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The Perfectionist's Handbook. Take Risks, Invite Criticism, and Make the Most of Your Mistakes. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 2017809
  • Book
  • October 2011
  • 224 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
A guide for getting your perfectionism to work for you

Is perfectionism a good thing or does it get in our way? In The Perfectionist's Handbook, clinical psychologist Jeff Szymanski helps readers navigate their way out of the "perfectionism paradox": if your intentions are good (wanting to excel) and the outcomes you want are reasonable (to feel competent and satisfied), why would perfectionism backfire and result in unhappiness and stress? Learn when perfectionism will pay off, and when and why it sabotages you. Specific strategies are outlined throughout the book to help readers transform their perfectionism from a liability to an asset.

There is no reason to eliminate perfectionism altogether - instead, build on what's working and change what's not. The Perfectionist's Handbook helps readers to:

  • Distinguish between intention and strategy as a way of improving outcomes
  • Identify diminishing returns and how to redistribute time and resources
  • Make the most of mistakes rather than being preoccupied with trying to avoid them
  • Learn to focus on your "Top 10" list as a way of getting the most out of your life
  • Access others more effectively as a way of improving performance
  • Obtain more balance in their lives
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Acknowledgments viii

Introduction x

Part I Understanding Your Perfectionism 1

Chapter 1 Definitions and Types of Perfectionism 3

Chapter 2 Building Your Perfectionism Profile 13

Chapter 3 Insight Doesn’t Always Lead to Change 31

Part II Maximizing Healthy Perfectionism 53

Chapter 4 Wanting Things to Be Perfect May Not Be the Problem 55

Chapter 5 The Lesson of Diminishing Returns: Learn to Analyze Your Effort 71

Chapter 6 Translating Mistakes into Strategic Experimentation 87

Chapter 7 An Unexamined Life: Focus on Your Top 10 List 105

Chapter 8 Even Jesus Needed Disciples: The Value of Others 125

Chapter 9 All Work and No Play: Why It’s Important to Refuel and Refresh 147

Chapter 10 Putting It All Together 169

Bibliography 185

Index 191

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Jeff Szymanski
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