The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by BRENÉ BROWN
My rating: 5/5
In Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to be and Embrace Who You Are, readers get to learn about wholehearted living, or how to engage in life as if you are inherently worthy.
Throughout the book readers learn how courage, compassion, and connection help develop an innate sense of worthiness. Brown dares to talk and in some cases define – a variety of big-concept words – and she even warns us in her introduction. Love, belonging, authenticity, spirituality, hope, and joy are some of the big ideas Brown goes into detail about.
The book is structured in a way so that the bigger, broader concepts behind wholehearted living get covered first; and then it goes into ten amazingly detailed guideposts for cultivation of the desirable wholehearted life. With lots of stories woven into research theory, the book offers a full outlook onto how to approach life in a wholehearted way, and tells why it’s even important.
Brown is a writer and research professor at the University Of Houston Graduate College Of Social Work. She’s known for fabulous TED talks on vulnerability and shame, and her work has been recognized by the likes of Oprah Winfrey. Other books of hers are Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (2012) and Rising Strong: The Reckoning, The Rumble, The Revolution (2015).
The Gifts of Imperfection gave various accounts from Brown’s life and included her going through her own breakdown AKA spiritual awakening after making discoveries in her research. The reader gets to experience Brown in such a personal way; it’s hard to imagine being able to relate so much to any other academic through their writing about what they discovered from research. Her writing is vivid, but at the same time so seamless and easy to follow.
Besides adding in her own stories, Brown’s book is sprinkled with quotes and references to many other writers. There’s a shared wisdom to be gained from the book. It’s not all about what Brown says and thinks. She clearly states that her findings come from trying to decode stories from her research, based on the Grounded Theory methodology.
What makes this book so impactful is how there is a chapter dedicated to each of the ten guideposts Brown has so kindly “gifted” readers. Brown’s ability to organize such a concise list, while also unpacking so much relevant explanations speak to her academic mind and writing talent.
Overall, the book is a mind blowing and oddly satisfying overview to understanding the pain and imperfections that come from being human. Bottom line: We are worthy, we struggle to live like we are, and we can do something about it.
DID YOU SAY GIVEAWAY?
There are lots of amazing things about Brown, but my favorite thing about her is how her work ended up affecting her personal life and it ultimately led to her having to practice what she preaches. It was uneasy for her, but I’m grateful for the example she’s given to so many.
“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.” (p. 125) If that idea interests you even one bit, I urge you to get the book and read it. It’s definitely a “Must Read” and I rarely ever think of books like that. But while I was reading it, I genuinely wished I had read it sooner because it helped me make sense of my pain.
Because of how beautiful and helpful this book is, I'm paying it forward and giving it away. I’m doing a giveaway in my Facebook group. Join the group and enter to win the book.
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