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The Perfection Deception: Why Trying to Be Perfect is Sabotaging Your Relationships, Making You Sick, and Holding Your Happiness Hostage

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When Dr. Jane Bluestein would tell someone that she just finished writing a book on perfectionism, the common reaction was a blank stare followed by the question, 'What's wrong with perfectionism?' Indeed, most people mistakenly confuse perfectionism with a healthy striving for excellence—but there is a big difference. One can lead to great achievement (or at least great l When Dr. Jane Bluestein would tell someone that she just finished writing a book on perfectionism, the common reaction was a blank stare followed by the question, 'What's wrong with perfectionism?' Indeed, most people mistakenly confuse perfectionism with a healthy striving for excellence—but there is a big difference. One can lead to great achievement (or at least great learning) and the other is a psychological wound, the voice of the inner critic that screams 'failure,' 'loser,' or 'fraud,' regardless of the authenticity of our efforts, progress, or success. Over the years, Dr. Bluestein has seen the toxic and corrosive effects of perfectionism on people's thinking, their bodies, their relationships, their work, and their sense of worth: now she exposes the truth: perfectionism is actually a mask for a fear of making mistakes, a desperate need to avoid negative judgments and rejection. For those who are bound by the impossible demands of perfectionism and those who feel bound by someone else's perfectionistic standards, Dr. Bluestein emphatically shows that perfectionism is not a good thing, and it's not remotely the same as doing your best. Through personal interviews and the latest research, she explores how our culture fuels the dysfunction, how perfectionism develops, and how it can hurt our physical, mental, and social well-being. Further, she provides practical strategies for moving toward authenticity and wholeness to live with confidence, self-fulfillment, and happiness.


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When Dr. Jane Bluestein would tell someone that she just finished writing a book on perfectionism, the common reaction was a blank stare followed by the question, 'What's wrong with perfectionism?' Indeed, most people mistakenly confuse perfectionism with a healthy striving for excellence—but there is a big difference. One can lead to great achievement (or at least great l When Dr. Jane Bluestein would tell someone that she just finished writing a book on perfectionism, the common reaction was a blank stare followed by the question, 'What's wrong with perfectionism?' Indeed, most people mistakenly confuse perfectionism with a healthy striving for excellence—but there is a big difference. One can lead to great achievement (or at least great learning) and the other is a psychological wound, the voice of the inner critic that screams 'failure,' 'loser,' or 'fraud,' regardless of the authenticity of our efforts, progress, or success. Over the years, Dr. Bluestein has seen the toxic and corrosive effects of perfectionism on people's thinking, their bodies, their relationships, their work, and their sense of worth: now she exposes the truth: perfectionism is actually a mask for a fear of making mistakes, a desperate need to avoid negative judgments and rejection. For those who are bound by the impossible demands of perfectionism and those who feel bound by someone else's perfectionistic standards, Dr. Bluestein emphatically shows that perfectionism is not a good thing, and it's not remotely the same as doing your best. Through personal interviews and the latest research, she explores how our culture fuels the dysfunction, how perfectionism develops, and how it can hurt our physical, mental, and social well-being. Further, she provides practical strategies for moving toward authenticity and wholeness to live with confidence, self-fulfillment, and happiness.

30 review for The Perfection Deception: Why Trying to Be Perfect is Sabotaging Your Relationships, Making You Sick, and Holding Your Happiness Hostage

  1. 4 out of 5

    Booknut

    The title says it all: 'perfection deception'. As was previously mentioned on my second blog, perfection is indeed a deception of the mind. Especially when, as women, we constantly work towards achieving that 'perfect image'. An image that is as unrealistic as it is harmful to our overall sense of self. The book also makes clear the distinction between how perfection looks and how perfection feels. And once we can recognise the difference, we've taken the first step towards being happy in our own The title says it all: 'perfection deception'. As was previously mentioned on my second blog, perfection is indeed a deception of the mind. Especially when, as women, we constantly work towards achieving that 'perfect image'. An image that is as unrealistic as it is harmful to our overall sense of self. The book also makes clear the distinction between how perfection looks and how perfection feels. And once we can recognise the difference, we've taken the first step towards being happy in our own skins, as we are. **For the full review go here**

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    Lots of information, some of it new ideas. I wonder what percentage of people consider themselves perfectionist. I bet most people do.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Norton

