I received a copy of Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book The Perfect You: A Blueprint for Identity in exchange for an honest review.
This selection reads like an easily accessible textbook. While that may conjure an image of a boring book, it provides a lot of insight. The idea of understanding how your thoughts work and how you can shape them to improve your life gives you not only knowledge but hope. As Leaf explains, a lot of people feel stuck in their negative thought patterns, and she shares understanding and guidance to alter those for the better.
Leaf divides the book into sections, separating the parts that explain how the thought processes work and the biblical bases she uses with the assessment tool and explanations on how to apply it. The flow generally made sense as it gave a foundation for the information so you could have a strong base to use the assessment rather than simply take the assessment and have no background for it. I preferred the first two sections most as they provided all the information. However, the assessment could be used as a workbook for further reflection. I would like to spend more time on nit to use it as an ongoing source of encouragement and growth. The assessment has a lot of questions and depth to it, so it seems like this can be used over a lengthy time for best results.
I enjoyed the book overall, both for its insight as well as its tools for improvement. Leaf knows her brain as well as her bible. I particularly liked how she ties them together. She makes the information accessible and relatable to real life by pointing out how people feel when they do good and how we tend to steer our thoughts. Then she anchors the hope for improvement using biblical principles on how God created us and continues to shape us.
“But, as I have emphasized throughout this book, you do not have to let your thoughts control you. You are not a victim of your thoughts and their biology; you are a victor over them. This means you can change these thoughts! You may have been nursing these negative mindsets for so long that they are so familiar to you that you think they are normal. This mistake is often made. However, only the thoughts formed when you are in your Perfect You, from God’s perspective, are normal, while the rest need redesigning or, to use the scientific term, reconceptualization. You can analyze your thoughts and, because of the neuroplasticity of the brain, redesign and rewire them. This is ‘renewing the mind’ in action, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit it is an essential part of a healthy, good life. Indeed, it is grace meeting science, since research shows that conscious awareness of thoughts makes the thoughts amenable to change because they are physically weakened!” (page 257)