Do you need to be perfect all the time? Would you describe yourself as a perfectionist? Is it either a complete success or complete disaster?

It’s a good thing to set your standards high and aim to hit them, yet often I meet people who feel bad because hitting 100% every time can be hard work and may not always be only up to you. You can then feel rubbish because if it isn’t perfect then it is that disaster.

Recently I worked with a client with anxiety. He had set himself five goals a day to drive forward feeling better, yet when he only hit 4 (80%) on one day he felt bad and considered the day a disaster and described himself as a failure (in fact, he was quite keen to write off the whole week).

Another client wanted to end the fear of driving, yet even after she got in the car for the first time in years and drove a few miles, she wrote it off as a failure because she wasn’t yet 100% calm and relaxed.

I also worked with a client who wanted more confidence so he could deliver presentations. He was calm and confident throughout but because he didn’t know the answer to one question, he started telling himself that he was rubbish at presentations.

The all or nothing attitude can keep reinforcing your anxiety and low confidence and help you stay stuck because you can't recognise your positive progress.

End All Or Nothing Anxiety

If you need to hit 100% ALL the time – otherwise you feel bad, a failure and everything is a disaster - then do this to start recognising your positive progress:

Whenever you are tempted into all or nothing thinking, start rating how you did – so if 0% is a complete disaster and 100% is perfection, ask yourself how you did. Be fair to yourself - if you were really nervous before your presentation but the main part went well once you go into it, then make sure you recognise that in your rating.

Recognise what you have achieved and the progress you’ve made. And then ask yourself how you can build upon those foundations to make even more progress.

You can always aim for perfection – just make sure you always celebrate the progress and success you do achieve along the way.

Best wishes

Dan Regan

Hypnotherapy Ely & Newmarket