The Gifts of Imperfection

It was close to ten years ago that I looked up a footnote in a book I was reading and discovered Brown, B., (2010), The Gifts of Imperfection. I liked the reference to which the note was attached and decided to check out the book. That was the beginning of my becoming a student of Brene Brown.

It was a strange experience reading The Gifts of Imperfection, as I wondered how this author knew me so well; it seemed as if she was writing directly to me -addressing my personal needs. I read about courage and the need for more self-compassion, love and belonging, cultivating meaningful work, and so many other ideas that I think about regularly. Many of the ideas felt familiar, as though I was engaged in conversation with a good friend. Perhaps one of the greatest gifts Brene Brown offers is her use of down-to-earth matter-of-fact language that encapsulates ideas we all intuit, but have a difficult time putting into words. Brown’s language is concise and precise, and it lays the foundation for taking the ideas somewhere tangible and practical.

Here are a few examples:

We can talk about courage and love and compassion until we sound like a greeting card store, but unless we’re willing to have an honest conversation about what gets in the way of putting these into practice in our daily lives, we will never change. Never, ever.

Heroics is often about putting our life on the line. Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line. It’s about speaking honestly and openly about who we are, about what we’re feeling, and about our experiences (good and bad). In today’s world, that is pretty extraordinary.

We live in a time with an abundance of information, books, and good science – and yet we are struggling like never before. Why?  

The Gifts of Imperfection is a perfect companion while searching for the tools and skills that enable a person to feel more whole, while living as an imperfect being in an imperfect world. 

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