The Perfectionist’s Handbook
Jeff Szymanski is a self-proclaimed perfectionist and the aim of the book is to open a dialogue with the reader about what works and doesn’t work when it comes to his or her own personal expression of being a perfectionist. This book begins with the premise that your perfectionism might be part of what makes you successful in business. Your perfectionism isn’t necessarily a bad thing to be gotten rid of all together. Quite the opposite, your perfectionism might be one of your most valuable attributes – where some of your most significant accomplishments and self-esteem may have come from. Held in your perfectionism are the things you want for yourself and things that you may sometimes or even often get for yourself. Identify and build on your strengths, don’t try to fix what isn’t broken. Figure out what is working and use it more often.
However, when things are not going as well as you’d like, are you curious about what you might do differently? The point of this book is not to convince you to give something up (i.e., your perfectionism). Instead, the strategy is to help you become more aware of what you are doing and why, and with this improved self-awareness to make some decisions about what you might want to change, and what to leave alone. Learning to differentiate between intentions and strategies, identifying healthy versus unhealthy perfectionism and creating a personalized perfectionism profile are topics reviewed in Part 1 of The Perfectionist’s Handbook. Part 2 is devoted to common traps individuals sometimes get stuck in when acting on their perfectionism. Each topic is discussed in terms of how we get seduced into these traps, why they don’t work, and what to do differently. The alternatives presented in the book are backed up by current research findings in perfectionism.