The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene Brown

This was our first ever ‘book club’ book and my choice of book… I read it before, at the beginning of lockdown, and it helped transform my mindset completely. I didn’t realise I was suffering from perfectionism until I read this book. And, upon reading it and implementing what Brene Brown has taught, over the last 6 months, I have noticed significant improvements in my life!

It was recommended to me by a writing coach, otherwise, I doubt I would have picked it.
I’ve never much liked the term ‘self-help’, but I guess that’s what it is. And, I’ve addressed my own beliefs around them.
If you find a suitable book for you and actually implement the advice they give, I think they are fantastic.

And, ‘personal development’ (my preferred term, over ‘self -help’) is what I have now created my whole membership around – Kickboxing is a form of personal development!

As the name implies, this book is about ways of overcoming perfectionism. It teaches you how to live your life with more joy (which includes accepting vulnerability!) through embracing courage, compassion, and connection.
Brene Brown has written this book by including plenty of her personal stories combined with ‘DIG Deep’ action points, at the end of each of the 10 guideposts.
These are ways to help you actually incorporate ‘wholehearted living’ into your life; there’s not much point in reading ‘all the books’, then doing nothing about it!
The way this book has been written makes it engaging to read, with actionable advice, and easy to reference back to.

‘ I learned the inextricable connection between joy and gratitude and how things I take for granted, like rest and play, are as vital to our health and exercise and nutrition’.

And this is why I promote ‘Wholehearted health’. I found this extremely powerful and true; as a society we value ‘work’, even working towards our health goals… when actually we need to include elements of play/fun/enjoyment and plenty of rest too, to achieve the best results. They are NOT counterproductive.

This book is perfect for anyone who has ever thought ‘I’m not good enough’. There is an emphasis on becoming more compassionate, beginning with yourself. Reminding you that you are worthy, now. Not if. Not when. Now.

And by becoming more compassionate with yourself, you can become more compassionate with others too.
It has elements of her story and how she has had to overcome these things, with plenty of research to back it all up (Brene Brown is a shame researcher!)

I found it interesting and engaging to read and I am looking forward to getting stuck into some of her references too!
Brene has taken a very real approach to the fact it isn’t easy and also highlighted her own struggles and imperfections, even throughout the 10 years between the two editions of this book – it’s a continued practice, not a solution to all problems, and perfection doesn’t exist!

‘You’re going to confuse, piss off and terrify lots of people; including yourself’.

This sums up what it will take to implement what she teaches into your life. She then says how she feels ‘Brave, afraid and very, very alive’ – I think that’s worth going through the confusion/fear, hence I am practicing it myself, have been for the last 6 months, and have no plans to stop!

The only negative comment made about this book was the ‘spiritual/faith’ references.
This resonates with me, as upon my first read-through I had the same thoughts. ‘I don’t pray’, ‘I’m not spiritual’ etc.
I am still not religious, but I would say that I do now have faith. A faith in ‘the universe’, I guess (without wanting to sound too spiritual!).
A faith, trust, and hope that we are all connected and that everything that I am doing is exactly as it should be. That my positive intentions will attract positive reactions…
Energy is real. And the more you learn to feel it, the more powerful it becomes.
And, I don’t pray, but I do practice daily gratitude. It has transformed my mindset.

What next?

For book club, we are reading ‘Frazzled, by Ruby Wax’.

With regards to ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’, a couple of us are going to read ‘The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho’, as referenced under ‘Guidepost 9 – Cultivating Meaningful work : Letting go of self-doubt and ‘supposed to’; where Brene says that she reads this book at least once per year (which I think, slightly ironically, I might do with ‘The Gifts of Imperfection, to ‘keep me on track’!)

Personally, I have highlighted ‘The soul of money: Transforming your Relationship with Money and Life’ by Lynne Twist Guidepost 4 – Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark and ‘Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens imagination, and invigorates the Soul’ by Stuart Brown Guidepost 7 – Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting go of Exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth.



A final note: I really enjoyed reading about how Brene Brown conducts her research and this has made me think I should find/create a system to document my own findings, as I love having conversations and learning about people, and do so often, but at the moment it’s all stuck in my brain!

If you would like to read this book, I would greatly appreciate it if you could use this link below to purchase it!
This is the 10th-anniversary edition, which I read and thoroughly enjoyed!
I will earn a small amount of commission, which I will use to buy more books!


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