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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

4.1 (1633 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lisa 10-29-13
    Lisa 10-29-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "got me back on track"

    This is a great book for those a little off the beaten path of life. DIG DEEP and you shall find the truth. Nice pace to the lesson and kept me wanting to hear more

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen San Diego, CA, United States 10-20-13
    Kathleen San Diego, CA, United States 10-20-13
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    1
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    "Opened my mind to enjoying my imperfections"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would recommend this audio to a friend. It is one of the few self help books that I enjoyed as a narrative. I did not feel I had to go back and highlight the salient points in print.


    What did you like best about this story?

    the self discovery felt real and immediate. I could relate to Brene as a person I might know in my own life.


    What about Lauren Fortgang’s performance did you like?

    Lauren was personal and engaging. As I had never heard Brena speak I actually thought it was the author reading about her own life.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from The Gifts of Imperfection?

    AUTHENTICITY


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Heath Mcdonald SLC, Ut 08-15-13
    L. Heath Mcdonald SLC, Ut 08-15-13 Listener Since 2010
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    22
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    "Very Good! But left me wanting more."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. She makes a lot of great points as to why we should embrace ourselves in order for us to live a more fulfilling life.


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

    A New Earth. The Power of Now. The Four Agreements. They are all about embracing who we are and not letting shame control our lives.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Where she talks about having people in our lives with whom we can feel safe to be vulnerable with. I am now seeking out a few good people to be this in my life.


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    There is a shame epidemic going on in this world and being open and vulnerable is the solution.


    Any additional comments?

    We live in a society of where we put one face forward while hiding our true selves for fear of rejection. But in reality real peace and fulfillment is found in removing the mask and letting our real self shine. It is scary, but liberating in doing this.I was raised in a very religious home. It took a lot of courage for me after 35 years to be honest about my lack of belief in this religion. I took a chance. Almost lost my marriage over it. But what I gained was priceless. Myself!Thank you Brene', your TED talk was the beginning for me in this transformation and this book has become a valuable asset in my library.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crazy about horses 07-14-13
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    38
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    "Some parts are great; others so-so; 3.5 stars"
    Would you listen to The Gifts of Imperfection again? Why?

    I would like to listen to the parts that were most revelatory and pertinent to me again: about the vulnerability one feels when doing something risky, and Brown's point about how it's OK, even necessary to feel vulnerable and to open oneself to something new; about feeling judged by others, but realizing that it's oneself often who is imposing that feeling (and even if others are judging, putting that in perspective); the encouragement to "dare greatly"; the encouragement to rest, play, dance, sing, laugh. Other parts I wouldn't feel the need to listen to.


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

    Towards the end, when the author related the anecdote about being in a department store with her daughter, and the two of them feeling like they were in a precarious position and being judged by some other women and their daughters. It sounds minor, but what Brown wrote about needing to decide between betraying her daughter to make herself look better, or standing with her daughter, was very insightful and inspirational. Another revealing anecdote was the one about Brown getting upset about the person who emailed her with a criticism about a photograph on her blog. Initially it seemed like a petty story, but the points Brown makes in telling it were very important.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Lauren Fortgang?

    I don't know, but I found Fortang's style irritating at times, and thought it detracted from the book's substance. There were some problems with pronouncing words (e.g., "signal out" instead of "single out" -- shouldn't an editor/producer have figured this out? Or is the error in the original text?). Also, sometimes (especially in the beginning) there wasn't enough of a pause preceding and signaling a new section in a chapter. Finally, I found the vocal style sometimes off-putting, too "cutesy."


    What did you learn from The Gifts of Imperfection that you would use in your daily life?

    I would like to keep in mind that in difficult situations (e.g., encounters with people who are being difficult), that it's OK to take the time to think about how I'm feeling and to acknowledge and respond to that vulnerability and sadness, rather than to try to make myself come out looking better in the encounter.


    Any additional comments?

