No More Putting Off the Cure for Perfectionism


I wrote this post at 11:30 last night. I could give you a list of reasons why I just didn’t have time until then – and, thanks to years in public relations, I could make it sound real convincing – but the truth is I just procrastinated.

Like I do.
All the time.
Because I’m a procrastinating perfectionist.

{Did I mention this was a review of The Cure for the “Perfect” Life?}

When I learned that Cheri Gregory and Kathi Lipp were writing a book about perfectionism, I had a couple reactions. First, I was disappointed. From the sounds of it, they were writing the book that I wanted to write. Second, I was annoyed. Not because they were writing “my” book – but because I knew I’d have to read it and then God would probably try to change me and THAT IS HARD.

Clearly I was not – and AM NOT – ready to write a book about fighting perfectionism! And, to be completely honest, I haven’t even been ready to READ a book about it, either.

I’ve had Cheri and Kathi’s book for weeks now. It’s got an adorable cover – the kind that makes you want to open it and read. And I really like Cheri and Kathi. And you know what else? This book is full of personality tests. I LOVE THOSE THINGS! Oh, and you know what else (again)? They sent me a hot pink highlighter with the book, with a note encouraging me to mark it all up.

Well, that is just too fun!

So, of course you know I devoured this book the day I got it…right?

Except…no. I didn’t. I’ve held it a lot. I’ve skimmed it a couple times, sure. But the part where I sit down, kids in bed and TV off, highlighter in hand and heart open? Um, no. I haven’t done that yet.

You know what’s funny? One of the early chapters of the book gets to the bottom of perfectionism by explaining that perfectionism is rooted in fear. And the subtitle of the book is “Ways to Stop Trying Harder and Start Living Braver.”

And yet…I’ve been afraid to dive into this book. So – to come full circle – I’ve put it off. Like I do so many things.

Kathi and Cheri talk about four major instigators of what they label “Try-Harder Living”: Perfectionism, People-Pleasing, Performancism, Procrastination.


I’m off the charts on Perfectionism and Procrastination (with occasional bouts of People-Pleasing and Performancism). Strangely enough, when I took the quiz to discover what kind of rebel I am (as in, what’s my personality type and how does it relate to Try-Harder Living), I had equal high scores for being Analytical and Driving – which do not correlate directly with Perfectionism and Procrastination.

I’m so complicated.

Except – not really. Even if my personality test results aren’t textbook, THIS BOOK still identifies, understands and addresses head on the things I struggle with most. Which is why I’m not putting off a serious read any longer.


I’m going to start reading – REALLY reading – The Cure for the “Perfect” Life this week. Will you join me? I’d love to hear what you’re learning from this book as we read it together!

And I’d also love to give away a copy to a fellow perfectionist.

To enter the giveaway, tell me which of the Try-Harder Living instigators you struggle with most. And for an additional entry, take the Rebel Quiz here and tell me what kind of rebel you are.

This giveaway is open to readers in the U.S. only {sorry, international friends!!!}, and it will close on Friday, September 5.

Photo source

17 Comments No More Putting Off the Cure for Perfectionism

  1. Donna August 27, 2014 at 7:58 am

    I am first an amiable rebel and second an analytical rebel. They fit me to a tee! My try-harder instigator is people pleasing. Ugh!! I really need to read this book!!

  2. Rebecca Smith August 27, 2014 at 8:47 am

    I am a people pleaser, I often run short on time and stress myself out putting everybody and everything first! My primary is The Analytic Rebel and my secondary is The Amiable Rebel!

  3. Virginia August 27, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Just read it already!! You’ll be glad you did. And you’ll get to tell those P-bullies off. What could be better than that????

  4. Cheri Gregory August 27, 2014 at 9:19 am

    At SheSpeaks 2012, I attended a session with Emily Freeman. I walked out distraught that she’d written “my book.”

    When I blogged thru Grace for the Good Girl, Emily encouraged me to still write “my” book. (Which became a a collaboration, which is my favorite thing in the whole wide world!)

    That book you want to write? WE NEED IT. This conversation is just getting started, and your voice makes a difference. You speak to women who can’t hear me or Kathi or Emily…but who connect to you and the way you share your story.

  5. Pattie August 27, 2014 at 9:39 am

    There is so much I feel and relate to in this post…you are not alone. Not alone! Plus, you’re in the Midwest, and there’s so much wonderful there.

  6. Andrea August 27, 2014 at 11:44 am

    You are not alone. This post reminds me I am not alone. I blogged a similar one at the website linked. The initial quote on your post sums it up and brought a tear to my eye. Thank you, thank you.

    That quiz was so difficult because I could have answered 2-3 per question, but I am the Driving Rebel and the Analytic Rebel.

  7. Missy Robinson August 27, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Performancism is my weakness!

  8. Missy Robinson August 27, 2014 at 11:57 am

    And the quiz says I’m a Driving Rebel!

  9. Melissa August 27, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    People-pleasing causes me the most stress, but Procrastination has the most effect on people around me. Thanks for the chance to win!

  10. Melissa August 27, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I’m an Amiable Rebel (which explains the Procrastination) and an Analytic Rebel.

  11. Lina August 27, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Hello Mary!

    I love the way you are so honest! I already know I am the People Pleaser and it turns out I am the Amiable Rebel with a touch of Expressive Rebel to boot. I am curious what those really mean. I wish you good luck with the highlighter and the book!

    Best, Lina

  12. debbie August 27, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Driving rebel/Analytical rebel. Performancism & Perfectionism. Sigh. I knew that. I SO want to be able to relax…

  13. Carolyn August 27, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Sigh. I’m a people pleaser and a perfectionist as well, and I so desire freedom. I am a analytical rebel. Thanks for your posts!

  14. Bess August 27, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Analytical rebel here…no surprise!

  15. Carolyn August 28, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Well, this is the first time that I have heard about this book, but I will have to read it. Perfectionism, procrastination and people pleasing are the trifecta of disaster for me. My relationships suffer but it’s hard to step out of them. I need something to do to replace those negative traits and that is hard to figure out.

    Thanks for your honesty Mary.

  16. M. Wolfe August 29, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Either perfectionism or procrastination is my top problem, I’m not sure which. Typing this short post will probably take me 10 minutes as I try to get the wording just the way I want it, so it’s probably perfectionism. The quiz told me that I am an “analytic rebel” and the description was pretty spot-on, except for the part about being creative, artistic, or musical. My secondary rebel type is “amiable rebel.” I would love to be cured of my perfectionism, because Ken was right on the money by saying perfectionism means being miserable for not getting things right.

  17. Erica - Let Why Lead August 29, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    None of those instigators really stood out to me, so maybe I’m just an under-motivated crazy person! Sweet!

    But I loved your hilarious honesty here. (And I can totally relate about other people writing “my” book. :) You are going to nail it when the time is right.)

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