85% Rule

When doing an activity that requires peak performance, strive for 85% of what you believe is your best. This results in doing better than if you were to try to hit your maximum. You relax more, your form improves, and you are more consistent throughout the performance.

This seems applicable to more than athletics—allowing yourself to underachieve or fail in advance removes some of the ill effects of overthinking or being too ‘in your own head’ which is vital for creative work.

See also: