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How to Be an Imperfectionist: The New Way to Self-Acceptance, Fearless Living, and Freedom from Perfectionism

Narrated by: Daniel Penz
Length: 5 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (385 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

I remember when I aimed for perfect workouts: 30 minutes was the minimum.

I was in lousy shape.

I remember when I aimed for perfect dating: it couldn't be awkward, forced, or uncertain.

I didn't talk to women I was interested in.

I remember when I aimed for perfect writing: I wanted 1,000+ words of quality material per day.

I played video games instead.

I carefully avoided mistakes, endlessly ruminated about what I didn't do, and what I did do wasn't enough.

Then, I became an imperfectionist.

Everything changed. I had fun stories to tell, like the lesbian pizza incident and the most nervous "Hi" ever spoken by a human being. I learned more. I laughed more. I lived more.

I got in great shape, read more books, and improved my social skills. I wrote Mini Habits, which is being translated into a dozen languages.

I found I could mess up and still win.

Perfectionism is a naturally limiting mindset. For example, kids are taught to color inside the lines, and any color outside the lines is considered a mistake that must be corrected. Imperfectionism frees us to live outside the lines, where possibilities are infinite, mistakes are allowed, and self-judgment is minimal.

While the freedom of imperfectionism is impactful, it does not preclude us from having problems. Imperfectionists aren't so ironic as to have perfect lives, they're just happier, healthier, and more productive at doing what matters.

©2015 Stephen Guise (P)2015 Stephen Guise

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Please read 8,100,352 times

Where does How to Be an Imperfectionist: The New Way to Self-Acceptance, Fearless Living, and Freedom from Perfectionism rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is one of the most life-changing books I have ever read and listened to and read and listened to. I'm guessing it would impact anyone's life in a very positive manner, if taken to heart. Guise takes aim at perfectionism in an honest, engaging way and the wonderful advice is easily applied. Guise has a lot of down-home clarity and he impresses me with his humility and transparency regarding his own struggles with perfectionism. I highly recommend it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of How to Be an Imperfectionist: The New Way to Self-Acceptance, Fearless Living, and Freedom from Perfectionism?

The discussion of analog vs. binary ways of evaluating our efforts was particularly helpful.

What about Daniel Penz’s performance did you like?

I found it hard to believe he is not Stephen Guise! Often when listening to recordings of books, I think the narrator is not understanding what he is reading; Penz reads it like he wrote it! He has a great voice and manner of speaking.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both - it was funny and made me laugh at the author and my own foolishness, but I also felt sad as I realized that I had created so much suffering for myself and others with my perfectionism, and that I had so little appreciated my own efforts, just because they were imperfect.

Any additional comments?

A must read for a healthy, productive life.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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THANK YOU FOR THIS BOOK.

Honestly, I started listening to this on audible and just could not seem to “put it down” or pause it. During all my trips from and to work and other places I listened to this book in the car and every time it spoke to me SO much I struggled with this idea of perfectionism for such a long time, I couldn’t quite describe it or explain it to people what was going on in my head I just KNEW that I was feeling like a complete failure, I had been inactive and stagnant after losing 40+ lbs and gaining it all back within like 8 months, striving to do everything perfectly exercise at 7am, run 30 min do 2 sets of abs anything short of that was a bad workout, this mindset led me to binge eating, I put extremely unrealistic and high expectations on myself and OTHERS in my life, it was ruining relationships, it was mentally draining, I didn’t know what was going on WHY I couldn’t just get it together and act like a normal person. The weight gain only increased my self hate and guilt, I had stopped doing things I enjoyed doing like hanging out in groups because I thought everyone was judging me in their heads. It was honestly just a dark and ugly place I downloaded this book from audible on my phone and I kid you not the first chapter had me hooked, Stephen explained one step at a time EXACTLY what was going on with me I could finally express myself to people and say I had been trying to be a perfectionist and I forgot my identity and humanity. I apologized to people, I started “rebellions” against my needs for approval and I FELT FREEDOM again after a lonnnng time!!! Thank you for this book. This is my first book by Stephen but I have already downloaded Mini Habits. Can’t wait. Life changing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Life changing

This author has changed my life twice now. First with his first book Mini Habits and second with this one. Just buy it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Worth the listen

This book was incredibly insightful. Even better, the authors gets to the insightful points and action items in a digestible and succinct manner. I very much appreciate all the examples along the way. There is nothing worse than a self help book that drones on in a very general manner. This is very much not that. Well worth the listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not particularly impressive, but still useful.

This is one of those books that didn't quite leave an impression on me, though that's probably because I had high expectations for it in the first place. I think I'll have to give this another listen to be able to implement the author's suggestions fully and really get a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Some of the suggestions in the book were a bit extreme and somewhat absurd (such as lying down in public just to put yourself out there), though some were quite concrete and were nicely summarized in the final chapter of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Life Changing

This book will lift a weight off your shoulders if your are anything like me someone who wants to be good but does not always succeed. This book will tell you how to be a success step by step or mini habit by mini habit. Stephen’s examples are simple but easy to relate to and do illustrate how to implement the various strategies. I highly recommend this book as it is informative and entertaining and very enjoyable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A must read for life improvement

This book was wonderful! The narration was fantastic and flawless. The message was so easy to understand and has helped give me skills to be an imperfectionist aka a happier, more productive, more balanced, and perfectly flawed version of myself

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Superb - This book identified my source issue

The narrator is great.
The book content spot on in the source of anxiety and depression, forgiveness...

