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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Better Than Perfect

ISBN: 9781580055499
Publisher: Perseus Books Group
Publication Date: 9/23/2014
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 5 Stars
Free Yourself from Impossible Standards So You Can Live a Happier,
Healthier Life
In society today, perfectionism is a widely distributed personality trait that is becoming more frequently and more intensely expressed.
Every day, people focus negatively on different aspects of their lives, feeling unhappy with their coworkers, their spouses, their bodies, or their children’s academic performance. Yet very few become aware of the root cause of their complaints: overt or latent perfectionism. A person who is categorized as a perfectionist strives excessively toward unattainable goals for themselves and the people in their lives, with unfortunate consequences.
In Better than Perfect, Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo offers step-by-step solutions for perfectionists to find balance. The book defines perfectionism in easy-to-understand terms, offers simple assessment tools, and shares case studies of Lombardo's patients to highlight the condition. Also included are practical exercises and suggestions for behavioral changes, including seven ways to overcome perfectionism that include choosing passion over perfection and remembering you’re more than what you do.
With the ultimate goal of helping readers achieve happiness and prosperity without the stress of making sure things are “perfect,” Better than Perfect is a fundamental guide for all perfectionists looking for a simpler way to live.

My Review

A special thank you to Perseus Books Group, Seal Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo’s Better than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love, demonstrates that perfectionism prevents positivity, productivity and profitability. And it needs to be stopped—please, tell me how!
Being a perfectionist myself, this book was definitely for ME—Lombardo nailed it! We are our worst own enemies—a widely distributed personality trait that is becoming more frequently and more intensely expressed. Type A, driven—always striving for perfection in everything we do—from work, personal, projects, organization, relationships, and all the other aspects of our lives.
What is a Perfectionist? Perfectionists have extremely high standards that are nearly impossible to achieve on a consistent basis, and they experience serious distress when those standards aren’t met. This extreme mind-set often carries over into unrealistic expectations of others his rings a bell. Perfectionists view many aspects of life as all-or-nothing terms.
Wow, speaking from my own personal experience: This sounds so familiar—never looking into the hidden meaning behind my reactions. Over the course of my career, and in my consulting business with specific projects— I found myself giving up on a job, after putting in so much time, passion, and planning to perfection—to have someone else drop the ball, with no control over the situation—giving up, frustrated. If it cannot be perfect, the desire is to walk away— I did not want to be a part of a project with my name behind it, and ultimately not turn out the way I intended. (this is a perfect example of the all-or-nothing). Reality check . .
Dr. Lombardo guides you on a journey. A journey to ditch perfectionism and live free. She walks you though the steps, by providing advice, great tools and a thriving community to aid your personal trek.
Perfectionists beat themselves up in their endless drive to be better. They also tend to be reliant on other people’s praise, often basing their worth on how others react to them. Perfectionists are more motivated by fear, than they are motivated by the prospect of fun, especially fear of failure and being seen negatively by others. Perfectionism can be self-defeating. (Wow, do I know it)
We all are seeking balance between work and personal, and the lines are becoming unclear, in today’s technology, as working from home we stay connected through social media 24/7—there is no down time. For those of us who are perfectionists, we continue to strive in excess toward unattainable goals, causing much added stress, and insomnia; thereby, affecting our psychological health and wellness. (I’m constantly stressing- the blog, website, copywriting, design, deadline--it has to be perfect).
As Dr. Lombardo describes, on some level perfectionism— is rewarded in our society. We may be the person who consistently stays at work until midnight—to complete a project in particular, or to excel at our job in general. (that’s me). Most of us do not see anything wrong with being a perfectionist, as we just want our work to be perfect and cannot go to bed, or stop until we are satisfied with our work. (3am this morning)
Perfectionists require a tidy environment, in our homes and workplace (yes, always); extremely detailed oriented, they value productivity over fun. (we cannot work or live unless our surroundings are ideal). With a life purpose focused on not failing, perfectionists often miss out on a greater sense of spiritual meaning.
Lombardo also explains, while the goal of perfectionism is to feel good about yourself, it actually has the opposite effect. Why? Because, there’s always that awful inner critic constantly judging you saying “You’re just not good enough, or worse.”
“Perfectionism becomes a badge of honor with you playing the part of the suffering hero” –David D. Burns
How do we stop this madness? Suggestions may make rational sense; however, most perfectionist don’t actually believe in them. We also don’t know how to apply them, or don’t really want to. Think of Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo as a happiness coach and guide.
Better than Perfect helps define perfectionism, making it easier to break down barriers, with a better understanding, with simple assessment tools and case studies of Lombardo's patients. She offers other helpful practical exercises and suggestions for behavioral changes, including seven ways to overcome perfectionism that include choosing passion over perfection, while reminding readers, you’re more than what you do.
In summary, you learn how to share your Better Than Perfect statements with friends, social media, and the world. With the ultimate goal of achieving happiness and prosperity, without the stress of making sure things are perfect, as we find an easier and simpler way to live.
A “Must Read” guide for all us perfectionists— looking for a simpler way to live! This is not a one-time read; however, a guide and invaluable reference, to refer to, often.
Boy, am I ready to take begin this journey— as being a perfectionist is exhausting! Join me as we begin this adventure, as we embrace who we are. Highly Recommend!
The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake. You can’t learn anything from being perfect.” –Adam Osborne

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