Present Over Perfect: Book Review

With all of the self improvement books on the market, Present Over Perfect still remains fresh in my mind. Shauna Johnson, a chronic perfectionist, opens up about how she went from overly stressed to finding inner peace.

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As a “over do-er” myself, I was able to connect to much of what the author was saying. She dives into the honest truth: your greatest strength can become your greatest weakness. You may be productive and successful, but those same attributes can create an imbalance within yourself. While your drive is to credit for your ability to reach your goals, it can also hold you back from living in the present moment.

I can’t tell you how many times I have made a mental to-do list when I should have been soaking in time with my loved ones. If there is one word that I would use to describe how this book made me feel, it would be understood.

Even if you aren’t a type A personality, the author will challenge your approach to life. How many times have our friends vented to us and ended with a passive, “Well, that’s just life. Whatcha gonna do?” Maybe it is time to take a step back and ask ourselves “What can I do about it? Is any of this in my ability to change? What can I do to become fully alive?” We often underestimate the amount of power we have in our lives.

This book made me realize that it is okay to slow down. I remember I was listening to this on audible when I was an extra in an airport scene on a Macgyver, and I struggled to fight back tears. As she spoke each word, I knew that this book was made for me. I needed this message to slow down and learn to not value myself based on the things I can do.

This isn’t my favorite self improvement book, but it certainly makes the top five.  I am sure anyone would get a lot out of reading it, but it is especially beneficial for those who recognize that they struggle with perfectionism. The author does draw on her Christian faith often in the book, but I believe that it can still be beneficial to those of different faiths.

Have you read Present Over Prefect? What is the biggest thing you took from the book?

  1. I LOVED this book, and you make a point I think is often lost when people discuss it – it IS extremely valuable for those of other faiths as well. After our BIG loss last year, I’ve been struggling for ways to slow down and appreciate small moments, and this book was a great reminder to do that from time to time. It is always going to be the worst loss, but with her reminders that we have to remain in the present moment, I hope to slow down a little more. What did you think of her tactics? Any you hope to implement?

  2. I haven’t heard of this book, but I definitely need to look into it! This is absolutely me. I can be an over-doer and forget to live in the moment. I am working very hard on that right now, especially with my children. Being present for them. I think this would be an excellent time for me to read this.

  3. I need to check this book out. I often has issues at slowing down. Mainly because my job requires so much and I often get overwhelmed. So thanks for the recommendation. I’ll put it on my reading list.

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