The Gifts of Imperfection
Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • This tenth-anniversary edition of the game-changing #1 New York Times bestseller features a new foreword and new tools to make the work your own.
For over a decade, Brené Brown has found a special place in our hearts as a gifted mapmaker and a fellow traveler. She is both a social scientist and a kitchen-table friend whom you can always count on to tell the truth, make you laugh, and, on occasion, cry with you. And what’s now become a movement all started with The Gifts of Imperfection, which has sold more than two million copies in thirty-five different languages across the globe.
What transforms this book from words on a page to effective daily practices are the ten guideposts to wholehearted living. The guideposts not only help us understand the practices that will allow us to change our lives and families, they also walk us through the unattainable and sabotaging expectations that get in the way.
Brené writes, “This book is an invitation to join a wholehearted revolution. A small, quiet, grassroots movement that starts with each of us saying, ‘My story matters because I matter.’ Revolution might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance.”
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
You don’t need to be a perfectionist to read this book. You only have to be the kind of person who sometimes questions their worth—and we’re pretty sure that’s all of us. TED talk luminary Brené Brown, who has a PhD in social work, has spent her career examining how humans hold themselves back. Channeling her extraordinarily down-to-earth style, The Gifts of Imperfection makes the case that shame is the enemy of fulfillment. Brown offers her pillars of wholehearted self-acceptance in 10 clear chapters. This slim book is the nudge many of us need to question our inner voices—after reading it, we were definitely more at peace with ourselves.
Brown, author or I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't), again urges us to expose and expel our insecurities in order to have the most fulfilling life possible. Her latest is a guidebook for pilgrims on the journey to wholehearted living, which she defines as containing courage, compassion, deliberate boundaries, and connection. She has defined 10 guideposts for personal introspection, which involve cultivating some positive quality, whether it be authenticity, self-compassion, or a resilient spirit, intuition, meaningful work, or laughter. Each guidepost is the focus of a chapter that contains illustrative stories, primarily from her own life; definitions, including the difference between shame and guilt; quotes from such diverse sources as Diane Ackerman and E.E. Cummings; and brief suggestions of activities that she pursues with the assumption that they might help her audience. Although these activities are highlighted in her introduction to the book, they are in short supply and the book functions more as a chatty meditation on the guideposts. Despite occasional moments of insight, this book's primary value may be in spurring thought and providing references to other authors that will provide further inspiration for those seeking a more meaningful life.