The Perfection Detox by Petra Kolber
Petra Kolber is a former dancer and fitness instructor turned life coach. She developed a program to help you let go your perfectionism. In 3 weeks, or 21 steps Petra guides you through lessons of fear, empowerment, to tame your inner critic and unleash your joy.
I received this advance review copy from the publisher but my thoughts are completely my own.
When the publisher for the book reached out, I was really excited to get a copy of The Perfection Detox. I thought it would have a lot of information that might be useful to my new community about self-care. Self-care is one of the things especially entrepreneurs and solopreneurs tend to be really bad about. Being an entrepreneur means spending time away from family and friends and things that are important in order to focus on growing a business in creating a successful business.
Business owners tend to use the time they have available to spend with their family and friends. And they tend to put those people still be for their own self. In an effort to be all of the things to all of the people business owners will put themselves last.
Perfectionism tends to go hand-in-hand with this kind of behavior. So I thought it would be really great for me to bring this book in front of my audience and share with them some of the lessons that are inside of it so if they resonate with the idea of needing to detox from perfectionism and they could find this book.
Am I a Perfectionist?
Now let me start this by saying I am not really a perfectionist. I am all about that Sheryl Sandberg quote, “perfection is the enemy of done.” I tend to just work until the project is finished put it out there- and then edit it as it requires. So some thing may look a little sloppy on my end. But at least it’s finished.
The Perfection Detox also focuses a lot on outward appearance. Petra is a fitness instructor and has spent her entire career dedicated to helping shape the bodies of women in New York City and across the country and the world. As a world class fitness instructor, there are a lot of pressures to maintain your own appearance. Petra talks about those pressures a lot throughout this book.
Now you may or may not have seen pictures of me but I am not a model thin standard societal beauty. I am quite fat. And while I tend to agree with Mary Poppins quote, “I am practically perfect,” I do also and knowledge that somethings are not perfect… but I also take issue to the idea that being fat somehow means that you are imperfect… and that is maybe a conversation for another day.
What I like about The Perfection Detox:
I like that each of the 21 steps that she shares are all very relatable in one way or another. Each one has a personal story attached to it so you can see how she overcame this particular issue. There is usually a story of a client or friend who experienced this issue so you can get a contrast of it.
At the end of each chapter there is a very actionable daily detox where she asks you to go through 4 to 7 different steps of addressing you’re a perfectionist ways and moving beyond them.
During the introduction she invites you to spend as much or little time with each of the steps because we are not all the same person in need of the exact prescription. Making space for nuances like that can be difficult when you’re trying to cover all of the things.
I think Petra finds a good balance in this book.
And while I don’t find her story to be particularly relatable to me, I do think that others out there will find her to be relatable. She does seem like a genuine really interesting and kind person who has spent many years been very hard on herself. And she has finally figured out… not necessarily how to let it go, but to acknowledge those hard feelings about herself and to maybe not take them so personally anymore.
Which is to say, to be gentle with herself. And now she’s passing those lesson on to us. I’m always advocating for people to be gentle with themselves, but I rarely offer instruction on the best practices to do that. But here, Petra has discerned 21 different ways to incorporate those practices into your life.
To me, this book really is about creating a space for you to learn how to be gentle with yourself. It’s one of those things that I’m always pushing I want you to be gentle with yourself especially when you’re going through times of hardship but this book is more about learning to be gentle with yourself and just the base level.
What I didn’t like about The Perfection Detox:
The one thing I don’t really like about this book is the fact that I am probably not her ideal client avatar for this book or her program. It’s not that the book is bad or poorly written. Merely I’m not the person she is trying to reach. I have let go of my perfectionism for the most part along time ago.
I feel like this book is written for women who are born into affluence and have a very specific high society lifestyle where society expects and put a lot of these pressures of perfectionism onto them until the perfectionism that they have internalizes actually very external. And that is not my life.
But if this is your life- if you are someone who was born into money and has had to live up to the standards and expectations that others have set for you your entire life than this book may help you break through those external thought processes that you have internalized.
My favorite lesson from the Perfection Detox:
I think my favorite lesson from this book is lesson 19 where she talks about changing your relationship with exercise. In this chapter she talks about her history as a fitness instructor and how the industry has shamed generations of men and women into taking on vigorous workout regimens.
These workouts are not routed an actual self-care practices. Instead you are torturing the body training the body demand in the body bend to your will to meet external expectations and pressures. She asks you to reconsider workouts to move for the sake of moving. Which will lead to your unleashed joy and happiness.
I resonated with this chapter a lot because I had some very long-term exercise goals which I eventually accomplish. And at the end of it I found myself completely and willing or able to continue working out at the level that I previously was working out at.
Since then my level of working out has declined and I’ve had a really hard time finding any sort of enjoyment in the action because I wasn’t working towards a very specific goal. I now feel like every time I go to work out it’s, to meet some external pressure. Not some internal goal that I had that for myself.
But every now and then I do feel empowered to work out for the sake of moving my body. And when I do it just for the sake of moving my body it’s fun, it goes by quickly and I enjoy myself.
Where to buy The Perfection Detox by Petra Kolber:
If you’d like to buy The Perfection Detox, you can purchase it from your bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and noble and wherever books are sold.
It is available starting August 14th, 2018.