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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

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    tracy POWAY, CA, United States 08-17-14
    tracy POWAY, CA, United States 08-17-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Thomas Long Beach, CA, United States 12-31-13
    Thomas Long Beach, CA, United States 12-31-13 Member Since 2002
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    "Disappointing personal rant"
    What was most disappointing about Brene Brown’s story?

    Why should I care about a disappointing rant from an all too comfortable life that has nothing to do with mine?


    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 2012

    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
  •  
    Douglas C. Bates Boston, MA 03-09-11
    Douglas C. Bates Boston, MA 03-09-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is a memoir, not research"

    If you'd like to listen to one person's tale of overcoming their large array of minor addictions, going into therapy, having a breakdown, and learning to let go of being who she thinks she is supposed to be, you may very well get a lot out of this book.

    However, this book is positioned as the work of "a leading expert on shame, authenticity, and belonging" who "shares what she's learned from a decade of research". Nearly all of the research she shares is her own personal story. She makes occasional references to her academic research with what other experience, giving some short summaries. She doesn't give details about anybody else's experience. It's all about Brene Brown.

    If you are a lot like the author, whom I'd describe as a woman who is more wrapped up in her own feeling states than most people are, this book may be just wonderful for you. If you're not, if you're seeking actual research findings, if you're looking for insights that are more broadly applicable, pass this book by.

    32 of 47 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 2010

    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
  •  
    KP Oakland, CA 05-03-14
    KP Oakland, CA 05-03-14 Member Since 2006

    There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nothing new under the sun."

    Sorry, I just wasn't that impressed with Brene Brown. There's nothing wrong with the book per se, but I feel like it's all been written before and in a way that impacted me more powerfully. She definitely did a lot of research, but when it boiled down to making her points, well, as i said, it was nothing new.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverly Pensacola, FL, United States 02-13-14
    Beverly Pensacola, FL, United States 02-13-14 Member Since 2013
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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


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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