(This blog post contains affiliate links. More information below.*)
Disclaimer: this isn’t your typical book review! It’s much more personal. But I LOVED this book and feel like I need to share.
As I’m sitting here writing this review, I still can’t get over how amazing this book was. It was exactly what my tired, anxious heart needed in this season, and I’m so thankful that God gave me the nudge to pick it up again.
I say “again” because I started Present Over Perfect about two years ago. Back when I was a wife and a puppy mama (I had yet to experience a hard pregnancy & mom-of-a-newborn sleep deprivation, ha!) and back when I was running around like crazy person trying to build my business.
That was an exciting season. In hindsight, though, I wish I had read this book in its entirety THEN instead of reading a few chapters, getting too busy, and then putting it down. If I had read it then…if I had let it sink in…I probably wouldn’t have caused the tension I’ve caused in our marriage because of my need to prove myself through my work, and I probably could have saved myself some heartache.
Something I don’t talk about very often is my struggle with anxiety. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a “worrier” …my childhood friends can attest to this! But over the last few years my anxiety started to control my life. Then after Jack was born…things got completely out of control. I was googling every little thing into the night, I was having terrible “what if” thoughts swirl around my head over and over again. I felt trapped and like I was drowning in all of my fears. It was hard for me to do things or go places…to just “have fun” because I felt so overwhelmed and exhausted from my anxiety.
Long story short, after talking to family and friends who are like family, I decided that something had to change. I wanted to actually ENJOY my new baby, sweet hubby, our Ellie girl, and life in general!
So, I started seeing a counselor, started taking an anxiety medication, and started reading this book. (And I did research and created a whole list of books that I want to read!)
I have gone back and forth about sharing this, because while I usually am an “open book” …there’s just something about saying “I’m going to counseling” and “I’m on anxiety medication” that is a little scary. It’s also scary to put it online, because I don’t have control over who reads this. (and I’ve learned that I have some issues with not “having control” ;))
There’s a stigma around both medication & counseling, and that’s so sad. It’s sad that we (I) hide our (my) struggles, because we’re (I’m) too afraid of what people might say or think about me. But as I’ve started opening up about this to people…I’ve found that it has helped me and I’ve found that there are a lot more people who are struggling with anxiety than I thought!
*Also, shout out to my friend Ashley who bravely shared about her counseling experience on social media recently! She gave me the nudge (and the courage) to finally hit "publish" on this post that has been sitting in my drafts folder for a couple of months now!*
If you’ve never experienced overwhelming anxiety, then everything I’m saying may not make sense to you. It may seem weird, and that’s completely understandable! If you have struggled with anxiety and you’re still struggling with it, I hope this helps you!
I’m not at a point yet where I’d say my anxiety is under control, but I am getting there, and I’m so encouraged by that! I think counseling, medicine, and books (and lots of prayer & Jesus, of course) have all worked (and are working) together to help me get to a healthier place!
I have learned a LOT of things about myself over the past few months…mainly that I am a major people pleaser, I have perfectionist tendencies, I have trouble with my self worth, and I like to have control.
I know a lot of people struggle with these things, and if this sounds like you and you’re struggling to find joy & peace, READ THIS BOOK.
If you feel like you’re barely keeping up with the busyness of life…
If you feel overwhelmed…
If you feel like there’s not enough time in a day…
If you feel like you just aren’t good enough…
If you just feel exhausted…
If you feel like life is too heavy…
If you feel discouraged in your job or career…
If you feel discouraged in your faith…
If you feel like you’re struggling in your marriage…
If you feel like your friendships are suffering…
If you feel like your way of life has taken a toll on your body…
If you just feel unhappy and like something needs to change…
READ THIS BOOK.
This book is challenging in a gentle way. It's thought provoking. Eye opening. It made me look at my life differently, ask questions, and ultimately decide that I could not continue down the path I was on. This book is filled with so much TRUTH and goodness.
I underlined something in every chapter of this book. It’s THAT good. It’s life changing. But Shauna’s words from the last chapter in this book really hit home.
This. This. THIS.
I have been heading for a crash…I know it. I was well on my way there with my workload, my schedule, my responsibilities… I was putting so many things before my family & before my own health. I was saying that I wasn’t…but with my actions, I was. I was so concerned about what the collective “they” would think of me. I wanted to make “them” (whoever “they” are?!) happy and proud and pleased. Thankfully (I never thought I’d be thankful for overwhelming, debilitating anxiety) my anxiety has been a wakeup call.
So, I’m stepping back from things. Reevaluating things. Looking at what is most important. Praying more. Reading more. Being still. Making space.
I don’t really know what these next months & years will look like for our life or for my business, but for now, I’m taking steps to live a more present, joy-filled life.
Like I said at the beginning of this post…this is kind of an odd book review. But, I told you that for me it was life changing.
It truly was, and I had to share.
I’m going to do things differently now, and I’m so thankful that I pulled this beautiful, forgotten book back off the shelf.
To grab your own copy, click the link* below!
*Note: This blog post contains affiliate links. This means that at no additional cost to you, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases and will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. My goal is to help my blog readers, not spam them! I value your trust and want you to know that I would never endorse a product or resource that I do not love or fully believe in! I always have my readers’ best interests at heart! Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you come on back soon!