REVIEW: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

The Gifts of Imperfection  by Brené Brown.

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown.

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I have been a huge fan of Brené Brown’s for a long time but this is the first book of hers that I have read. I think I was emotionally preparing myself for the truth smacks that I suspected it was going to deliver.

If you’ve ever watched Brené Brown speak you’ll know that she is a fantastic combination of sassy Texan, brilliant academic, and a woman you just want to be friends with. She has spent her career as a research professor at the University of Houston studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy, and is on a mission to create a less emotionally stunted world. Fun right?

In this book, like in her talks, Brené does a really good job of combining humour and relatability with facts. This combination makes the information and guidance she provides extremely digestible, if not a little hard to hear (for me, anywho). If you are a perfectionist, prepare yourself for some harsh truths. That is all.

According to her research, courage, compassion, and connection lie at the centre of our ability to develop an innate sense of worthiness. She breaks them down into ten guideposts that you should strive to cultivate in order to usher you towards your highest level of wholehearted badassery.

She leads by example and shares a lot of personal stories about how the journey to overcoming perfect life syndrome has looked for her and how she continues to learn from her research to overcome feelings of inadequacy.

I will say that much of what was stated throughout the book may come across as “duh” to some but, for me, even the sentiments that you logically know to be true may need to be drilled into you from time to time in order for you to really embrace and execute. Brené does so with scientific research and funny stories that remind you that it’s not just you.

It doesn’t read quite like any other kind of self-help book that I’ve read recently in the sense that it didn’t really give that usual get your ass in gear feeling. That being said, I laughed, I cried, and I have definitely left this book with more insight (into the world and myself) than I entered with. I would categorize it under an “aha” and “oh shit” inducing book about human behaviour and the power of perception.  

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that makes us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of light.
— Brené Brown

You can check it out here and I definitely recommend that you do.

If you haven’t already, I would definitely recommend watching some of her talks:

Have you read The Gifts of Imperfection? What was your take?