How To Stop The All-Or-Nothing Thinking

Do you have a tendency of thinking “it’s all-or-nothing?” How do you stop the all-or-nothing thinking?

I am a perfectionist.

I tend to hide it and make sure others don’t notice it. Lately, I have been experiencing the downsides of the melancholic tendencies which is the complete opposite of ‘perfect.’

But as a perfectionist, I struggle with so many things like:

–Trusting other people to do the job as good as I would (not because I do it any better– it’s just a mindset)
— The all-or-nothing thinking. It’s either perfect or I’m not doing it. It either comes out perfect or I’m starting all over.
— Judging and beating myself up when something fails, getting depressed and doing nothing at all. I just give up trying. So that if it doesn’t work, I don’t get to be judged.

If you’re a perfectionist like me, you probably have these tendencies too. You occasionally slip into the all-or-nothing thinking (i.e. it’s either perfect or I’m not doing it at all) to protect yourself from the judgment and criticism that you think will come from others if you fail.

In this post, I share four pieces of advice that Will help you stop the all-or-nothing thinking so that you can stay consistent with habits and goals.

And as I like to say in all my post, I am far from being perfect, and the things I write and advice about are things I’m practicing myself.

I hope you find this post helpful.

4 Advice To Help You Stop The All-Or-Nothing Thinking


Because perfectionists only want to do things they’re good at and can achieve a quick result (because we feel like this will protect us from judgment and rejection) our all-or-nothing mindset can kick in when we’re working towards a goal and it begins to look like we won’t achieve it.

So that this doesn’t happen, it’s better to create effort-based goals rather than results-based goals.
Effort-based goals are AMAZING because you’re much less likely to feel disheartened which means you’re much more likely to achieve the result you want – because you can stay consistent!


I’m aware this is easier said than done, but setting yourself very small effort-based goals (such as going for a 5 minute run rather than a 5km run) can help you stay consistent with a habit even when you ‘don’t feel like it’.

This one is particularly important because perfectionists usually have insanely high standards and those standards are often so intimidating that we’re scared to even attempt to live up to them.

Try lowering your expectations and giving yourself the opportunity to over-achieve (rather than trying to over-achieve and feeling disappointing when your expectations cripple you).


When you’re unwell or injured or something happens that means you simply can’t do your dream habit that day, give yourself what I like to call a ‘grace day’.

I love doing this because the alternative is that we label our habit as ‘ruined’ and vow to start over next Monday or next month or next year.

But if you find yourself trying to decide whether you should give yourself a grace day, you probably shouldn’t. This is just an option for when something happens that makes it impossible to do your habit.


Usually when I miss a day of my time with God, or something happened I couldn’t do what I set out to do, I always feel like the worst kind of failure. I would become ashamed of myself and probably stop doing everything altogether with a new commitment to start afresh.

This is because I haven’t learned to embrace imperfections, failures etc.
So it feels easier to start all over than admit my imperfections and move on.

Resist the urge to start all over. Rather continue from where you stopped. This will help you track your progress and overall growth.

Get comfortable with imperfections.

I still haven’t ‘overcome’ perfectionism, so I definitely don’t have all the answers here. But I have come a LONG way from where I started.

I hope this helps! And if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments. Please leave a comment, I really love hearing from you.


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Hi, I'm Grace

Personal Growth + Blogging Coach for Introverts

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