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Present Perfect: A Mindfulness Approach to Letting Go of Perfectionism and the Need for Control Paperback – June 3, 2010
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“This brilliant and practical new book is designed to help alleviate the excess stress and dissatisfaction of perfectionism, one of the main practices of the extremely popular, if unheralded, religion I lovingly call Control Freakism. Pavel Somov gives us numerous helpful awareness exercises, conscious inquiries, insights, mindfulness practices, original perspectives, and penetrating ideas, all conducive to helping us free ourselves from this tyrannical inner demon and experience the radiant reality of things just as they are. Acceptance has its own transformative magic, and I heartily recommend this work to all who want to transform, awaken, and edify.”
— Lama Surya Das, founder of Dzogchen Meditation Centers and author of Awakening the Buddha Within
“Rarely does a work of art like Present Perfect fall upon one’s desk. This book allows us to transform existential pain caused by our need to be perfect. This book is abundant with tools and ideas that equip the reader to resolve guilt, shame, and perfectionism. Once you accept and surrender your perfectionism, the magical paradox of mindfulness as a healer will unfold.”
— Ronald A. Alexander, Ph.D., executive director of the Open Mind Training Institute and author of Wise Mind, Open Mind
“Even those of us with a lot of self-help reading under our belts will experience many a-ha moments while immersed in Present Perfect. Somov’s approach is highly logical, creative, resourceful, and compassionate. Never once will you feel judged; instead, you’ll feel understood. I highly recommend this valuable resource to therapists and anyone with perfectionist tendencies.”
— Dina Cheney, author of Tasting Cluband Williams-Sonoma’s New Flavors for Salads
“Present Perfect takes a wholly fresh look at an age-old problem by applying a generous dose of the healing salve of mindfulness. Filled with fascinating references and down-to-earth examples, this book skillfully guides the reader through exercises and strategies that can transform the paralyzing and demoralizing pattern of perfectionism. Present Perfect is the perfect way to liberate yourself from the guilt, shame, and blame of perfectionism and rediscover the freedom of living in the ‘what is.’”
— Donald Altman, psychotherapist, former Buddhist monk, and author of The Mindfulness Code
“Pavel Somov offers an intelligent, witty, and compassionate critique of perfectionism and makes a compelling case that life is already perfect. I found this book to be thoroughly enjoyable and personally and professionally useful from the first page. I feel as comfortable recommending this book to my colleagues as I do to my patients and am confident that both will find it of tremendous value in their lives. Since perfectionism is often the other side of compulsive and addictive behavior, this book will be relevant to all who seek more moderation and balance in their lives.”
— Andrew Tatarsky, Ph.D., clinical psychologist in New York City specializing in treating addictive behavior and author of Harm Reduction Psychotherapy
“In this book, Somov not only provides a plethora of highly accessible and instantly applicable ways to connect with mindful awareness, but also provides lucid and rational ways to dethrone the inner tyrant of perfectionism and fully live in the completeness of each moment.”
— Cassandra Vieten, Ph.D., director of research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and author of Mindful Motherhood
“Licensed psychologist Somov has found that clients can make progress in the areas of tolerating uncertainty, refraining from harsh self-judgment, and reducing anxious feelings by doing mindfulness exercises. Essentially, the more they accept the moment, thhe more they can accept themselves.
Verdict: Present Perfect, one of the most helpful in the OCPD self-help arena.”
— Deborah Bigelow, Leonia P.L., NJ
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Top Customer Reviews
~Andrew P. Yake, PhD
The premise of the book, in a nut shell, is learning to accept each moment as it is, and understanding that no moment can be more than what it is. In essence, each moment is already perfect. Somov demonstrates this concept through many small exercises throughout the book. I will admit that I did pick and choose the exercises I completed because there were so many.
I really appreciated this book because I found it so applicable. You know it's a good book when you feel like the author is describing you in the text! The author's lessons stuck with me, I found myself being able to apply his wisdom throughout the day (yet another sign of a good book!). I wish I could be less vague in my description; however, I found that the lessons were so deep and meaningful, I don't think I could do them justice in this review. This book has brought new perspective into my life and I highly recommend that anyone struggling with control and perfection to give it a read.
Before going further, I must say something about "mindfulness" in its title. If you're interested in self-work, you have likely almost started to become drowned in mentions of mindfulness. Here is where this book differs big time. Rather than just an emphasis on focusing on *noticing* and letting things be and breath meditations, Somov's book does something amazing that I had not even realized I was missing in previous forays into mindfulness: he helps you become mindful through concrete behavioral exercises. Now wait! Before you run away, I need you to know that these exercises are not difficult but rather simple and render often immediate awareness, sometimes gradual awareness. I concretely still am aware of some of the realizations.
Beyond the excellent exercises themselves, Somov's style of writing is excellent and concise, explaining seemingly obvious assumptions in ways that show that they are only assumptions. He never forces, only encourages.
Present Perfect has really helped me with the suffering I was feeling due to my perfectionism. I have helped create a space now between the urge to succeed at an ill-defined but overly stressful level, now seeing that (as much as I am disliking this saying lately) _it is what it is_. It's okay if I fall short. I want to do well and sometimes I do, sometimes I don't, sometimes I don't even try, sometimes I make special effort to do especially well, and it's all ok.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic, concise, applicable, and helpful. I have read it 3 times now, just to keep reminding myself of the pearls of wisdom buried in this concise work of "book... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Present Perfect has the full endorsement of New Frontier Health Research. Best suited for those individuals who are thoughtful, reflective, and even philosophically minded, this... Read morePublished 11 months ago by a friend of Jesus
I agree with many of the other reviewers that this book is both helpful and unique in its approach. I've read a lot of books about perfectionism and this is the best one so far. Read morePublished 12 months ago by king_tinac
A must read for all recovering perfectionist. All those in leadership would do well to equip themselves with the truths included in this book.Published 13 months ago by Josh
As a perfectionist myself, this is the most helpful book I've ever read. Dr. Somov gives not only brilliant insights that help you understand why we do the things we do, but also... Read morePublished 14 months ago by jacksonian
worked perfectly and less than half the price at Costco pharmacy.Published 15 months ago by gerald slaminski
Really interesting read. I realized I'm really anxious and this book has helped.Published 15 months ago by cookiemonster
Among books dealing with understanding and overcoming perfectionism an its tendencies, this was the best that I have ever read. Read morePublished 17 months ago by John Tiernan
Great book- contains lots of exercises and basic meditation instructions. Will keep you busy for a long time.Published 20 months ago by Stringy