Manage perfectionism – Esports psychology

We hear so much about perfection on a daily basis that we think that everybody wants to be perfect. In fact, a desire to achieve is healthy and necessary in esports. But an irrational desire to be always perfect can become a problem and can cause dissatisfaction with performance and results. This is why it’s considered that perfectionism could be a positive or negative trait, depending on how you manage it. From one side it’s good to be a perfectionist to some degree. It would help you set high standards (personal and professional) and could be really beneficial for goal setting and building a vision of yourself. However, there is also a negative side, which is often related to doubting yourself, fear of mistakes and on top of everything experiencing feelings of being pressured more than others and being dissatisfied by performance often.

Shortly said, people with perfectionism hold themselves to impossibly high standards. In their head everything they do is never good enough.

How to manage perfectionism

As with most cognitive and behavioral tendencies perfectionism is strictly individual. It depends on a variety of factors / personality traits, age, environment, experience, motivation and many many more/. However, there are some guidelines that might help you become less perfectionistic and more realistic.

Evaluate yourself properly

In the roots of perfectionism is the unrealistic evaluation of one’s skills and/or environment. Evaluating yourself and your environment properly would give you a good starting point to begin managing your perfectionism. If at this point you don’t know or have any tools for self-evaluation, the best thing you could do is to analyze your progress so far. What did you achieve in a selected period of time (in the past year, six months, week etc). What are the key skills in your opinion that helped you become the player that you are today? Such questions would give you feedback and evidence of your actual progress so far. Based on that you could tell if your expectations were met or not and if not where was the problem.

Set realistic and achievable goals

Nothing defeats perfectionism better than the objective reality. Instead of being afraid to face reality, make it your ally. After a proper evaluation of your skills and environment the next step to manage your perfectionism is to create realistic goals. If you have a vision of your success, try breaking it down to small bits which could be achieved with daily efforts. 

Focus on one task at a time and track your progress

Having too much on your mind could be demotivating. Instead of focusing on the final outcome, try thinking about the process. Focusing on small tasks and tracking your progress is strongly related to your success in the previous two steps.

Reframe your vision of mistakes

Perfectionist players are afraid of mistakes. In fact, they are so scared of making a mistake that it often paralyzes them and they become either too passive in game or tilt very easily when things don’t go their way. A healthier approach to mistakes is to realize that they are part of becoming perfect. The truth is mistakes are the only real evidence of your performance that is given in a straightforward way. If you make a mistake then it’s completely clear which aspect of your performance you must perfect.. What’s better than that?

Confront your fear of failure

Fear of failure becomes a real struggle for a perfectionist who doesn’t know how to reframe their vision of mistakes. A lot of time players tend to ignore or pretend that this fear does not exist. This is a really unhealthy approach as it would only mean that there is a higher chance for you to repeat your poor performance tomorrow. Instead, challenge your fear of failure. 

If you suspect that perfectionism is harming your performance, don’t hesitate to message me at and we would immediately create an action plan that would help you overcome this and other mental barriers and achieve your goals.

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About George
George Atanasov is a mental performance consultant, currently working in professional esports. He has experience consulting elite athletes and esports players. If you want to improve your mental game sign up for a free initial session with him by messaging at

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