It's only natural to want to avoid making mistakes, but imperfection is a part of being human. And while perfectionists are often praised for their abilities, being constantly anxious about details can hold you back and keep you from reaching your full potential.
In this fully revised and updated second edition ofWhen Perfect Isn't Good Enough, you'll discover the root cause of your perfectionism, explore the impact of perfectionism on your life, and find new, proven-effective coping skills to help you overcome your anxiety about making mistakes. This guide also includes tips for dealing with other perfectionists and discussions about how perfectionism is linked to worry, depression, anger, social anxiety, and body image. As you complete the exercises in this book, you'll find it easier and easier to keep worries at bay and enjoylife — imperfections and all.
This book has been awarded The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Seal of Merit — an award bestowed on outstanding self-help books that are consistent with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and that incorporate scientifically tested strategies for overcoming mental health difficulties. Used alone or in conjunction with therapy, our books offer powerful tools readers can use to jump-start changes in their lives.
Martin M. Antony, PhD, is professor and chair in the department of psychology at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. He is director of research at the Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic at St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario, and past president of the Canadian Psychological Association. An award-winning researcher, Antony is coauthor of The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook , When Perfect Isn't Good Enough , and more than twenty-five other books. His research, writing, and clinical practice focus on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and the treatment of anxiety disorders. He has been widely quoted in the American and Canadian media. Richard P. Swinson, MD, is professor emeritus and past chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada. He is also medical director of the Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre and past psychiatrist-in-chief at Joseph's Healthcare, also in Hamilton. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the American Psychiatric Association, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists UK. He was awarded an inaugural fellowship of the Canadian Psychiatric Association in 2006.His research interests lie in the theory, assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders, particularly obsessive-compulsive disorder and social anxiety disorder. He has published more than 180 peer-reviewed papers, thirty book chapters, and eight books. Dr. Swinson has held numerous research grants since 1966 and has been an invited speaker at many conferences around the world on anxiety disorders and substance use disorders. He also chaired the steering committee for the Canadian Anxiety Treatment Guidelines Initiative, leading to the publication of Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Anxiety Disorders in 2006.
"When Perfect Isn't Good Enough surpasses any of the other books on perfectionism in quality and scope. Antony and Swinson have synthesized what we know about perfectionism and used it to create the first well-integrated approach to reduce the suffering caused by it. The chapters clearly define perfectionism and provide concrete steps to master this demon. Final chapters focus on how perfectionism can manifest itself in other disorders, demonstrating how pernicious this phenomenon can be—and why such a book is so essential. This book will be invaluable to people suffering from perfectionism and to the therapists trying to help them."
—Randy O. Frost, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Smith College in Northampton, MA
"All of us know someone who is a perfectionist and most of us have joked about it at one time or another. For some it can be a useful trait that ensures some organization in a disorganized world. But for those individuals coping with too much perfectionism, it can be a curse that takes the pleasure out of life and in some cases can lead to severe anxiety disorders. Now two leading mental health practitioners and clinical scientists provide up-to-date, scientifically validated skills forovercoming perfectionism and regaining control of one's life. 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., professor of psychology and director of the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University
"An excellent description of perfectionism and its self-sabotaging disadvantages. Presents many efficient and effective cognitive-behavioral methods for dealing with and minimizing this affliction. Quite practical and thorough—but nicely flexible and unperfectionistic!"
—Albert Ellis, Ph.D., president of the Albert Ellis Institute in New York City and author ofA Guide to Rational Living
"When Perfect Isn't Good Enough is an excellent source for people looking to adjust their standards and expectations and, by so doing, increase the joy in their lives. It is easy to read, filled with solid advice, and based on the best scientific research. Unlike most other self-help books, the many exercises suggested by the authors provide the reader with the tools to put these words into action. Antony and Swinson have produced a thorough and systemic manual to lead the perfectionist out of the misery of depression, anger, worry, and social anxiety, and into the promised land of realistic self-evaluation, self-esteem, and positive interpersonal relations. Bravo!"
—Richard Heimberg, Ph.D., Adult Anxiety Clinic in the department of psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA