in music) would often struggle to enjoy listening to music because he could hear every note or instrument that was slightly out of tune.
In dog agility, there is always a turn that could’ve been tighter or a cue given with better timing. The important thing is to not let your mind stop on it and affect the other elements of the performance. You need to let it go and move on. Performance needs to be in the moment. The time for analysis is after the performance.
Do your best
Promise yourself that every day you will choose to be grateful and take each thing in stride, do the best you possibly can, and make the best of every moment that is presented to you, regardless of it’s in performance, work or at home. Whether it is good or it is bad, the truth is…’this too shall pass’. What’s more important is how you deal with the hand you are dealt at the time.
Enthusiasm for life is contagious. Not only will you make your life better, you will inspire someone else to do the same.
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