    I received a copy of The Perfection Deception from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am sitting here right now in awe. I didn't expect a book to impact me like this one has, and if I could give it unlimited stars, I would. I'm speechless, yet I have so much to say. I have had a lot of hits lately with books, which of course thrills me. This is one of the biggest hits I've ever had, and considering the amount of books I've read in my life, well, that says a lot. This is a book that eve I received a copy of The Perfection Deception from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am sitting here right now in awe. I didn't expect a book to impact me like this one has, and if I could give it unlimited stars, I would. I'm speechless, yet I have so much to say. I have had a lot of hits lately with books, which of course thrills me. This is one of the biggest hits I've ever had, and considering the amount of books I've read in my life, well, that says a lot. This is a book that everyone and anyone should read. The author, Jane Bluestein, goes way beyond perfection, its deception and what perfectionism is. She explains clearly exactly what perfectionism looks like, who the perfectionist is, and the many ways this disorder can manifest from person to person. I had absolutely no clue that perfectionism was so in-depth and complicated, and with every page-turn I learned something new. You will get a very clear picture of how the perfectionist acts and thinks. I saw a lot of myself in this book, from my habits to my thought process to how I do things. There was a lot of self-evaluation happening and reflecting as I read. I had to be honest with myself, as I do with every self-help book I read and review, and this one was a real eye opener. Along with learning who the perfectionist is and the many forms that they can take, you will learn how to combat being a perfectionist. How to cope, how to change, how to live a new life. There are so many ideas and strategies laid out for the reader and Ms. Bluestein makes it clear that this isn't a one size fits all situation. She uses her own life story to explain things and that helped me relate to her a lot. There are contributors throughout the book, giving different insight and thoughts on various subjects. Ms. Bluestein writes for the reader; her words are clear and concise. Anything you may not know is defined so there is no guessing at what this or that means. There is no blame here for being a perfectionist. The overall message is, "this could be you, and if it is, that's okay. Here are ways to cope with it and change it. These are the problems you may face, and this is how you can handle it." It all comes across as very friendly, inviting and nonjudgmental. There is an honesty here that says, "if you are going to go through the process of change, it will not be easy, but you can do it." Of course, there is more to it than that, but that is the message I got. You will learn what perfectionism not only does to yourself but to the people around you. If you do not identify as a perfectionist, you'll be able to recognize people in your life that do identify this way, and how to handle them. You'll be able to evaluate yourself, your relationships, your goals and your life overall without wondering if you're doing it right. The comparisons between the perfectionist and the high achiever can be found through the entire book, back to back in each example. This makes it very easy for the reader to look at both sides of the coin and do some deep thinking. The strategies make change seem possible and positive, not overwhelming and not worth it. I recommend this book to everyone. There is so much more here than perfectionism, and it's really a wealth of information and insight. I would add this to a list of books you must read before you die - it is that good. I suggest reading it slowly so you can process the information completely, and consider as you go. I take notes as I read if the book is an eBook (I write and highlight in hard copies), and my notes for this one span over 40 pages. I will be printing these notes for easy referral. If you are looking to learn what perfectionism truly is, are wondering if you know someone like this or if you could be a perfectionist yourself, this is the book for you. If you want to change your life for the better but don't know how to do it, if you need ideas and strategies, or if you are just down on yourself, pick up a copy of The Perfection Deception. It is a true gem, one that I will be reading over and over again for years to come.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Reddell

    Eye-opening understanding of perfectionism and its impact on your health and thought-process, decent ideas to help yourself create new ways to engage and attempt to override your perfectionistic impulses, and overall informative and well-researched detail of information.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Corwin

    Critical introspective read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    BiblioBrandie

    Good bit of nuggets, especially the last half.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Sadly this book was archived before I could download to read it. It has been added to my TBR and I’ll keep an eye out for it again in the future or at my local library.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susan Johnston

