Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Book Review: The Cure for the "Perfect" Life by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory

Do you ever find yourself looking at women around you and thinking how much more successful they are than you?  How much more organized?  Do you struggle to always get things "just right" and then end up disappointed with yourself, or those around you?  Do you start projects with the best of intentions, and then give up when they don't turn out like you thought?  Do you see other women on social media who seem to have it all together, and wonder how they manage to do it all, and seemingly have it all?  If you answered yes to any of these questions (or all of them in my case) this book is for you!  I don't make this recommendation lightly.  I really learned so much about myself, my personality and my reactions and responses to situations while reading this.  I truly believe that if I take to heart what I read here and use the methods presented, I can change my life.  Okay, life-changing might be a bit drastic, but I can change the way I view my life and the way I react when things just don't go my way.  And maybe that is life-changing enough.
This book is full of quizzes and tests to evaluate your life.  The first one will tell you if you are a victim of "Try Harder Living."  Ms. Lipp and Ms. Gregory give solid examples of how trying harder only makes things worse, and then we fall victim to the four bullies of THL: perfectionism, people-pleasing, performancism and procrastination.  The harder we try and the more we fail, the more discouraged we become until we feel that we just aren't good enough.  That's where "Braver Living" comes in.  
First, the authors help us to figure out exactly what personality type we are.  Mine was analytic, and let me tell you that I was surprised at how accurate the description of my personality was.  Sometimes while reading, I literally had to close the book in embarrassment or shame when I realized, "I have responded like that."  But the purpose of this book is not to make us feel guilty, but to help us overcome our shortcomings, and live bravely.  There are solid suggestions that help us to realize that we don't have to be stuck reacting in a certain way because of our personality.  I love that there are stories here from real women, who, when faced with certain situations, reacted wrongly.  But they realized their mistakes, and are working to fix them.  I can relate!  There are many examples that say:  When _____ happens, my personality type wants to ______, but I know with God's help, and through Braver Living I can______, instead.  
This book came to me at a crucial time in my life.  I'm trying to make some personal changes, and it's really scary.  These authors have really helped me to understand that it's worth it to take the risk to be what I want.  Like everyone who wants to try something new, I'm worried about what others will think and say about me.   Ms. Gregory and Ms. Lipp point out that those who say negative things about us when we try something new, are those who are still trying harder and not living braver.  I'm going to choose to live braver.  If I fail, at least I know I tried!
I cannot recommend this book enough.  I think it's a great book to read in the new year.  Work through it slowly, and make the changes necessary to give up your "perfect" life and your unrealistic expectations of yourself and those around you.  Realize that you are enough, just like you are!  I do want to say, though, that I think you need the hard copy of this book instead of the digital.  You will want to use a pen or pencil to fill in the quizzes, and I think you'll find that you need a highlighter, too.  This is a book for every woman, who wants to stop trying harder, and start living braver!  

Happy Reading!

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.  Look for your copy at your favorite bookseller. 

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