The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

by: Brené Brown (0)

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ‱ This tenth-anniversary edition of the game-changing #1 New York Times bestseller features a new foreword and new tools to make the work your own. 

For over a decade, BrenĂ© Brown has found a special place in our hearts as a gifted mapmaker and a fellow traveler. She is both a social scientist and a kitchen-table friend whom you can always count on to tell the truth, make you laugh, and, on occasion, cry with you. And what’s now become a movement all started with 
The Gifts of Imperfection, which has sold more than two million copies in thirty-five different languages across the globe.  What transforms this book from words on a page to effective daily practices are the ten guideposts to wholehearted living. The guideposts not only help us understand the practices that will allow us to change our lives and families, they also walk us through the unattainable and sabotaging expectations that get in the way.  BrenĂ© writes, “This book is an invitation to join a wholehearted revolution. A small, quiet, grassroots movement that starts with each of us saying, ‘My story matters because I matter.’ Revolution might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance.”

The Reviews

Do you feel like you must “fake it” to be loved and accepted by others? It hurts, doesn’t it? I know.Do you live a life that is wholehearted and purposeful? I have realized that I do not. But I am striving to live more wholeheartedly, authentically, and purposefully.I believe in being a lifelong learner. I have read many books that have been helpful for personal, professional, and religious development, as well as some that are to much “fluff,” or that have been too narrow in their understanding and worldview to be truly helpful. Very rarely do I read such books more than once.Of all the books I read in the last 10 years, I believe “The Gifts of Imperfection” by BrenĂ© Brown has been the most useful.“The Gifts of Imperfection” has challenged me on the lived concepts of belonging, authenticity, love, resiliency, exhaustion as a status symbol, faith, compassion, joy, gratitude, play, rest, stillness, anxiety, perfectionism, self-numbing, fear of others and uncertainty, and the need to always be in control
 among other things.That might sound like a lot to process. It is. And it also seems like all those areas are interconnected. In processing one area, ex: Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think, the concepts carry over into other areas, such as Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth. How do those fit together? I do not need to run myself into the ground to attempt to earn other people’s approval. If I am not authentic, then any version people accept of me is not the real me.I need to be real about what I can manage and where I fall short, and I can stop and rest and recharge so that I can be healthier in my life and relationships with others. I do not need to let the approval of others control me.This is not a “Do this for 90 days and your life will be completely transformed” approach. It is a journey. One I expect I will sometimes do well in, and other times I will act of a place of fear and scarcity, and I will need to try again.And I will try again.For anyone who made it to the end of this review, I would encourage you to pick up the book. You might be surprised about what you learn about yourself and how you live. And you might learn how to begin this process of living wholeheartedly. Dr. Brown writes to the heart, and the concepts make so much sense.For anyone who is into audio books, I highly recommend you get the 10th anniversary edition audiobook. BrenĂ© Brown reads it, and she is amazing at bringing the content and concepts to life.

I quit reading books a long time ago. Gave my books away. My church has a book club. Our pastor did a sermon based on the book 2 weeks before the club started with it. The sermon touched me in so many ways. “Not good enough “ rang true. Bought the book and so glad I did. I have learned so much about myself. It’s also helping me understand the kind of response to give people who are experiencing shame. Definitely worth reading!

I read "Daring Greatly" about 6 months ago after watching Dr. Brown's TED talks and that book honest to goodness changed my life. I was excited to read this one, particularly because I found her discussion of perfectionism so helpful in Daring Greatly. I have to admit that as much as I still admire Brene Brown, I found this to be a watered down version of Daring Greatly and I kind of regret buying it (I don't regret READING it, but I do regret paying for it, and I don't feel that this improves my library).I found this was a little shallow and abstract, whereas Daring Greatly so eloquently and articulately put words to ideas we understand intuitively, and it really enhanced my emotional vocabulary. This book offered little in that respect. Some of it (shame vs guilt, for example) was redundant of Daring Greatly (and other texts for that matter) and her discussion of ideas like intuition, spirituality, and numbing were vague and unhelpful to me. She was mostly quoting other people's definitions and discussion of these topics, and while some the quotes were thought-provoking, I didn't feel that it really enlightened me.Her examples were also not as compelling in this text. It was mostly about her, and while some of the examples were useful and memorable, I came away feeling like she was painting a picture of her family rather than focusing on her research and data. Daring Greatly, on the other hand, was written in such an empathetic and compassionate way that I kept saying, "YES! That's me! She understands!" or "Wow! That's totally my brother-in-law!" It was like one light bulb after another going off. Reading Daring Greatly was so inspiring and healing. This book didn't have that same level of empathy and was missing that universal quality, focusing instead on examples that were auto-biographical. Some other reviewers said this read like a blog, and I have to agree. By the end of this book I didn't feel UNDERSTOOD like I did after reading Daring Greatly. I honestly felt that as I read Daring Greatly, Brene Brown was like looking inside me and having a conversation with me, even though she doesn't even know me. After reading The Gifts of Imperfection, however, I felt that I understood more about her and less about myself.There was also something a little kitschy about this. She had a section after each chapter called DIG deep where she listed ways that she tries to employ these strategies, and she often said "Amen" at the end of some quotes. While cute, it lacked the maturity and empathy of Daring Greatly.She was also a little judgmental in this book (towards others and towards herself) and I could ironically see her striving for perfectionism (like in order to be perfect she needs to become "wholehearted," so she is actively working to employ these strategies rather than actually embodying them). It is almost like by the time she got to Daring Greatly she was fully reborn and had reached that full enlightenment, and she was still working on getting there in this text.Additionally, unlike Daring Greatly, this reads a little bit like a checklist (see comment above) of things you should do: 1. don't be a perfectionist 2. Get creative 3. Rest and play 4. But don't numb 5. Dance like no one is watching you 6. practice self-compassion 7. Have faith. By the end I felt like I was being told what to do to be happy, as if it was a formula. While some of the advice was certainly helpful, it wasn't inspiring in the same way Daring Greatly was. Daring Greatly got at the heart of one's emotions. It talked about courage, authenticity, compassion (true ideals) and it showed how there is extraordinary in the ordinary. The Gifts of Imperfection seemed to get sidetracked by specifics (dancing, jewelry making, her childhood house in New Orleans) and it never reached that universality that was so healing in Daring Greatly.Lastly, this book was highly referential. As I said earlier, she quotes a lot of other people to get at defining abstract terms. She also references the work of many other psychologists, researchers, etc. For example, Kristin Neff and Marci Alboher. It isn't that I didn't appreciated her references, but this felt blog-like again: "Hey I read this and I LOVED this idea, check it out!" Or "this quote inspires me! Let me share." In contrast, it felt like Brene Brown had found her own voice in Daring Greatly, and no longer needed to continually reference others' work and could just share her research and the conclusions she reached from it.All in all, while The Gifts of Imperfection was a nice book that offered a little refresher of Brown's understanding of "wholehearted living" with some ideas about intuition and faith, creativity, and song and dance, it was not as sophisticated or inspiring as her latest book Daring Greatly, which really felt like a true culmination of her research and experiences. I'd skip this one; or at least just borrow it from the library...

That is probably the most noted and quoted book I have ever read. Brene integrated nicely her scientific research with easy words and simple ideas.

Reading it slowly aloud in a small group of 12-Step friends has made all the difference. Reading it alone, it didn’t have the impact at all.

Dr Brown is an amazing researcher who puts into words our experience in this life. From there we can wrap our hearts , heads and hands around re inventing our better selves..

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
⭐ 4.7 💛 29512
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paperback: $11.48
hardcover: $5.53
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