How to be an Imperfectionist by Stephen Guise

Look back over your life and think of all the thousands of little moments in which you had an opportunity to be doing something that could have added up to mastery in an area by now.

If you don’t manage to reframe perfectionism as a damaging and inferior mindset, the illusion of its superiority will thwart your desired changes.

Perfectionism is like ice cream; you can have a large variety of flavours but its base is always milk and sugar.

A goal is like pole vaulting: failure is anything beneath the bar, success is anything above it. It doesn’t matter how high you get, it only matters if you get over the bar.

Perfectionists donnot accept a small amount of value or progress; they only want big, smooth, perfect wins.

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.

Action itself is the best starting point for more action, while trying to think your way into more motivation is an unreliable and ineffective way to create forward momentum.

The “get motivated” strategy assumes you’ll always want to get motivated, but sometimes you don’t.

2 types of motivation; you can be motivated to write a book without being motivated to write IN the book. We don’t need the type of motivation that fluctuates. Action creates a more powerful and reliable emotional response in us than thoughts do.

Have reliable starting strategies; this is why enables you to keep doing with desired changes.

If you frame imperfection as a necessary evil, it’s not going to help you very much. It’s better to internalizing how and why it’s your preferred way to live.

Have high general expectations but low specific expectations.

If something is important to you, it should be your goal to make it casual – not special – because habits are casual.

Use procedural thinking instead of circumstantial thinking. Focus on the process and not the end result. For mental freedom, be apathetic about your current circumstances and potential results. Instead, obsess over the process. When you focus on process, you haven’t just lowered expectations, you’ve bypassed them altogether.

If something unfortunate happens, but it was chance-related, you have no right and reason I feel like you personally failed.

Say “could” instead of “should”

Effort over Perfection

Care less about results. Care more about putting in the work.
Care less about problems. Care more about making progress despite them. If you must fix something, focus on the solution.
Care less about what other people think. Care more about who you want to be and what you want to do.
Care less about doing it right. Care more about doing it at all.
Care less about failure. Care more about success.
Care less about timing. Care more about the task.

If something is important to you, it should be your goal to make it casual – not special – because habitsvare casual.

Whatever you want to do more of in life, lower the bar for doing it. If you are willing to do it in the sewer, you will never fail to do it again.

Use countdown timers as a clear starting point when u’re resisting on something. For instance, tell ur self u’re going to the gym when countdown timer hits 5 minutes and set that timer.

People who want the most approval get the least and people who need approval the least get the most.

People seek approval because they lack self-confidence and self-esteem, and because they want to be liked by everyone.

Practise being confident by taking up more space by opening up your wingspan.

Don’t seek approval from others or you’ll never have approval from yourself.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

Make success easier than failure, and you will succeed.

The more fearless, confident, and free a person is, the more they embrace imperfection in their life.

Instead of expecting perfect results, the imperfectionist expects perfect progress and consistency.

The newfound freedom rom setting lower bars for action gives you the all-important sense of autonomy that is inherently lacking in self-help advice. Over time, you’ll realise that you can do more with freedom and confidence than you ever could with high-pressure goals and lofty expectations. Another way to phrase “unrealistic expectations” is “thinking too much about results.” Focus on process instead of results. Result apathy is the ironic path to incredible results.

Focus on the process and let results take care of themselves. It’s smarter to focus on what you can control and in this case, process.

The procedural thinker doesn’t focus on exercise yet because that’s not where the process begins. Difficult processes become easier with “one step at a time” thinking; they are made nearly impossible by looking ahead.

Non-fixable rumination? Acceptance is imperative no matter how painful. Rumination is a desperate, futile attempt to change the past by thinking about it. It’s a form of denial, and acceptance is the antidote. Fixable rumination? Accept it and try again. Almost all things people ruminate about are solvable problems.

Chance outcomes cannot be considered failures. Persistence is chance’s best friend, because if you continue to try a chance-based venture, you will probably succeed in time.

If something is chance/based, be stubbornly persistent. There is no reason to quit a chance-based venture. Ever.

