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The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are | [Brené Brown]

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we'd no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, What if I can't keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn't everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?
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Publisher's Summary

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown, a leading expert on shame, authenticity, and belonging, shares 10 guideposts on the power of Wholehearted Living - a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness. Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we'd no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, "What if I can't keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn't everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?"

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 10 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."

©2010 Brene Brown (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Courage, compassion, and connection: Through Brené's research, observations, and guidance, these three little words can open the door to amazing change in your life." (Ali Edwards, author of Life Artist)

"Bren Brown courageously tackles the dark emotions that get in the way of leading a fuller life; read this book and let some of that courage rub off on you." (Daniel H. Pink, New York Times best-selling author of A Whole New Mind)

"This important book is about the lifelong journey from 'What will people think?' to 'I am enough.' Brown's unique ability to blend original research with honest storytelling makes reading The Gifts of Imperfection like having a long, uplifting conversation with a very wise friend who offers compassion, wisdom, and great advice.' (Harriet Lerner, New York Times best-selling author of The Dance of Anger and The Dance of Connection)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Christopher Miami, FL USA 03-10-15
    Christopher Miami, FL USA 03-10-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    96
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    "She wants to make her own 10 step program"

    Uses the basis of a 12 step program and tries to reinvent it. She uses gratitude, spiritual awakening, etc ( common terms in 12 step programs) rearranges them and makes a "new" 10 step program that excuses addictive behaviors. Sorry honey but I tried your way and I got drunk again. Wish I was still able to return this title and can't.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tracy 08-17-14
    tracy 08-17-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Buy 'The Power of Vulnerability' Instead!"

    This book is amazing, except it is the exact same content as the power of vulnerability, which is narrated by Berne Brown herself. The work just seems much deeper and the stories a lot richer when you hear it from the author directly. When I say they're the same I really mean it. Same stories, same content, same organization.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverly Pensacola, FL, United States 02-13-14
    Beverly Pensacola, FL, United States 02-13-14
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    "Where's the meat?"
    What disappointed you about The Gifts of Imperfection?

    I was really excited about getting this book as I LOVE Oprah. Perhaps it's because I've read so many self-help books over the years but I didn't get a single thing out of the book. I found her observations to be pretty obvious and redundant. I felt like quitting the book through most of it but hung in there hoping there was going to be some revelation of new insight. I can't think of a single profound "a ha!" moment that I had.


    What was most disappointing about Brene Brown’s story?

    Sorry.... but I thought it was lots of fluff and not much substance.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Lauren Fortgang’s performances?

    Yes


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Briana Melissa Ford Carson, CA USA 01-18-13
    Briana Melissa Ford Carson, CA USA 01-18-13 Member Since 2015

    Book nerd for life!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Look into Imperfection"
    What did you love best about The Gifts of Imperfection?

    This book wasn't pretentious at all. It was so...me!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    We're all perfect just how we are


    Any additional comments?

    Brene opened up herself to us and readers immediately see ourselves in her. I now see how I am and how I thought I was supposed to be, know how to change certain things, and can go on living being happy with who I am.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Road Reader 03-03-13
    Road Reader 03-03-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No clear path or conclusion"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    There are no useful real-world coping mechanisms in this book. The book isn't much about dealing with imperfections in the world. Rather its a meandering stroll through an academic's insecurities about being a scholar, public speaker, writer, and parent.


    What was most disappointing about Brene Brown’s story?

    After DIG deep hours and hours of fluff, some of which tangentially had to do with DIG deep.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    DIG Deep


    Any additional comments?

    Frame the content of the book in an outline rather than what appeared to be stream of conscious writing

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yehoshua North Richmond, Australia 01-01-13
    Yehoshua North Richmond, Australia 01-01-13

    I am a retired social worker/psychotherapist/group therapist. I am also a qualified senior flight instructor. I served as an air traffic control officer in the Australian Air Force during the Vietnam War. I am a keen sea-kayaker. I recently completed a Master's degree and am working towards a PhD.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A complete guide to being authentic"

    This book is a must for anyone serious about becoming a more authentic human being. The content is not merely the author's opinion, it based on scientifically riqorous research conducted by the author. It is not only enlightening but also entertaining. The author courageously illustrates her points with examples from her own life. This is a book to be listened to over and over again.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Alexander 03-26-15 Member Since 2015
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    "This is one of those life changer books for me"

    I liked this much more than I thought I would. I'm going to start Brene's online class with Art Journaling for this book. Although her book is based on years of research, I absorbed the concepts so well through the stories she tells. I usually do not do audiobooks, but I have a long commute to work so it really works for me. The narrator was very good and easy to listen to. I'm on to Daring Greatly next.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fred LAKE OSWEGO, OR, United States 10-08-14
    fred LAKE OSWEGO, OR, United States 10-08-14 Member Since 2012

    I'm Trying to see the world with my ears.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brené book is funny and helpful and real."

