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Perfectionism and Self Sabotage

I am an achievement focussed perfectionist. Not in the fun way.

I set outrageous goals and then work like crazy towards them. This is healthy. This is good. This allows me to live my best life.

What happens next is what keeps me from a happy & 100% fulfilled life. Once I achieve my goal - I talk myself out of why I didn’t achieve it perfectly.

Back when I was young, I was an elite soccer player. I spent my entire teenage years working towards a singular goal; to play for Australia. I trained countless hours, represented my state, earned a full scholarship to study in America and eventually played for Australia in the under 18’s squad at the Youth Olympics in Sydney.

That sounds amazing when I write it out like that. It sounds as though I kicked that goal out of the park (pun intended). However, when I reflect on it - success isn’t what I feel. I think about the fact that I only played half a game and that I let in a mediocre goal during my time on the pitch (I was a goalkeeper). I think about the shame I felt sitting on the bench whilst my entire family watched the rest of the team play for most of the tournament. I think about the humiliation of being dropped from the squad in the following training camp prior to the World Cup. I feel failure rather than the success of achieving my goal.

I 100% achieved my goal of playing for Australia. But in my mind, I only achieved it on a technicality and for my perfectionist self that doesn’t feel like enough.

This is not healthy. This is self-sabotage at its core and I need to work through this with a professional. But, I wanted to put it out there - does anyone else feel like this when they meet a goal?