Will see. I just read it, but this book might have saved my life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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love it

absolute gold.

acute perfectionist.

in recovery!

encouraging, with practical actionable concise advice.

going to listen to "mini habits" now...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good, but not perfect. ;-)

It has some really good ideas, ones that I will work on. But, in trying to cover helpful tips fur all of the types of perfectionism, there were only a few concepts that were directly applicable to my situation.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Bob
  • 10-11-15

Inspiration to act differently

What did you like most about How to Be an Imperfectionist: The New Way to Self-Acceptance, Fearless Living, and Freedom from Perfectionism?

I first read this book on Kindle and while I understood it intectually, it didn't motivate me to act differently. The Audible version is somehow (for me at least) easier to internalise.

What other book might you compare How to Be an Imperfectionist: The New Way to Self-Acceptance, Fearless Living, and Freedom from Perfectionism to, and why?

Buddhism for Busy People. Not for the religious aspects, but for the recommendations on taking charge of your own life.

What about Daniel Penz’s performance did you like?

I found the narration very engaging.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I never feel compelled to consume any audio books in one sitting. I completed it in around 3 days, with time to digest the content between listens.

Any additional comments?

I just downloaded Mini Habits by the same author (I already have it in Kindle format) to see if that is also more compelling as an audio book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonathan
  • 03-09-16

Perfect for perfectionists

After so many other books have failed to pinpoint my problem this one just worked!
It uses a great mix of charming analogy and scientific evidence to point out where problems lie and sets out so many great techniques to move forward in a lasting way!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sofia
  • 10-07-19

Revelations for perfectionists

I struggle a lot with perfectionism and I thought it’s not possible to fix it. The tips in the book are amazing and the stories are very relatable. I have applied Stephen’s advice straight away and felt a lot lighter and more confident to act. If you have a slither of suspicion that you might be a perfectionist, read it. Social anxiety, procrastination and rumination are all symptoms of perfectionism. Many thanks to the author!!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-22-19

wasn't for me unfortunately

for me it wasn't that interesting as I thought it will be. book got some good points to take on board but sometimes it got too serious that I found myself not listening anymore.
rumination comes up quite a lot.
there are some good examples given.
it might be best book for someone else

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  • ZibandGary
  • 04-24-19

Great ideas within.

I really enjoyed this book, it is one of the most informative books on perfectionism, however I really wish the author would have narrated it himself.

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  • The Lost Clansman
  • 01-19-19

Perfect

A perfect book providing perfect solutions to the horrible problem of perfectionism. My life is now much more perfect. 😁

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-28-18

Fabulous listen

I don't often review things but I have to jump on here to tell you just how good this book is! My perfectionism makes me miserable from time to time but this book has helped me to relax. It is jam packed with useful advice and thought provoking ideas. They will make you stop and think about your perfectionism and will guide you towards a healthier way of thinking and living. This book has greatly helped me. I have just bought Mini Habits and I intend to purchase a hard copy of this book so I can highlight all the cool thoughts and suggestions. Loved the narration too. Nothing less than five stars from me. Yours... a former perfectionist. :)

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  • Zsolt
  • 10-09-18

Working methods

It gives very useful and working patterns to follow. Highly recommend it for people who struggle trying to be perfect every time.

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  • Ekaterina
  • 09-30-18

Are you still struggling with finishing a job?

The book is full of interesting incites and useful advices, highly recommend.

I never think about myself as a perfectionist, but when I was reading the book I recognised my own mindset, my habits and thoughts :)
I am an artist and I was struggling with finishing jobs within certain time frames, it was always hell of alterations -- even if a client was happy, I was seeing something that could be better. Then after some time I could look at all 28 different unfinished images for the commissioned character and understood that if I would finish any of them it would work well :) But noooo, I needed to do as best as I ever could! So I tried and tried and tried again, until I could see a small bit of potential, in my opinion. LOL :)

I understand that it won't change over night, but now I know how to fight it :)
Hopefully I will manage to improve it :)

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-28-18

detailed and clever strategies

Detailed and clever strategies to overcome crippling perfectionism. Have recommended it to friends! : )

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-11-19

Well worth the listen

I am in the midst of my first year of teaching. I knew it would be hard but had no idea I would feel so hopeless. I was looking for advice to get me through the hard times ahead and this book certainly delivers. I was putting far to much pressure on myself and basically had to learn that good enough is good enough and just to focus on the process. Thanks for this book, it might of saved my career.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-14-19

This is a must read for anyone who struggles!

I really enjoyed the practical no nonsense advise! I will be listening to this book over and over again.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-25-18

If you are a perfectionist this book is helpful

this book opened my eyes to the depths of perfectionism. I found myself nodding along to some parts and having my mind blow by others.

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  • Sharna
  • 03-07-18

Incredible!

I've listened to this twice so far and will continue to re-listen again and again

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  • Luke Kent
  • 01-10-17

fantastic!

amazing book. great narration! practical wisdom I have already started applying. just brilliant!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-27-15

Imperfectly Perfectly great!<br />

I have read the book. And now I plan to listen to it a second time. It is sweetly simple advice to life. This is my 5th time listening to iit. IT IS SIMPLY AMAZING!:) 6th time listening!