    I think that the book needed some editing to strengthen some of the points and interconnections among points. I also think that someone else could do a better job reading the book (perhaps someone with more speaking talent such as Sissy Spacek--someone with a voice like that). Despite these criticisms, overall, the book was worthwhile to listen to for me. Ultimately I wanted to keep listening, and to finish the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Benowa, Australia 06-20-13
    Sarah Benowa, Australia 06-20-13

    Wife and Mother of a 2yo little girl. Compliance Manager and Recruitment Manager, I love my work, love spending time with family & friends (though never get enough time to do it!), love ALL music depending on my mood, good food, good wine, and travel,

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    3
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    "Great boost"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, if they were in a place where they needed a morale booster


    What did you learn from The Gifts of Imperfection that you would use in your daily life?

    We're not perfect, but that's what makes us who we are - instead of looking at the negative side of things, we need to look at the strengths that are created from these.

    This is nothing new. But when i was in a place emotionally where i needed to hear it, somehow it was delivered in a way that wasn't condescending, nor repetitive. It somehow stuck wth me, and really helped me to see how strong i can be.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole PROVO, UT, United States 05-09-13
    Nicole PROVO, UT, United States 05-09-13 Member Since 2011
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    "GOOD AND INSIGHTFUL"
    Any additional comments?

    Love the self help and inspiring books. This book helped me see that I am who I am, and I can't really change a lot of those things. Be proud of who you are!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laure Cartersville, GA, United States 04-21-13
    Laure Cartersville, GA, United States 04-21-13 Member Since 2014
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    5
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    "Living with perfect Imperfection"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Being that this book is about Brene herself, the author allows a peak into her own life and the challenges that she has faced.


    What does Lauren Fortgang bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narration brings a sense that the author is speaking directly to the listener


    What did you learn from The Gifts of Imperfection that you would use in your daily life?

    to place a high value on rest and play


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Clarksburg, MD, United States 04-07-13
    Michelle Clarksburg, MD, United States 04-07-13 Member Since 2011
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    1
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    "Brene! Please read your own work."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Great information that could be markedly improved by the author reading the book herself. The reader isn't connected to the content.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Lauren Fortgang?

    Brene Brown


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

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Hot Springs, NC, United States 03-19-13
    Dennis Hot Springs, NC, United States 03-19-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Insightful!"
    What other book might you compare The Gifts of Imperfection to and why?

    "For Better" by Tara Parker Pope. Both combine scientific research with their personal journey making it "real" to the listener. Both have been very helpful to me. It's been 2 years since I listened to "For Better" and I am as grateful as ever for the wisdom she shared. I expect that The Gifts of Imperfection will have no less of a lasting effect.


    Any additional comments?

    I have struggled with feelings of inadequacy all my life. I have put a great deal of effort in trying to understand how the brain (mine) works, particularly over the past 2-3 years. The insight I gained from this book really stands out! I love Lauren Fortgang's narration. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia 03-16-13
    Patricia 03-16-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Original spin"

    There is very little here that I hadn't heard/read/thought about before, but, somehow, Brown's take on each thing puts it in a whole new light. Despite her continual tauting of her credentials and years of experience (tedious and, really, not that many), she does have something original and insightful to offer. I will recommend this book to friends and family and will be listening to Daring Greatly, in the near future. I will probably listen to this one, again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 61-70 of 103 results PREVIOUS167811NEXT
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  • MRS
    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
  • Amazon Customer
    Methven, 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.

    2 of 2 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!

    2 of 2 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
  • Mr
    8/31/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poor"
    What would have made The Gifts of Imperfection better?

    More insight, style and relevance


    Has The Gifts of Imperfection put you off other books in this genre?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this book due to the large number of positive reviews but my honest opinion is that they can't be genuine. If you're after a well researched book written in a compelling style don't buy this. If you're happy to listen to a nice Amercian woman talking about her breakdown and recovery in an almost 'dear diary' style then you may well enjoy it.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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