Present Over Perfect
Instead of pushing for perfection

A few years ago, I found myself exhausted and isolated, my soul and body sick. I was tired of being tired, burned out on busy. And, it seemed almost everyone I talked with was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, depth, but settling for busy.

I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, writer, and I know all too well that settling feeling. But over the course of the last few years, I’ve learned a way to live, marked by grace, love, rest, and play. And it’s changing everything.

Present Over Perfect is an invitation to this journey that changed my life. I’ll walk this path with you, a path away from frantic pushing and proving, and toward your essential self, the one you were created to be before you began proving and earning for your worth.

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, all while maintaining an exhausting image of perfection.

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 grace, rest, silence, simplicity, prayer, and connection with the people that matter most to us.

In these pages, you’ll be invited to consider the landscape of your own life, and what it might look like to leave behind the pressure to be perfect and begin the life-changing practice of simply being present, in the middle of the mess and the ordinariness of life.

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Present Over Perfect Reviews

  • Adam Shields
    Dec 2, 2016

    Adam Shields

    Short review: This is more of a 3.5 review than a 4 review. But I generally round up. I like Niequist's writing generally. I think she is relatable and interesting. I think she has a good message. But this is book three of the same essential message, slow down, embrace important things...

  • Sarah
    Oct 20, 2016


    I loved this book - so much of what she talked about applied to this season of my life that is thankfully coming to a close. My only complaint is that I wish she'd written this book a few years earlier, even just a few months earlier... Much needed truth and love throughout this book. ...

  • Samantha Baruzzini
    Oct 17, 2016

    Samantha Baruzzini

    Sometimes you read a book and it feels good to finish something. Then there are books that move me. Bring tears to my eyes. Convict me of needing to find and rediscover pieces of myself and my soul and connection to God. To make the time for quiet and stillness and prayer. For creating...

  • Lori
    Oct 15, 2016


    I really enjoyed the book "Bread and Wine", but I struggled to finish this one. Too repetitive and the new age religious tone of this book, well lets just say I'm not a fan. ...

  • Sheri Joyce
    Oct 12, 2016

    Sheri Joyce

    Devoured. Borrowed this,from the library but now,plan to purchase to revisit and be reminded. I found myself wanting to quote whole pages and chapters to the world and feeling frustrated over the limiting ability to convey and share with others good words string together. This read lik...

  • Sarah
    Oct 10, 2016


    I got this one from the library and DNF. A lot of the stories seem like repeats of her previous books. I think this one would ring more true for perfectionists- and if you've seen my bedroom or my "desk" you know I'm not one. ...

  • Rebecca
    Oct 7, 2016


    This book spoke to me so deeply. The whole book is wonderful, but three things in particular pervaded my recent thinking.It’s ok for life to be less impressive on the outside. This might mean fewer vacations, fewer blog posts, and fewer parties, because being home and being with o...

  • Amy
    Oct 7, 2016


    Shauna repeats herself WAY too much, felt like I was reading a blog post about the same thing over and over again. Is this book a memoir or self-help? very selfishly written if she truely meant to inspire. the premise is good, but how??? no meat whatsoever, especially if you're looking...

  • Tami
    Oct 5, 2016


    I liked this book. BUT - it is not a "do these steps to get a simpler, more soulful way of living" book, but a heartfelt, honest "here's where I found myself and what I'm learning to get to a simpler, more soulful way of living." book. So if you are looking for a "here are the steps bo...

  • Beth
    Oct 4, 2016


    About two months ago a friend told me to drop everything and read this book. I didn't drop everything but I did put it in my wish list. It finally came up on rotation and within the first 5 minutes I was completely entranced by Niequist's quest to be present in her life and that of her...