That's a tricky one.
Are we talking from the perspective of an absolute beginner starting out training for the first time in their life?
Are we talking a seasoned athlete, looking to improve on percentiles in mental approach towards physical training? Gaining tiny edges on the competition?
Those are two very different stand points which warrant two different mental approaches. Though there are certainly some constants that we should all adhere to, which I will outline below. 3 to be precise.
Unbending self belief
You must possess the self belief that you can strive for and achieve your personal goals. You must.
Think about it, if you don't believe - whatever difficulties or obstacles lay in your path - that if you continually persevere you will reach your goal, then you are doomed to fail from the start.
You cannot have doubts.
Goals, by definition cannot be something you already possess, something you have already achieved. Otherwise it wouldn't be something to strive for. You're already there.
So do not get knocked back by how intangible it feels to achieve it in that present moment.
Take your first pull up as an example.
Of course you don't know what it feels like, you've never done one. Do not fall into the mental slide of trying to imagine what it feels like. As already your focus is on steps which are beyond your current reach. You have no need to focus on this, you have every need to focus on the next step. Your personal trainer is there to be able to identify that particular step for you and motivate you to absolute dominate it. Crush it.
Throughout this endeavour, you must believe in yourself. That if you put your very soul into each small step, you absolutely WILL get there. Believe that if you show up, do the work, support this work with good rest and nutrition. NOTHING is going to stop you.
Then it remains to be just a matter of time. Time is something you cannot change, so immediately you needn't worry. This relative constant is always ticking away. The important thing is you place yourself on the success curve of time. Each small daily habit of training, resting, eating good food, will show nothing in very short amounts of time.
Time magnifies these efforts however. Stay true to your self belief and you'll head inexorably towards your chosen goal. Believe in it, because it is very real.
Strive to do your best, not perfection.
Perfection doesn't exist. It can't. Not even through the natural laws of geometry can we find perfection.
So bloody well forget about it.
The best advice? "So what, next rep"
So what, next rep. Effectively means that if you must be such a little perfectionist, don't allow it to be a downfall. Only allow it to be an upside. Let me explain.
Wanting to do things amazingly from the very beginning, can for some, actually prevent people from even starting. Simply because they cannot deal with having to endure being rubbish at first.
Don't be ridiculous*. Get on with it.
deserving or inviting derision or mockery; absurd.
"that ridiculous tartan cap"
synonyms: laughable, absurd, comical, funny, hilarious, humorous, risible, derisory, droll, amusing, entertaining, diverting, chucklesome, farcical, slapstick, silly, facetious, ludicrous, hysterical, riotous, side-splitting;
Ok, you're now officially cured of that. Let's look at the advantages of being 'perfectionist'
1/ You want to give everything your best shot no matter what.
2/ This bodes well with extracting 100% out of every rep/set/exercise/session.
3/ You're likely to gain so much more in a given time frame, comparative to a "That'll do" type.
Thing is though, this leads to another problem, the perfectionist thinks way too much about the rep they just did. "It wasn't quite right, I didn't start it properly, I wasn't feeling it"
Recognise. IMMEDIATELY, that the rep you're thinking of that didn't go as well as you wished for, is now fundamentally in the past.
What can you do with the past? NOTHING.
You cannot stand there wasting your time rolling your eyes, tutting, verbalising your disdain. You cannot let your focus snap like that, it will hinder your next rep. You need to be focusing on every single strand of muscle. Squeezing the right ones with the right intensity.
How can you nail that if every time it is headed up with a tut, eyes in the back of your head - "Ohhh man, I'm totally better than thaaaat"
Your own mindset flip, from finishing the last rep, to focusing on the next, should last but a mere femtosecond**.
**One quadrillionth of a second. Yeah b****.
Combine this with a unbending self belief in one day reaching your goal? You'll be pretty hot.
Focusing on the negatives
Don't even waste your time here, it is poisonous to your psyche, illogical and unjust. Peruse these words - Apply zero focus on negatives in all areas of your life, and watch everything become so much more pleasurable and manageable. Rewarding even.
Simple as that.
I could add more, frankly I want to keep it to the bigger mental crimes you can commit against working to become a better you. Mental crimes you needn't undertake.
Moral of the story?
"Focus on positive things you can change, forget immediately what you cannot change."
Mummy won't hold your hand, Be Your Own Hero.