    I love how vulnerable she made herself when giving examples of her definitions. Shame is difficult to talk about, imperfection is difficult to talk about, being wrong is difficult to talk about; but, Brene talks about all of those things in a way that guides the reader to not only understand big concepts but also to see how they work in their own lives.
    She's a master storyteller and teacher.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JinDallas Dallas, TX 07-14-14
    JinDallas Dallas, TX 07-14-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Meh. Nothing really new here."
    Would you ever listen to anything by Brené Brown again?

    Probably not.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narration was fine. The content was the problem.


    Any additional comments?

    I was hoping for more substance here but realized Ms. Brown is a researcher and not a psychologist. She tells stories from her life, which makes her a likeable person but I found this book dull, repetitive and it seemed to rehash themes from her other books. It just wasn't my cup of tea. I was looking for more psychology and less fluff.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Acteon Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 12-02-13
    Acteon Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 12-02-13

    Acteon

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    "Disappointed"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Younger people especially women


    Did Lauren Fortgang do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Personally, I was not taken with her way of reading.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    I bought the book together with Brown's book on shame because I suffer from what I consider to be feelings of shame, but I did not find the insights I hoped for. The analysis provided, while surely useful to someone coming to grips with this kind of issues for the first time, seems too superficial; at least it does not get to the heart of what I am struggling with. As a result, the advice, which is good as far as it goes, is not of much use to me because I have gained no deeper understanding of what troubles me. I should perhaps specify that I have had more than a decade of psychotherapy and a lifelong interest in psychology and psychoanalysis — this is not to tout my "qualifications" (obviously I have nothing to boast about since all my efforts have not solved the problems that motivated me to buy this book) but to put my critical attitude into perspective, because I do not wish keep prospective readers with a different background from buying the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    Crewe, United Kingdom
    9/1/12
    Overall
    "Learn how to accept yourself"

    I found this book really easy to listen to. I like the narrator's style. The book was a series of strories with a life application and a good dose of humour and down-to-earthness. I found it made a lot of sense. It is not a list of "how to"s which I found a refreshing change. I am planning to listen to it again to make sure I squeeze every last drop of value out of it...

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Sandra W
    United Kingdom
    1/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant and very helpful."
    If you could sum up The Gifts of Imperfection in three words, what would they be?

    Thought-provoking. Helpful. Insightful.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Gifts of Imperfection?

    Realising I did some of the things mentioned and I could easily change this.


    What about Lauren Fortgang’s performance did you like?

    It was fine, she sounded like she was actually talking to you rather than reading but was a little robotic sounding when reading quotes.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Be yourself: Life is too short to worry about what others think.


    Any additional comments?

    Definitely worth listening too, give it a chance it may just change your life.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Astrid
    Cheltenham, United Kingdom
    8/3/11
    Overall
    "Insightful and thought provoking"

    I finished this book today and really REALLY loved it. For anyone sceptical about "self help" books this offers a refreshing change, and as a qualitative researcher Brene Brown has a scientific approach, but the book isn't dry or dull as a result. She is humorous, empathetic and I am looking forward to reading more by the same author. I thought the only pity was that she didn't narrate the book herself, as she is an excellent public speaker, and the book was personal - though saying that the narrator did a fantastic job!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • J. Casey
    UK
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "fantastic, wise and witty"

    I love this book - if you've seen Brene Brown's TED talk you'll already know her style - impassioned, funny and inpeciably researched. This book's practical in it's focus - lots of tools and ideas to help improve your ability to live a more 'whole hearted' life. The only disappointment is that Brene Brown doesn't narrate it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • chas
    7/31/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great"

    A couple of real nuggets: )
    recommended
    as it says; watch out for hustling for approval/worthiness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cannycook
    7/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Learn more about yourself"
    Would you listen to The Gifts of Imperfection again? Why?

    This is a book you can return to again and again. As her other audible recordings it is great to listen to in the car especially on longer journeys


    What other book might you compare The Gifts of Imperfection to, and why?

    Louse Hay. I Can Do It


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Enjoyed how she illustrated her points with anecdotes from her wide experience


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Made me laugh when I recognised the things I do to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lady Ella Mentry
    UK Cotswolds
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very interesting look into the self"
    What made the experience of listening to The Gifts of Imperfection the most enjoyable?

    I is a deep topic made easy to swallow.


    What other book might you compare The Gifts of Imperfection to, and why?

    Daring Greatly is also by the same author and touches on the same topics.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No only because you need to reflect.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oana
    7/13/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating facts about us and our imperfections"

    Vulnerability is seldom a subject that people talk about openly. Brené Brown's book captures fascinating details about shame and fear and joy and courage and authenticity. This book is easy to read (well, listen to) and it is a great reminder that our imperfections have their own role in our development and in our social relationships. Also, it has some very interesting references that I will certainly look for in more detail - such as that on play.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • kyle
    6/15/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very inspiring"

    Really enjoyed this book. The chapters going through the ten guideposts are very informative. I feel inspired to bring about changes in my life. Would wholeheartedly recommend this book to you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • FEAA
    england
    4/15/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldnt get into it"
    Would you try another book written by Brené Brown or narrated by Lauren Fortgang?

    No, I found the book too 'mummy' focused and did not relate to me on a professional level.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Lauren Fortgang?

    No


    Did The Gifts of Imperfection inspire you to do anything?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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