A few months ago I was out for a run and feeling pretty frustrated.
Why? Well just over a year ago I was running really well. I’d been doing CrossFit for about 18 months and was feeling fit and strong. So I started doing some Saturday morning Parkruns and before I knew it, my 5km time had come right down. Almost to where it was during my triathlon days.
I was pumped! Then, just as I was about to call my running coach to say ‘time for a marathon program’, I got injured. I irritated my sciatic nerve and that injury has plagued me ever since.
So, back to a few months ago. Every run was un-fun. Mainly because I was forcing my protesting body to try and run as fast as I was last year. If on any given day, my body (or mind) didn’t feel like trying to go that fast, I didn’t go for a run.
Instead of running 5+ times a week, I was running maybe once a week. Some weeks I wasn’t running at all.
Then, one day, it hit me.
This mindset where I’d only go for a run if I felt I was going to run as fast as I was last year when I was super-fit? That was perfectionism raising its head.
And, given this manifestation of perfectionism was impacting my life in a sub-optimal way, I had to do something about it. That’s when I reminded myself about the one big thing I discovered when writing Practical Perfection:
The best antidote for perfectionism is self-compassion – the ability to be kind to ourselves.
How could I be kind to myself in this situation?
I could give myself permission to run slowly.
I could choose to meet myself where I am right now instead of constantly looking ahead or behind me.
Such a simple thing.
And honestly, it’s made all the difference over the past few months.
If you’re finding yourself frustrated at where you’re at right now compared to where you’ve been in the past, maybe you need to extend yourself the same kindness 🙂