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

This helpful handbook (160 pages) was published in August of 2010 by Hazelden Publishing. The book takes you to the place you know yourself. Melissa read The Gifts of Imperfection and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.

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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

You probably know Brené Brown from her TED talks and her best-selling books on vulnerability, courage, and belonging. Although her success has exploded in recent years, this book from 2010 remains our favorite because of its clear, actionable guidelines for wholehearted living.

This slim book is like concentrated detergent that scours from your brain the thoughts that don’t serve you. We’re all bombarded on a near-constant basis by messages urging us to be better, faster, stronger, thinner, smarter, richer — more perfect. Brown’s resounding message is that by letting go of others’ expectations — while practicing gratitude and cutting ourselves some slack — we can find peace and happiness.

That can all sound a little hippy-dippy, but it’s not: This book is a practical guide with actionable advice to start feeling like your best self right now.

Through her ten guideposts, Brown tackles essential topics like perfectionism, vulnerability, authenticity, and self-compassion. She shares anecdotes from her own life — and illuminating quotes from other respected thinkers — to show how we can cultivate the good stuff in our lives. We can revel in gratitude, joy, courage, calm, and creativity without making ourselves nuts or judging ourselves too harshly in the process.

I’m not at all sure that this work is about self-help. I think of it as an invitation to join a Wholehearted revolution… Revolution might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance. Choosing to live and love with our whole hearts is an act of defiance.” — Brené Brown

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