It has been a while since I posted my last article on this blog, and it’s already February 2009, so you may wonder why I have remained silent for a few weeks? And the truth is that I was afraid. Yes, I was afraid of writing an article which will be anything less than perfect. Didn’t I tell you that I was a perfectionist?
Perfectionism and Fear of Mediocrity
And while perfectionism is something socially acceptable, in essence it’s nothing else other than a fear of mediocrity. Yes, FEAR OF MEDIOCRITY. Such perfectionism creates a self-imposed pressure that we want to avoid. And this avoidance leads to procrastination and self-defeating fears. It says “If I can’t do it perfectly, then I really don’t want to do it at all.” How is it related to meeting women and enjoying a happy love life you may ask?
Well, perhaps you have experienced this: you see a woman you’d like to talk to, but either you or her are in a hurry, or you were not in the mood, or you just don’t know what to say to her. The truth is that you could approach and talk to her no matter what, but perhaps your approach would not be ideal. That is to say, it wouldn’t be perfect in your mind’s eye.
And you may subconsciously fear not so much the approach per se, but rather to appear mediocre either to yourself, to this woman, or to other people around you. And it is that fear that may suddenly stop you in your tracks and ask “What is the best chat-up line / opener to use?” And it is an attempt to escape this fear that may lead you not to approach the woman you liked at all, and let her walk away from your life forever.
Do you see how important this is? It’s not always a fear of rejection that is frequently quoted elsewhere. It’s not even the fear of success or failure that others may be subjected to. It is plainly a fear of appearing below your standards, or less than perfect. Many guys can only overcome their fear of approaching women after a few drinks, just because it’s okay for them not to appear perfect and speak their minds when drunk. Many guys also learn loads of dating / seduction related materials in the hope of becoming “perfect” some day. But ironically, they do so without actually talking to women much, as they’re afraid that they’re not good enough at it…at least not yet.
So what can you do about it? How can you tackle this perfectionism and its twin brother, fear of mediocrity?
How To Tackle The Fear Of Mediocrity
Well, the first step is to accept that none of us is perfect. Nothing is completely perfect. We are humans, not gods. Chasing perfection is like fixing your own photo in Photoshop before showing it to your friends.
The second important step to understand is that the reality of getting things done is more satisfying than the dream of getting it perfect. Would you rather have an enjoyable conversation with a cute woman and walk away with her phone number in hand, even though you may have got it done in not so perfect way? Or would you rather not to ask for the number at all, perhaps saving yourself from the “indignity” of imperfection, but hence never be able to see her again? Personally, I’d choose the first. What about you?
Finally, I’m going to give you an exercise that will help you to overcome this fear of mediocrity. And not only in interactions with women, but in other areas of your life too. So that you can stop procrastinating and get things done at all levels, bringing your more success, satisfaction and happiness overall.
Exercise: Bust Fear Of Mediocrity
1. This may sound counterintuitive, but over the next few weeks purposefully do a few things in a mediocre way. Bear in mind here I’m decidedly not suggesting that you endeavour to become more mediocre and to celebrate that “accomplishment”. Rather, my intent is simply to give you the gift of awakening to the simple fact that perfection is an unreasonable expectation for every aspect of your life, and that perfectionism might very well be hindering you from greater success.
For example, you may write a few mediocre emails to your friends. Don’t spend much time, just write the email and hit the “send” button without re-reading it a few times to make it perfect. Don’t be methodical, just make it quick. Your fear of mediocrity may kick in again, but stick to it, knowing that you’re doing good for yourself in the long run. Obviously, choose less-than-critical interactions for this. You can also practice doing other things less than perfectly, such as matching your shirt and tie carefully without agonizing over the “perfect” choice, or calling a colleague at work without over-thinking what you’re going to say ahead of time. You get the idea.
2. Once you’ve practiced enough with being non-perfect in various contexts, bring it up a notch and start interacting with women from the same place of non-perfection. Don’t think of the perfect opener – just say the first thing that comes to mind, don’t dress up too pedantically when going out, don’t wait for the perfect opportunity to approach – do it right there and then!
And remember, if your fear of mediocrity tries to take its toll on you, remind yourself that it’s an exercise that will allow you to get more things done and have more dates and fun in your life.
Keep me posted on your progress, and I promise to fight my fear of mediocrity and post more articles here!