When Perfect Isn't Good Enough

When Perfect Isn't Good Enough

by Martin M. Antony
     
 

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The relationship between what we do and the anxiety we have about it is complicated. In moderation, anxiety motivates us to get organized, work hard, make a good impression on others, and perform at our peak. Someone who doesn't care at all about doing well is less likely to make an effort, complete tasks, or meet expectations.

Despite these benefits, too much

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Overview

The relationship between what we do and the anxiety we have about it is complicated. In moderation, anxiety motivates us to get organized, work hard, make a good impression on others, and perform at our peak. Someone who doesn't care at all about doing well is less likely to make an effort, complete tasks, or meet expectations.

Despite these benefits, too much perfectionism can interfere with performance. Anxiety about doing well becomes a problem when it interferes with completing a task, impairs relationships, or otherwise intrudes on a person's functioning. A manager with excessively high expectations may find that a constant sense of disappointment and anger strains work relationships and hinders the successful supervision of others. A student who cares too much about writing the perfect term paper may procrastinate until it's too late, or spend so much time rewriting that the paper never gets done.

When Perfect Isn't Good Enough explores the nature of perfectionism and offers a step-by-step program of cognitive-behavioral strategies for overcoming it. The authors review the causes of this characteristic and show readers how to assess the impact it has on their lives. A series of exercises helps readers challenge unrealistic expectations and work on the specific problem situations where perfectionism is a problem.

In Part One, the authors distinguish between the cognitive and behavioral components of this trait, and explain how to measure them. In Part Two, they offer a concrete plan for change. InPart Three, they establish the links between perfectionism and depression, anger, social anxiety, chronic worry, obsessive-compoulsive behavior, and body image, and lay out specific strategies to break these links. The book leaves space throughout for the reader to write in personal examples and thoughts, encouraging a proactive and interactive approach to a persistent problem that's far more widespread than many think.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781572241244
Publisher:
New Harbinger Publications
Publication date:
01/28/1998
Series:
Unassigned Series
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.11(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.54(d)

What People are saying about this

David H. Barlow, Ph.D.
This long overdue book should relieve much suffering and enhance functioning for the millions of individuals dealing with excessive perfectionism (David H. Barlow, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology & Director of the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Boston University).
Albert Ellis, Ph.D.
An excellent description of perfectionism and its self-sabotaging disadvantages. Quite practical and thorough.
— Author of A Guide to Rational Living and President, Albert Ellis Institute, NYC

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