[The Gifts of Imperfection]: A Review

Hi all! We are so close to the weekend! Hope y’all are doing well.

Today I realized that I am now 5 reviews behind on my blog! Eek! That’s suddenly quite a lot. While I have been able to read a lot in 2018 (just finished book 7 last night!), I have not been where I want to be with my review writing. So here I am trying to play a little catch up!

I am really excited to share my impressions on The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown. I first encountered her work at my college job mentoring incoming freshmen. I loved that job, and I loved Brene’s insights on “vulnerability.” When I rediscovered her work last year, I knew I wanted to read more of her books. And I am now the proud owner of The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly (which I will hopefully read in February-March).

Initial Thoughts:

  • This book is changing my life. I absolutely love Brene Brown and found myself nodding and even commenting out loud as I read this book. So many of her theories and ideas resonate profoundly with me.
  • I read this book at the perfect time for me. It has given me a new perspective, courage, and determination to seek connection and embrace who I am. I see my life in a more positive and authentic way already.
  • I love that Brene Brown came to these conclusions and that they shocked her. She is a very human, imperfect person herself. And she constantly references how these ideas have influenced her own life. I love that she practices what she preaches. 

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The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown offers simple yet profound insights on ways to live more fully and wholeheartedly. Goodreads summarizes, “In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown, PhD, a leading expert on shame, authenticity and belonging, shares what she’s learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living–a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough, and to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.”

First, can I just say I do not like the genre title “self help.” It makes me think of people who are looking for other people to fix their problems. That’s not me (at least, I don’t think it is). The negative connotation with “self help” pushes me away from most books that fall into that genre. However, lately, I have loved the idea of “self care”–a movement focused on giving yourself attention and rest on a regular basis. So instead of calling this a “self help” book, I think of it as a “self care” book. And it has already helped me be a little kinder, a little more patient with myself.

It’s hard for me to pick a favorite guidepost because I agree with basically everything I read in this book. But I will highlight a few of my favorite takeaways from the book:

  • The connection between gratitude and joy. I love the distinction made between happiness and joy. To find deeper meaning and purpose in life, we must cultivate joy. Living a joyful life doesn’t mean we’re happy all the time. But it does mean we focus on gratitude rather than scarcity. I love that!
  • Creativity as a means to combat comparison. This was a new idea for me but it makes a lot of sense. When we create, we feel empowered and increase our talents. We are focusing on our own contribution to the world rather than seeing what others are contributing. I struggle with comparison so this helped me discover new ways to combat those tendencies.
  • The importance of play, rest, song, dance, and stillness. This pulls from several guideposts. In today’s world, we are hyper focused on productivity, control, and exhaustion. In fact, I often measure the success of my day based on how much I accomplished, how many tasks I completed. But this book argues that taking time to play for the sake of play, take a nap, sing to the radio, dance around your kitchen, and meditate are all equally valuable. We don’t always have to “accomplish” something tangible to live wholeheartedly. In fact, we need to take time for these other things in order to find a more wholehearted lifestyle.

Finally, I’d like to share a few ideas for getting the most out of a book like this:

  • Read at least a chapter a day. This particular book is conducive to such an idea because it boasts short chapters and an easy style.
  • Engage with the book. Don’t just read it, act on it! Take notes, answer the questions, tell someone about it, etc just make your reading more than the words on the page.
  • This book is worth owning. I read it through from cover to cover but I also plan to go back and read particular sections. Definitely a book worth referencing!
  • Watch Brene Brown’s TED talk!

Overall, I think this is a book everyone should read. It can change your perspective and your life. I feel a greater measure of joy and contentment for who I am and where I am in my life right now. Thank you, Brene Brown! Can’t wait to read Daring Greatly!

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Have you read any of Brene Brown’s books?
What are your favorite “self care” books?

6 thoughts on “[The Gifts of Imperfection]: A Review

  1. Pingback: February Wrap-Up and March TBR – greenish bookshelf

  2. Janene Wright

    The book group I am a part of will be reading The Gifts of Imperfection later this year, but after reading your great review of this book, I am excited to read it now! Thank you for sharing such great reviews- I may have to read a lot more than I already do.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Links I Loved This Week – 02/11/2018 – Novels And Nonfiction

  4. I read Daring Greatly and Braving the WIlderness – both excellent! I love her advice about embracing vulnerability as a parent… acknowledging the terror and helplessness one can feel, but knowing that being brave enough to be vulnerable and fully love your child and embrace the lack of control… it’s a toughie, but so helpful to recognize! I think she talked about that in Daring Greatly, if I remember correctly. She talks about how gratitude is an antidote to fear. I love her. She’s most helpful!

    And I love “self-care” book! 🙂 Nice reframing!

    Like

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