The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

After diving into the research on shame, the author tackles the question, what does wholehearted living look like. She studies what is called qualitative research, as opposed to quantitative. The results are laid out as 10 guideposts to put into practice if your desire is wholehearted living.

Gifts of imperfection book, coffee cup, and computer

Picture of Gifts of imperfection book

Rather than the model of living from fear, judgement and isolation, the author’s research repeatedly pointed to courage, compassion and connection, which she calls the gifts of imperfection.

From guidepost #1 of cultivating authenticity to #10 cultivating laughter, song and dance Brené fleshes out what each means and how we can incorporate them into our lives. Drawing on numerous stories from her life and thousands of contacts over the years she brings each guidepost to life and draws the reader into seeing the importance of each. Every guidepost is followed by dig deep, get inspired and get going sections to implement the new desired action.

In a sea of self-help books, this one felt like a life raft. Brené Brown has a way of making you feel like you’re doing just fine. I loved how she included stories to illustrate the aspect of wholehearted living she was showcasing in each guidepost. Consider this fact, as the author calls it, “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all women, men and children.”

Inviting the reader to begin practicing rather than guilting or shaming into changing the way we talk to ourselves, treat ourselves and trust ourselves was a breath of fresh air.

She covers things that get in the way of wholehearted living and reiterates that meaningful change is a process that can be uncomfortable and risky, but so worth it. I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with negativity, perfectionism, self-worth, or really anything!

You can also read the book along with their Gifts of Imperfection podcasts. 

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