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Title: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
Author: Brené Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W.
How The Gifts of Imperfection Got Into My Hands
I heard my podcast soul sista Andrea Owen chatting it up constantly on her podcast about Brené Brown’s work and how much it has influenced her and has helped her spread self-help love to her listeners. Like I explain in my post about inspirational podcasts, you know that Andrea’s podcast was one that inspired me to begin exploring self-help to better my own life. Since much of her advice has already dramatically changed my way of thinking, as well as the way I go about relating to others, I totally trusted her when she recommended that her listeners read any and all of Brené Brown’s work.
So, while I began my spring break (woo for being a teacher!!), I ordered The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are on Amazon and a day later I was already furiously highlighting like a mad woman. As I was writing I kept thinking, “OMG! This woman knowssssss me. I mean, she REALLY knows me!” Well, we have never really met, but having this experience while reading this self-help book leads me to believe that many women, sadly enough, go through a lot of the pain and struggles that Brené describes.
Is This Book For You?
The Gifts of Imperfection is for anyone who feels that society (and possibly their own friends and family) is constantly trying to mold us into how we should change and squeeze into this picture perfect image that doesn’t really exist. If you’re a recovering perfectionist (like myself) and you constantly worry about what others think of you (even though you will always say, “I don’t care what other people think. I am going to ‘do me’”), I HIGHLY recommend you buy The Gifts of Imperfection. Buy…not borrow from the library. Why? Since I have finished, I have already gone back to review some of my annotations when I need a pick-me-up in the middle of a crappy day.
How The Pages Flow
Brené Brown structuresThe Gifts of Imperfection in a way that is super easy for her readers to digest (seriously… there are 15 sections of the book and only 130 pages!). She provides a lot of information in this short self-help book and is careful to keep her readers interested by constantly dropping in her own personal stories of failure, heartache, as well as successes that make The Gifts of Imperfection relatable and real. Also, you don’t have to worry about super sophisticated researcher language that makes you feel like you are in college again (no thanks… I’m good) or that you need to stop and google words constantly.
She is a straight shooter and tells it like it is in simple, everyday language. When you read The Gifts of Imperfection, you feel like you’re sitting, having coffee with her, or having a sneak peak at mini therapy sessions packed with simple, powerful advice. Simply stated, she keeps it real and even provides broken down definitions throughout each section.
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Key Points in The Gifts of Imperfection
The Gifts of Imperfection begins with an introduction the concept of Wholehearted Living, which she researched prior for many years. Basically, she wants her reader to understand that no matter what a day brings and how much you are able (or not able) to complete, your ARE ENOUGH. Sounds simple, but reading about it really makes you reflect on how hard you are on your own self every day. We often don’t celebrate what we accomplish (even little, baby victories), but we really should in order to fill up our self-love tank. Brown also explains the importance of the 3 C’s– Courage, Compassion, and Connection, which is seen throughout the 10 guideposts she presents throughout the rest of The Gifts of Imperfection:
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#1-Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
#2-Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
#3-Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
#4-Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
#5-Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
#6-Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
#7-Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth
#8-Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
#9-Cultivating Meaningful Work- Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”
#10-Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”
I connected THE MOST with #1 and #2. Although I found “ah-ha” moments within each chapter, I found that I personally have a hard time being comfortable in the choices I make every day. Throughout my life, I have always been a complete worry-wart, self-conscious about how __________ (my parents, my friends, my classmates, my bosses, the lady at the CVS counter) think about me. Not fun. Not intentional. Just sucks.
Does The Gifts of Imperfection sound like the self-help read for you? Like I said, it’s all fine and dandy if you are a kindle gal, but I recommend buying a paper copy of The Gifts of Imperfection. It is something you will want to flip back to frequently.
Be sure to have a highlighter and/or pen handy!
Have you read The Gifts of Imperfection?
Do you have other self-help recommendations?
Let me know in the comments below!