The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

Last month, I picked up this book as I was intrigued with its title. It took me only a week to finish this read and all this time I had many Aha moments, where I felt Gawd! this is so true! This isn’t a self help book and certainly not a book barraging old philosophy. It rather is a series of guide posts, each entailing author’s personal story, her experience as a researcher and how it shaped her view of whole hearted living. (what whole hearted living really is!)

The author starts by discussing shame. (a topic she studied for almost two decades.) I instantly reckon her description of shame – An “intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.”
Brené  connects this feeling of shame to our sense of striving for perfection.
Through her research, she breaks the myth of combining perfection with success and happiness. She explains how perfectionism hampers success. How often it is a path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.

Brené  also talks about courage and vulnerability. She explains how courage is like a habit, you become courageous by couraging. Both courage and vulnerability are must to form a meaningful connection. In her ten guideposts, she describes how wholehearted living rests on courage, compassion, connection. She explains how love, belonging, and worthiness foster the feeling of wholehearted living.

There are several quotes in this book that can get you thinking. And if you are like me, reading them twice, you’d come to appreciate the simplicity of her idea.

Below were my three favorite quotes from this book.

Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.”

“Until we can receive with an open heart, we’re never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.”

“We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions”

After I finished this book, I felt a dire need to read her other work. I discovered her blog (very interesting) and checked out her other books. I’m planning to pick one of these titles very soon. See full list at the end of this post.

Bottom line, If you are going through a rough patch and looking for a bed time read, I’d definitely recommend reading The gifts of Imperfection.
I read it coz I found its title very attractive.
I recommend it coz I simply loved the book.

My Goodreads rating (5/5)

Brené Brown’s other books

1. I thought it was just me – Hiding your struggle isn’t always the answer. Life’s imperfections are part of what it means to be human—and that’s OK
2. Daring Greatly – Despite common opinion, experiencing vulnerability is a personal sign of strength rather than weakness.
3. Rising Strong – Brown explores the ways you can become comfortable with being vulnerable in order to be your strongest self—and open to life’s joy and love.
4. Daring to lead – Using research conducted with cultural change makers, Brown teaches us how we can take fundamental human ideals—connection, courage, and empathy, for example—and turn them into tools to become more conscientious leaders.
5. Braving the wilderness – By introducing key practices of “true belonging,” Brown educates us on ways we can reconnect with our true selves amidst an increasingly distracting, perfectionist world. A key factor? Embracing nature.

© Copyright 2020. Megha Gupta. All rights reserved.