Redefine success as progress and raise your standards for consistency. Even small or flawed progress gets significant very quickly when you’re consistent.

I will find through practising mini habits that an appreciation for all forward progress is life-changing.

I will likely get hooked on the feeling of consistent daily success once I start.

A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.

When you make a mistake that doesn’t permanently harm you, it helps you.

If a task takes 2 minutes or less, do it without further contemplation. Since deliberation requires so much cognitive energy, inefficiency is a problem.

Always be looking to terminate the deliberation phase ASAP with a commitment to one task.

If you feel there is a need for more information about a decision, there are 2 possibilities.
1. More info can be obtained to make decision easier.
2. More info can’t be obtained, or won’t impact the decision.
Always ask yourself which scenario is taking place. You could decide to SEEK more information. Simply not doing anything is never the right choice.

When you’re trying to make a decision, ask..
1. What’s the worst thing that could happen? How likely is that to happen, and could I recover from it?
2. What’s the best thing that could happen? How likely is that to happen, and how nice would it be?
3. What’s most likely to happen?

Your best chance to reach your big dreams is through small goals in quantity. Dreaming big doesn’t mean aiming big.

The problem of perfectionism is not the aspect of striving for excellence, but striving for impossible standards that you didn’t personally set.

Concerning yourself over making mistakes increases your anxiety and fear of action.

Adopt a binary mindset – turn usually analog tasks into binary tasks and u can execute “perfectly” all the time! Either you do, or you do not; there is no try, because try is analog; wow, exactly as Yoda says!
For example, don’t aim for a “good” workout because “good” is subjective, it’s analog. Just do, or do not. Show up to win. Binary focuses on facts. Did it happen? Or not?
Analog is subjective; focuses on quality, impact, reception, mistakes and overall how close to perfect you are. Always choose binary, and through learning and practice, you’ll get the desired results without worrying about them.

Create “success cycles”.

We love easy. Forcing ourselves to do hard things won’t last long because we don’t like it; it works better to make the hard things easier to do. Make success easier than failure and you will succeed. Redefine success as progress. Instead of expecting perfect results, the imperfectionist expects perfect progress and consistency.

Redefine success and success will become modular. You’ll get more frequent feelings of accomplishment and create a powerful foundation that can always be added to.

Choose experience over projection
Projection is the primary reason why people have doubts about actions. Projecting means predicting or imagining an outcome; it is often inaccurate.

Continued pleasures wear off. Continued hardships lose their poignancy.

The second you understand there is a bigger benefit and less downside to doing something, do it.

It helps to have a powerful and analytical brain when considering huge decisions like marriage, mortgage options, career choices etc. It doesn’t help much for simple things.
Choose one of your “good” ideas and be happy about it, don’t waste too much time thinking.
To do this, you must:
1. Embrace imperfection
2. Consider the true risk and consequences of doing the wrong thing
3. Simplify your thinking to stop over analysing each option. If activity = good then do it.
With the time and energy saved by moving into implementation mindset as and yucky and frictionless as possible, you’ll be able to do more of ALL of the things you want to do. Decision-making is accomplished with the pre-frontal cortex, making it an energy-intensive task, so expediting the process will save you a lot of energy!

People who have the and quick-decision habit are seen as fearless and confident.

Follow the 2 minute rule to eliminate worthless overanalysis.

Go for quantity, then refine. Quantity is the path to quality.

Kill the notion of the golden path

All paths have some value, and while some are measurably better than others, finding the best one isn’t as important as moving forward in life. Unequivocally, the worst choice is inaction.

If you keep your path flexible and practice perseverance, you’re going to get many of the things you want in life.

Every choice we make from this day will be imperfect so let’s take comfort in that by allowing ourselves to choose without unnecessary guilt and self-criticism.

Focusing on process guarantees better results, while focusing on results distracts you from the process needed to obtain them.

Instead of seeing a situation as going from 1 (poorly) to 10 (perfectly), see situations as 0 (not doing anything) to 1 (doing something)

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