Review of “How to Be an Imperfectionist” by Stephen Guise

How to Be an Imperfectionist: The New Way to Fearlessness, Confidence, and Freedom from Perfectionism by Stephen Guise
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The premise of this book was good and some of the tips are helpful, but overall the message seemed unrealistic and somewhat self-righteous. I really liked Mini Habits, by the same author, as it described a practical, loose-fitting, and even fun way to develop habits in areas you’re not used to taking consistent action in. The Imperfectionist book felt like an opposite approach: an over-thought-out series of steps on how to think, relate to others, and feel on a daily basis. I agree with the idea that perfectionism often causes a lot of woes for people and stifles their potential and creativity. What was hard to read about was the suggestion of a confident, happy, and socially savvy “Imperfectionist” group that is juxtaposed with a supposed “Perfectionist” group of people who lack confidence, seek approval from others, feel relatively unhappy overall, and are at the bottom of the totem pole in socializing with others. Seeking approval from others? Gauging from reality T.V. shows, social media, and even politics, seeking approval is a nation-wide obsession and not just a shortcoming of perfectionists. The book seems to say, “Join our team and you’ll discover what living really is!” Now buy all this stuff marketed at the end of the book too. The advice is just too seamless and chipper for me. There is a suggestion to wear a fanny pack to show you don’t care what others think about you. The book also included a comment about Kurt Cobain’s perfectionism that I didn’t like, because no one knows what he went through and can’t perfectly assume things about him. Finally, all the lists of advice are repeated again and again in the last part of the book. I’d recommend reading Mini Habits, and skipping the Imperfectionist book.

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