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Updated: Aug 11, 2020

The New Way to Self-Acceptance, Fearless Living, and Freedom from Perfectionism

Andrea Seydel Unconventional Bookclub Book Highlight


This book applies the science of behaviour modification directly to the roots of perfectionism.

Stephen Guise is the Best Selling Author of Mini Habits and How to be an imperfectionist. He teaches us to strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection.

Within this book How to be an Imperfectionist, he finds a perfect combination of education and practicality so we can make lasting change feasible.

Do you ever struggle to make decisions, get intimidated, procrastinate, get depressed easily, have low self-esteem? Likely a lot of this has to do with Perfectionism. Thankfully perfectionism isn't a permanent characteristic.


Pure perfectionist is completely dysfunctional in the real world, most of us are Functional Perfectionists. Perfectionists desire to act, look, and /or feel perfect. They tend to have unrealistic expectations, they ruminate, they need approval, they have concern over mistakes, and they have doubts about taking action. Perfectionism is irrational, crippling, restrictive, and even lethal (Anorexia, Depression/ Suicide). It can be destructive and we need to reframe perfectionism. Science has created a scale to measure Perfectionism called The FROST MUTI-DIMENSIONAL PERFECTIONISM SCALE. It measures 1. Concern for Mistakes 2. Personal Standards 3. Parental Expectations 4. Parental Criticism 5. Doubts & Actions 6. Organization

Science says that there are three possible sources of perfectionism too. 1. Self-oriented (unrealistic standards for self 2. Other-oriented (unrealistic standards for others 3. Socially-Prescribed (belief that others expect oneself to be perfect).

The Perfectionist Mind

Are you an Overdriven or Paralyzed Perfectionist? Or Both?

Overdriven perfectionists- are never satisfied. They continually strive for better and better things, but they are never happy with what they have or what others have or done. They tend to struggle most with unrealistic expectations and rumination.

Paralyzed Perfectionists- are those who let the fear of failure trap them into living a less meaningful life. They'll play it safe. They tend to struggle somewhat with the need for approval.

The Poison of Perfectionism

Personal standards are significantly correlated with depression. Perfectionism implies that small progress isn't good enough. EG. Pole vault (above the bar success anything below the bar is not good enough). PARTIAL SUCCESS IS FAILURE!

Striving for excellence and organization are NOT perfectionism and are healthy. Perfectionism can HURT PERFORMANCE, SELF HANDICAPPING, DEMOTIVATING!!! POISEN IS it stops progress!

Perfectionists do not accept a small amount of value or progress; they only want big, smooth , perfect wins.

REMEMBER: It's easier to change your mind and emotions by taking action than it is to change your actions by trying to think and feel differently. MINI HABITS important for striving for excellence, perfectionism paralyses and disappoints.

The Freedom of Imperfectionism

No matter of how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch!!

Imperfectionism is our natural state, free from constricts, rigidness, and conformed behaviours. It is NOT laziness, low standards. Imperfectionism is PURSUING and DOING good things in life without so much as hoping for perfection. It's prioritizing doing OVER doing well.

Benefits of Imperfectionism are: Reduced stress, greater results by taking positive action in more situations, being more fearless, being more confident, happy with increments of success.

Care not so much about conditions or results, and care more about what you can do right now to move forward.

Unrealistic Expectations

Emotions are derived from our expectations. PERFECTIONISM- create feelings of guild, anxiety, inferiority,n low self-esteem, and irritability. IMPERFECTIONISM- creates feelings of satisfaction, happiness, joy, calm and a healthy sense of self-worth.

It's best to have high general expectations and low specific expectations. General being what you expect from yourself in general. High general expectations means you are optimistic. Specific expectations lead to disappointment.

TIPS: Notice Not quite enough vs never enough thinking. Forget the perfect scenario. Focus on the process and let the results take care of themselves. Focus less on potential results and current actions and more on the process to bypass expectations.


The funny thing about rumination is that it feels helpful, but there is no action taken and you don't move forward.

Rumination is a focusing problem- You tend to focus in the past with regret instead of looking at what you can do now.

TIPS: 1. Accept the past is unchangeable 2. Performance related- continue to try with new strategies 3. Monitor self talk "Should have.." 4. Be active (sparking action) have daily mini habits

Need for Approval

Two reasons we seek approval: 1. Lack of self confidence and self esteem and look for others to get it. 2. A desire to be liked by everyone. It affects all actions.

Increase self confidence with imperfectionism. With confidence you don't need approval to feel validated. TIPS: 1. Faking confidence 2. Customize your own confidence (don't base it on comparison) 3. Decide what to be confident about right now. 4. Don't worry about embarrassment (think about a way embarrassment has improved your life) 5. Practice Rebellion to overcome the need for approval (be your own person) Keep it real.

Concern over Mistakes

Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Being concerned with mistakes increases our anxiety and fear of action.

Winning isn't the results of tripping in the middle of the race, but it is the results of persevering through mistakes.

IMPOSTOR SYNDROME- secret intense feeling of fraudulence in achievement situations. Where you can appear and be successful but feel like an impostor. More sensitive to MISTAKES out of fear they will be found out!! We think we have to be perfect at what we do.

TIPS: 1. Start with a perspective shift. Choose to not fear the mistake. 2. Drop the desire of perfectionism. 3. Make success easier than failure so you get into success cycles. 4. Define success as progress.

Doubts about Actions

A good plan executed feverishly now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. Perfectionism causes projection and over analyzation, procrastination, and indecision.

TIPS: 1. Let experience be your teacher not over analyzing and projection of possibilities.2. Stop deliberation and thinking of perfect outcome. 3. observe how others are doing it well. 4. No such thing as perfect decisions. 5. cut down deliberation with a timer. 6. Doubts cause desire for more information. 7. Go into unknown situation and know you will come out alright. 8. Reach small goals in quantity not quality.


1.Kill the notion of a golden path: Life is not a one way, single road. 2. Change what you care about: Put in work, process, solution, who you are. 3. Adjust your expectations: Decide what is enough. 4. Focus on process 5. Accept the past. 6. See failure and mistakes as opportunity 7. Change your self-talk. 8. Use timer tools to hack inaction. 8. Fake and practice confidence. 9. Change your benchmark action to boost confidence. 10 Focus on accomplishments not mistakes. 11. Avoid over analysis with action and most likely case scenario thinking.

For a full highlight of this book visit my Live Life happy Podcast or website at

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