The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
The lovelies recently read Brown’s latest book. Many lovelies were already fans of Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, and were eager to delve into more self discovery. I had never read any of Brown’s books, although they are best sellers, so I was game! The subtitle of the book is Your guid to a wholehearted life. What’s that about, you ask? Take a look:
In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown, Ph.D., 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.
In a world where we are all striving to be Superwoman and perfection is not seen as an option, these words appealed to many of us. Gifts is broken into subchapters, called Guideposts that help you see what are you might want to study first. Examples:
- Guidepost #1: Cultivating Authenticity
- Guidepost #2 Cultivating Self-Compassion
- Guidepost #3 Cultivating a Resilient Spirit
- Guidepost #7 Cultivating Play and Rest
- Guidepost #10: Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance
Do you see what the author is helping us to do? She’s helping us to let go of focusing on the negatives in ourselves and focus on improving yourself given the gifts and talents you already possess. Because I’m unfamiliar with Brown’s previous works, I had little understanding of her prior alcoholic background, her work on addiction, and her shaming work. Knowing this background information might have been helpful while working through some of the guideposts. For me, I’ve worked through many of these in other ways so they weren’t applicable and I found them redundant.
The guideposts that DID apply to me?
Wow. So helpful. For example:
“…Most of us engage in behaviors (consciously or not) that help us to take the edge of off vulnerability, pain, and discomfort.” (p. 70) Was an eye opening statement for me. It’s a truth in my life that I don’t want to be vulnerable. “…When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” Who knew?
Also? Brown encourages us to play. Play! She says it’s an important part of Wholehearted Living. Who knew? Play, have fun. Your brain will be better for it.
You’ll also be better if you follow some of her final advice: “…letting go of what the world says we’re supposed to be and supposed to call ourselves.”
So see there? Take off that Superwoman cape. It’s ok just to be you, with all your faults and foibles.
If you’re into self help books, this might be the book for you. Although I would suggest reading her other books first for background. You might not be as confused as I was.
What are your thoughts on this or Brown’s other books?