I started reading Brené Brown’s books after I watched one of her TED Talks. I’m currently reading The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. I’ve read more than my fair share of “self-help” literature, so I can assert with conviction that this book is not a self-help book. Instead, it’s a revelation book. Each chapter triggered numerous “ah-ha!” moments for me, because Dr. Brown goes a step (or two, or five) beyond the common way of looking at or framing an issue to show the interconnectedness of elements that stall or sabotage our efforts to live a more satisfying life. Instead of the “that doesn’t quite resonate” vibe I often get from self-help books, Dr. Brown’s perspectives ring true, and she re-labels certain attitudes and experiences in a way that’s both startling and, importantly, hopeful. She gleans her insights from her research centered on living a “wholehearted” life, which grew out of her previous study of “shame.” The results that Dr. Brown presents in this brief, easily-readable book are nothing short of fascinating, and they function not as a how-to manual for quickly fixing an out-of-balance life, but as a set of powerful tools with which to cultivate a richer, more fully engaged and connected life.
Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we’d no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, What if I can’t keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn’t everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?
In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown shares what she’s learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living–a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.
In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough, and to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.
This is the kind of book that I buy several copies and hand out to everyone that I know and love. <3