The Gifts of Imperfection: Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.
By: Brene Brown
I often avoid “self-help” books because most of them seem to apply to the unmotivated person who can’t figure out how to focus and stay on track with their lives. These types of books frustrate me because lack of drive is the absolute least of my problems. I have tremendous drive, want, and desire, but with auto-immune disease I can’t find the energy, self confidence, or acceptance that I need to move on. I struggle much more with the ideas of how to live with myself as I am now and accept the things that I cannot change vs. motivation.
I was impressed with this book as it felt like rather than being preachy or telling the reader we don’t have our sh*t together, Brown is taking the journey with us. She states specifically in the book that first off it is NOT a self help book, and secondly that she is exploring this journey within herself while writing the book. This brings a strong element of honesty and genuineness to the writing; a sense that she is simply sharing her story, thoughts, and experiences almost like a conversation.
The book is a quick read (138 pages), I read it in two sittings. This allowed me to absorb everything quickly and not span it out throughout a few painful weeks. She tackles some big topics like perfectionism, self-kindness, spirituality, vulnerability, authenticity, shame, joy, stillness, faith, intuition, self-doubt, gratitude and living wholeheartedly. I was most impressed with her exploration of definitions for some difficult ideas. In particular, since I have been sick, I have struggled with the ideas of Hope and Faith. I loved her definitions, she describes hope as “a combination of setting goals, having the tenacity and perseverance to pursue them and believing in our own abilities.” She goes on to add that tolerance for disappointment, determination and a belief in self are at the heart of hope. Her definition of faith also resonated with me, she explains it as, “a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty."
This book was a great, short read, that brought up a lot of noteworthy topics and Brown explores them with the reader almost as if she’s brainstorming with you and simply offering up her ideas. I felt her words to be universal situationally, because its about working on your perception of self and however that affects ones life will be different depending on your own struggles.