Book Review: “The Gifts of Imperfection”

Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown

This book was never on my radar but the Amazon algorithm was spot-on! I have heard of Brené Brown and her TED talk; her others books have been mentioned in some of my social circles, however, this was my first taste of her writing and communication style. She certainly did not disappoint!

*DISCLOSURE: This page includes affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All linked items are products that I believe in, use myself, and fit my lifestyle.


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

Title: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are (Your Guide to a Wholehearted Life).

Author: Brené Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W.

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

You should read this if:

  • You’re a suffering or recovering perfectionist
  • You may feel you’re working through a midlife “crisis”
  • You struggle with worthiness
  • You want to learn more about the fears holding you back from greatness
  • You want to learn how to build shame resilience

Summary

Wholehearted living is about engaging our lives from a place of worthiness. Brown has a frank and honest philosophy: we will never change unless we are willing to openly discuss the obstacles preventing us from practicing wholehearted living. Brown describes the three gifts of imperfection (courage, compassion, and connection) and how she discovered them during her research on shame. In fact, shame is at the root of our fears! As a recovering perfectionist myself, Brown helped me to re-evaluate my own need for perfection as it relates to shame.

When we can let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness.

Brené Brown, The gifts of imperfection

Throughout the book, Brown shows us how to develop and build shame resilience with 10 Guideposts: Authenticity, Self-Compassion, Resilient Spirit, Gratitude and Joy, Intuition and Trusting Faith, Play and Rest, Calm and Stillness, finding Meaningful Work, and Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance. After reading this book, you will have a framework for living your life from a place of worthiness.

Strengths

Brown’s strength lies in her communication style; she immediately establishes a connection with the reader by sharing her own vulnerabilities and struggles she endured during her research. After each guidepost, she provides readers a practical way to begin their own change by offering “DIG deep” exercises. Be:

D: Deliberate in thoughts and behaviors

I: Inspired to make new and different choices

G: Get Going! Take action.

Weaknesses

Too short! I wanted more; some guideposts I felt weren’t as explored as others.

In this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance.

Brené Brown, The gifts of imperfection
Go further

I work through a lot of questions and struggles via workbooks and journaling. If you’re ready to dive deeper, grab your own notebook from the dollar store, start a “Growth Journal” and answer each question or exercise from the book. Need more structure? Check out this unofficial workbook.

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Published by Aimee Wong

When she's not in the lab, you'll find Aimee officiating high school basketball games or at Saturday night family dinners. She's passionate about learning, lattes, and lifting weights.

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