**Disclaimer- I received this book for free as part of the launch team. It was my first time doing this and it was a very neat experience. (I felt like it was Christmas when I opened the mail and not only the book fell out of the envelope but also a pretty pink highlighter!) I got to interact with the authors, other bloggers and readers on the team, and be part of a group of women cheering each other on as we made the journey to “Live Braver” together. There are also affiliate links in this post that if you purchase a product from the link, I may receive compensation at no extra expense to you (thank you). My Disclosure Policy is here. All opinions in this review are my own.
If you came to my home and glanced into my front porch you would never describe the person who is the “manager of the home” as a perfectionist.
There’s Meow Mix spilled on the carpet from one of the kids doing his or her morning chores. There are at least 25 pairs of shoes, cowboy boots, and sandals in 7 different sizes, carelessly thrown about in a hurry to get inside the house. There are 60+ pounds of tomatoes ripening in the porch, ready to be made into spaghetti sauce for our family to enjoy this winter. And, until last week, the front door’s glass window had a some very fancy black Gorilla Tape covering the area where it had been broken out, when a child slammed the 100-year-old door a little too hard.
This is my life. It’s messy, homey, and ours with the 7 of us in an old home with little storage. I’m not the “typical” perfectionist. My house isn’t perfect. You can’t eat off my floor. My children do not have perfect manners and most of the time, they dress themselves so they may or may no match!
However, after reading The Cure for the “Perfect” Life: 12 Ways to Stop Trying Harder and Start Living Braver, I realized that yes, I suffer at the hands of perfectionism. How? Let me explain a little more about myself:
- I’ve always felt that no matter what I did, it was never good enough. Even when I had straight A’s making the Dean’s List in college, I didn’t feel like I “had” what my other peers “had”. I felt inferior.
- I feel unworthy of good things happening to me. When they do, I feel guilty. I can’t remember not feeling this way so it’s been a part of me for many, many years.
- I am terrified of what other people think about me.
- I struggle using a highlighter to highlight ANYTHING because my lines are not straight and it might bleed through the page, making it look imperfect.
In The Cure for the “Perfect” Life, Kathi Lipp (who has written many books I’d recommend including The Me Project: 21 Days to Living the Life You’ve Always Wanted and The Get Yourself Organized Project) and Cheri Gregory get real by identifying four bullies that keep us from living the life that God has called us to. These “P-Bullies” are Perfectionism, People-Pleasing, Performancism, and Procrastination. These bullies team up together to convince each of us that we need to create and maintain our perfect image of who we “should” be. It is our job as women to “rebel” together against these bullies to live the life that God is calling us to live.
It was scary to admit that I relate to all 4 of these bullies at a very real level.
- Perfectionism likes to attack in the form of me feeling that I need to try harder because I’m not good enough.
- People-Pleasing occurs when I’ve felt resentment and bitterness after saying yes to everything, even when I didn’t want to and was bombarded with obligations that took me away from my family and home.
- Performancism attacks in the form of rarely allowing myself time to rest or relax because there is something else to do. If I’m not doing something, I’m not a woman of value. A great friend of mine kindly reminded me recently that I was a human being not a human “doing.”
- Procrastination…oh this one is my second darkest bully! When I’m feeling the bullying from perfectionism to have a neat and organized pantry closet (as my current pantry has Pop Tarts, spaghetti noodles, and random cereal boxes falling out of it as I open the door), procrastination steps in and says that it is going to look like this again in 3 days because no one puts anything back where it goes…so why bother?
Do any of these bullies sound familiar? If so, I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of this book. Kathi and Cheri have written this book in a manner that will make you giggle, have many “A-ha!” moments, include the 4 different personality types of how we deal with the bullies, and include their own experiences in how they have (and continue to) battle the bullies. It’s time to rebel and live a braver life, the one God wants you to live!
You can read the first chapter for FREE here: http://www.thecurefortheperfectlife.com/downloads/chapter1.pdf
I am so excited to have the opportunity to give away one copy of The Cure for the “Perfect” Life: 12 Ways to Stop Trying Harder and Start Living Braver. Are you ready to live braver? To have a chance to enter, please leave a comment at the end of this post letting me know which bully you battle OR why you would like to win this book! On Saturday morning I’ll announce the winner!
Here are some other fun links to check out for inspiration and encouragement:
About the Book:
From the Introduction:
Even though we have different life stories, we’ve both succumbed to Try-Harder Living. We used to look for the nice, polite ways to follow God’s call. We caved to others’ expectations for too long. We finally decided stop taking our cues from the world and start asking ourselves, “What does God want from me … and have for me?”
And we’ve come to the conclusion: there is no nice, polite way to do this. There’s no easy way to leave the life that’s been expected of us and to start living the brave, not so neatly tied up life that God is calling us to.
We have to rebel. We have to make choices that are countercultural to our society, our families of origin, and even our churches.
We’re guessing that as you’ve read our stories you’ve said, “Me too!” at one point or another (or perhaps, several points.) Most women we know are fighting THL to some degree.
We get it. We’ve been there. We have the souvenir travel mugs. And because life isn’t perfect, those mugs have leaked all over our shirts. (It’s the official uniform for the recovering perfectionist—a nice white shirt with a huge stain down the front.)
Come join our rebellion. We have cupcakes. The frosting is a little mushed, but hey, they still taste great. And they aren’t homemade. But we’re okay with that.
As we share our own rebel stories and strategies, we hope you will
- exchange outdated views of who you “should be” for a clear do-able vision of who you are in Christ.
- take control of that too long to-do list so it no longer controls you.
- stop striving to maintain an image and live with more freedom day-to-day.
- overcome the tyranny of “more” and radically live with the abundance of “enough.”
- stop trying to earn others’ approval and learn to rest in God’s lavish unconditional love.
Website Link: http://www.TheCureForThePerfectLife.com
Facebook Page (aka “Braver Living Rebel Headquarters”):
If you’re ready to buy the book here are the links:Barnes & Noble link
Family Christian link:
About the Authors:
Kathi Lipp is the author of The Husband Project, The Me Project, The Get Yourself Organized Project, 21 Ways to Connect With Your Kids, and several other books. Kathi’s articles have appeared in dozens of magazines, and she is a frequent guest on Focus on the Family radio and TV. She and her husband Roger are parents of four young adults in San Jose, California. Kathi shares her story at retreats, conferences, and women’s events across the United States. Connect with her at www.KathiLipp.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/AuthorKathiLipp, or on Twitter @KathiLipp.
Cheri Gregory is a Certified Personality Trainer; contributor to multiple books, including Wired That Way and 21 Ways to Connect With Your Kids; and frequent speaker for MOPS groups, women’s retreats, parent workshops, and educational conferences. She is also a high school English teacher and graduate student. Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel (her opposite personality), a pastor, for over a quarter-of-a-century; they have two college-aged kids (who are also opposite personalities). She blogs about expectations, “baditude”, and hope at www.CheriGregory.com. Connect with her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Cheri.Gregory.Author and Twitter @CheriGregory.