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The Curse of Perfection

Do what you can with what you have, where you are.

—TEDDY ROOSEVELT

Most elite athletes—from golfers to gymnasts, placekickers, and baseball pitchers—tend to be very focused, disciplined, and perfectionistic. Their belief is that the desire to be “perfect” will end up making them better. Unfortunately, this is not always true. More often than not, the desire to be perfect actually hinders performance. When we try to be perfect, we assume that success equals not making any mistakes, when in fact, success is your response to the mistake. People who tend to be perfectionists do not respond well to adversity or defeat. Their ...

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