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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Review: The Perfectionists Guide to Losing Control

Title: The Perfectionists Guide to Losing Control
Author: Katherine Morgan Schafler

Publisher: 31st January 2023 by Hachette Australia

Pages: 294 pages

Genre: non fiction, self help, personal development

My Rating: 5 crowns


From psychotherapist Katherine Morgan Schafler, an invitation to every "recovering perfectionist" to challenge the way they look at perfectionism, and the way they look at themselves.

We've been looking at perfectionism all wrong. As psychotherapist and former on-site therapist at Google Katherine Morgan Schafler argues in The Perfectionist's Guide to Losing Control, you don't have to stop being a perfectionist to be healthy. For women who are sick of being given the generic advice to "find balance," a new approach has arrived.

Which of the five types of perfectionist are you? Classic, intense, Parisian, messy, or procrastinator? As you identify your unique perfectionist profile, you'll learn how to manage each form of perfectionism to work for you, not against you. Beyond managing it, you'll learn how to embrace and even enjoy your perfectionism. Yes, enjoy!

Full of stories and brimming with humor, empathy, and depth, this book is a love letter to the ambitious, high achieving, full-of-life clients who filled the author's private practice, and who changed her life. It's a clarion call for all women to dare to want more without feeling greedy or ungrateful. Ultimately, this book will show you how to make the single greatest trade you'll ever make in your life, which is to exchange superficial control for real power.

My Thoughts

The Perfectionists Guide to Losing Control provides a fresh perspective on perfectionism offering numerous ideas, case studies and life changing ‘aha’ moments that will have you highlighting furiously. Through practical tips and tricks, women are encouraged to embrace their perfectionism in order to free themselves.

‘All perfectionists chase that which is unattainable, ‘unrealistic’, an ideal …. ideals are not meant to be achieved, they’re only meant to inspire.’

The first half of the book breaks down the understanding of the meaning of perfectionism - there being more than one type, which is in itself interesting to consider. This book successfully lays out perfectionism in all its glory allowing the reader to gain a more in-depth understanding in order to learn to work with it. The second half of the book gives you concrete ways to restructure old habits so that they work for you and not against you in attaining your life goals and dreams. This is about trying to reach a mindset that is both healthy and productive. 

‘The more present you are internally, the more you recognise perfection externally’.

As a perfectionist in many ways (falling into the classic category with a touch of some of the other varieties outlined), this book I found to be so enlightening and refreshing with its very honest approach. There are many solid ideas from which I learned and will hopefully weave into my everyday living eg. replacing the word time with the word energy; and, experiencing my ‘Dorothy’ moment ... realising I had the power all along and it was just a matter of learning it for myself.  This book now resides close by as a handy reference when needed. 

‘We put such pressure on ourselves to know exactly who we are and what we want in every moment; it’s okay for some things to be fuzzy’.

I will always love planning and organising - it’s who I am! Reading this made me realise that I do it because I want to and not because everything may fall apart if I don’t! I will work towards going with the flow and not seek to curate each and every experience. As a restored perfectionist I will define success on my own terms ‘understanding that it’s not that you long for some external thing or for yourself to be perfect, it’s that you long to feel whole and to help others feel whole’. 

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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