The One Trick You Need To Overcome Your Fear of Perfection
I am a perfectionist. A type A personality. If I can’t do it right, then I’m not going to do it at all. Basically, I have a fear of perfection.
I know this about myself, and as much as I wish I wasn't this type, I know that it's something I have to work with rather than ignore. Luckily, I've learned one trick that has changed my mindset completely when it comes to my fear of perfection. It's called the 1% Method. I learned about it in my Precision Nutrition course, which is available to my clients,
The 1% Method
The 1% method tells us that when you're setting a goal, you don't want to have an all-or-nothing attitude. Most people aquait perfection with 100%, so they want to start off at 100% and go at 100% forever. The problem with that thought process is that you can’t actually start off at 100%.
For instance, say you want to run a marathon. If your goal was to go out and run a marathon tomorrow - because that would be what 100% is - but you haven’t run at all in the last year, you would fail miserably. You would fail right out of the gate.
Instead of starting at 100%, you need to start at 0%. All that means is looking at where you are currently and make that your baseline or starting point. With our marathon example, if you haven't run in a year, 0% is not running at all.
From your baseline, you want to get 1% better each day.
You could start by walking around the block: 1%.
Then, you could run a mile: 3%
Then you could aim for 5 miles: 30%.
Then you could run 13 miles: 50%
Little by little, you would work up to 26.2 miles aka 100%. One day at a time you would accomplish your goal.
Overcoming the fear of perfection
This small shift in my thought process has changed my life completely. I no longer feel like a failure if I can't do something perfectly the first time. Instead, I just try to be 1% better than I was yesterday. If I backslide, then I know it's ok because I can be 1% better than that tomorrow.
The 1% Method has allowed me to be kinder to myself. I don't expect perfection anymore. I just expect to do better bit by bit.