    Once in a while, there is a book that truly resonates. As I read this book, I realized how so many of us could be poster children for The Perception Deception. The need to be perfect, an unattainable goal, has its nucleus in our childhood. In order to gain acceptance, love and approval, we think we must always strive to be perfect, Since it is a delusional goal, there is no way to reach it and no matter how well we do, no matter what we may achieve, there is always a voice telling us we are failu Once in a while, there is a book that truly resonates. As I read this book, I realized how so many of us could be poster children for The Perception Deception. The need to be perfect, an unattainable goal, has its nucleus in our childhood. In order to gain acceptance, love and approval, we think we must always strive to be perfect, Since it is a delusional goal, there is no way to reach it and no matter how well we do, no matter what we may achieve, there is always a voice telling us we are failures. It is a vicious cycle. We are like Sisyphus rolling the rock up the hill, only to have it roll back down again. For some people it is crippling as they give up, knowing they will never achieve what they seek so why try. For others, it is a stimulus to strive for excellence but no matter how well we do, there is never the satisfaction of a job well done. Even when others are complimentary or admiring, there is always the suspicion that they will discover the emporer has no clothes and that we are frauds. It is a recipe for sadness, depression and frustration. The book not only shines a bright light on the situation but it also offers some ideas for how to do with it. I like, however, that Dr. Bluestein does not offer a silver bullet or cure so that the situation can become perfect. She recognizes that we are at best works in progress rife with setbacks and slip-ups. So if you are looking for a book that will make you like what you see in the mirror better and will allow you to live happily ever after, this is not for you. If however, you are looking for insights and suggestions of how to calm, if not silence the demons, this provides a pretty good starting point.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dawnie

    This was an overall informative and interesting book with a good amount of information about perfectionism and ideas on how to try to combat the need for it. Sadly there was a huge amount of new information for me, since I have been trying to find a way to work against and around my perfectionism for a good while now, but this book still offered a few good tips. I felt a bit like this book was mostly targeted towards parents instead of "just" people that are perfectionist since there was a lot of This was an overall informative and interesting book with a good amount of information about perfectionism and ideas on how to try to combat the need for it. Sadly there was a huge amount of new information for me, since I have been trying to find a way to work against and around my perfectionism for a good while now, but this book still offered a few good tips. I felt a bit like this book was mostly targeted towards parents instead of "just" people that are perfectionist since there was a lot of examples and situations talked about where it was either about parents in situations with their children or the other way around. Still all in all, this is an informative read, and if you don't know a lot about perfectionism it will definitely give a lot of information! *thanks to NetGalley for giving me a free ecopy in exchange for a free and honest review*

  10. 5 out of 5

    Isabella Roland

    This book focuses on the psychology of perfection and how it affects all areas of our life including relationships, careers, and our perception of ourselves. I found that the writer was a little too emotional about it. I can see why perfection is harmful to us, but our culture is determined to show us images of perfection through marketing. We are living in a world where being the best is the only way to be good enough. I think this book is more suitable for psychologists, counselors, and people This book focuses on the psychology of perfection and how it affects all areas of our life including relationships, careers, and our perception of ourselves. I found that the writer was a little too emotional about it. I can see why perfection is harmful to us, but our culture is determined to show us images of perfection through marketing. We are living in a world where being the best is the only way to be good enough. I think this book is more suitable for psychologists, counselors, and people who truly struggle with perfectionism. As a curious reader I was not captivated by this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rebekka Steg

    This is an excellent book for those of us who struggle with perfectionism. Bluestein shows us how perfectionism isn't a good thing, how it develops, how it hurts us, and how we can learn to live with more authenticity and vulnerability rather than hiding behind the walls of perfectionism. Highly recommended. *I received an ARC from Netgalley, the review is my own honest opinion* This is an excellent book for those of us who struggle with perfectionism. Bluestein shows us how perfectionism isn't a good thing, how it develops, how it hurts us, and how we can learn to live with more authenticity and vulnerability rather than hiding behind the walls of perfectionism. Highly recommended. *I received an ARC from Netgalley, the review is my own honest opinion*

  12. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    This is a great book ! Very easy to read and full of practical information. A great resource for anyone who knows or may be in a relationship with a perfectionist. I enjoyed reading this book. I would highly recommend this book to others!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Kisiel

    This book was well written and very insightful. The book touched on many different topics all of which suggest that the idea of perfectionism can be found in almost every aspect of our lives. I enjoyed reading this book and believe it is a book that almost everyone can relate to.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Grosz

    Just posting now. Couldn't finish it... But not sure if that's due to my lack of interest with self-help books or my lack of interest in this book. Nothing concrete to bring away from it either... Just posting now. Couldn't finish it... But not sure if that's due to my lack of interest with self-help books or my lack of interest in this book. Nothing concrete to bring away from it either...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Myriam

  16. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Greenwood

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jaye

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristin King

  20. 5 out of 5

    Grace

  21. 5 out of 5

    Roy Kessel

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ruilin

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laura Smestad

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kaylaree

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarahwise

  26. 4 out of 5

    Silke

  27. 4 out of 5

    Deni

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bailey

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

  30. 5 out of 5

    Collin

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