Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living
New York Times bestselling author Shauna Niequist invites you to look at the landscape of your own life, consider how it might feel to leave behind the pressure to be perfect, and begin the practice of simply being present in the middle of the mess.
A few years ago, Shauna found herself exhausted and isolated, her soul and body sick. She was tired of being tired and burned out on busy. It seemed like almost everyone she talked to was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, and depth, but settling for busy.
But then something changed. She decided to trade the hustle and bustle for grace, love, stillness, and play, and it changed everything. Shauna offers an honest account of what led her to begin this journey and a compelling vision for an entirely new way to live: soaked in rest, silence, simplicity, prayer, and connection with the people who matter most to us.
As you witness Shauna's journey, you'll be inspired to embark on one of your own. She gives you the encouragement you need to:
- Put an end to people-pleasing tendencies
- Embrace moments of simplicity, quiet, and stillness
- Accept that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy
Written in Shauna's warm and vulnerable style, this collection of essays focuses on the most important transformation in her life, and maybe yours too: leaving behind busyness and frantic living and rediscovering the person you were made to be. Present Over Perfect is a hand reaching out, pulling you free from the constant pressure to perform faster, push harder, and produce more while maintaining an exhausting image of perfection.
Join the over 500,000 others who have already started walking this new path away from frantic pushing and proving and toward their true selves.
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About the Author
Shauna Niequist is the New York Times bestselling author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, Bread & Wine, Savor, and Present Over Perfect. She is married to Aaron, and they live in New York City with their sons, Henry and Mac.
I begged Shauna for this manuscript a year ago while it was half-baked. When I finally received it, I read it from cover to cover in one sitting, then sat down at my laptop and wrote four emails bowing out of engagements that no longer fit my life, made two hard phone calls, and gave an end date to two other commitments. Present Over Perfect loaned me the courage, integrity, and permission I'd been waiting for. I will go to the grave thankful for this message. It has changed my life.----Jennifer Hatmaker, author of For the Love and 7
Most of the teachers I've had didn't think they were teaching me anything; they just thought we were friends. Shauna is that kind of friend, and this is that kind of book. As you turn these pages, you'll be reminded about what you have loved, where you've found your joy, and perhaps what you've misplaced along the way. Most of all, you'll be guided into an honest conversation about your faith and where you want to go with it.----Bob Goff, author of Love Does
I cried tears of relief while inhaling Present Over Perfect. I cried because I'd completely forgotten that I don't have to earn worthiness, hustle for love, or fight to belong. Shauna's words---equal parts elegant and urgent---invited me to remember that my worthiness, belonging, and beloved-ness are birthrights. I can't think of a more important, more desperately needed invitation.----Glennon Doyle Melton, author of Love Warrior and the New York Times bestseller Carry On, Warrior, founder of Momastery and Together Rising
I've watched Shauna walk this journey away from proving and pushing toward connection and grace, and as a friend, I'm proud of her. As a reader, I'm thankful to have these pages as an inspiration and guide. For all of us who yearn for meaningful, connected lives but find ourselves sometimes settling for busy, her words are the push we've been waiting for.----Donald Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Scary Close and Blue Like Jazz
Shauna awakens our desire to not miss our lives. Because that pursuit costs us our distracting habits, we need motivation beyond disciplines and rules. We have to want to really live and be with our people and enjoy this gift of a life that God has given us. Shauna's life makes me not want to miss mine, and her words here will make you not want to miss yours.----Jennie Allen, founder and visionary of IF: Gathering, author of Anything and Restless
We live in a society that can easily have us running in circles if we aren't careful. And this can result in having a life full of things we actually never intended to sign up for. Shauna helps us take a step back and reset our minds and souls. In these pages you will find wisdom and encouragement to see past temporal success and accolades to experience the deeper, more connected and truly enjoyable life. After all, it is the power of connection with others that helps us thrive in every sense of the word.----Dr. Henry Cloud, New York Times bestselling author of Boundaries and The Power of the Other
I have already read this book seven times. It's about pursuing the present over the perfect---but it is nonetheless a nearly perfect thing, a nearly perfect book. Shauna speaks exactly to my condition.----Lauren Winner, author of Girl Meets God, Still, and Wearing God
With graceful confession, Shauna has created a memoir of her heart---a racing, fragmented heart that is becoming a contented, loved, and present heart. Reading this book heartened me for her, for her family, for her church, and for her generation. Shauna summons each of us to resist being sucked into the fast-paced draft of saying Yes and offers us a better way: the way of presence, the way of saying No. But this No is a Yes to something far better.----Scot McKnight, author of A Fellowship of Differents and The Blue Parakeet