Reads & Listens

Review: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

May 23, 2019

Embracing Authenticity Over Perfection

Brené Brown and I go way back… in my admiration for her work, at least. Yet, this is the first book of hers I’ve delved into. Maybe, deep down, I was bracing myself for the profound truths she’s known to unveil.

Ever watched Brené Brown deliver a talk? If not, you’re missing out on this fiery Texan who wonderfully marries wit with wisdom. With a distinguished academic background, she has dedicated her career to understanding courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. And her goal? To make the world a tad bit more emotionally open. Intriguing, right?

In “The Gifts of Imperfection,” Brené masterfully weaves humor, relatability, and research-driven insights. It’s this blend that makes her revelations resonate deeply, even if some truths sting a little. A heads-up for my fellow perfectionists out there: some pages might feel like looking into a confronting mirror.

Diving into her research, Brené distills courage, compassion, and connection as the crux of our sense of worthiness. She presents ten guideposts, pillars if you will, to elevate your journey to authentic self-acceptance.

Through her candid personal stories, she illustrates her own voyage of shedding perfectionism and embracing authenticity. While some of her observations might seem like common knowledge, I believe we occasionally need these reminders. Brené, with her rich research and relatable anecdotes, offers just that reassurance.

Unlike many self-help books that act as a pep-talk, this book felt different. It’s a blend of moments that make you go “aha” and some that prompt “oh no”. It’s not just a book; it’s a reflection on human behavior, personal perceptions, and the narratives we believe.

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that makes us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of light.”


Want to explore Brené’s insights firsthand? You can check it out here. Highly recommend that you do!

For a dose of Brené’s brilliance in action, watch some of her brilliant talks:

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