Life's Challenges

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they're supposed to help you discover who you are. ~ Bernice Johnson Reagon, Singer/Composer

Monday, March 7, 2011

Book Review: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

Title: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
Author: Brené Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W.
Publisher: Hazelden Publishing
Publication Date: October 4, 2010
Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN: 978-1592858491
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-Help
From the Publisher:

"I wish my nose was smaller. I feel guilty every time I leave my kids in day care. I’m afraid to say what I really think. I hate these thunder thighs. I should be married by now. I sounded so dumb. Whether we fixate on our bodies, minds, personalities, or actions, every woman struggles with feelings of not being good enough. Each day we face a barrage of images and ideas–from society and the media–telling us who we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only change those flaws by looking perfect and leading a perfect life, then we’d no longer feel inadequate."

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W., the leading expert on shame, reveals that it is actually our imperfections that connect us to one another as human beings and make us who we are. We are naturally drawn to those we view as authentic, real, and down-to-earth. It makes sense, then, that we should stop reaching for something “better” and, instead, strive to be who we are, fully owning every aspect of ourselves. Through essays, stories, inspiring quotes, meditations, and dynamic creative exercises designed for personal discovery and growth, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits in finding the greatness in our flaws and evolving our self-perceptions. She helps us develop the skills to accept our humanness with compassion and practice empathy with ourselves and others.
Review by Jennifer Higgins:
Have you ever thought to yourself “if only I get this promotion, or if I could just lose twenty pounds, then I will be happy”? If so, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown may just be the answer. The premise of the book, to embrace imperfection, is seemingly simple, yet for many can be quite complex to execute. Brown tells the reader that happiness, or the love of oneself is not conditional on any prerequisites, rather it is a state of mind. Brown offers the reader ten realistic goalposts to help the reader overcome perceived obstacles to becoming happy, which requires one to love oneself and accept being less than perfect. How simplistic sounding, yet how many people are truly content with their current life, body, and circumstances? I personally do not know any and in this media-infused society it appears there are less and less people able to obtain what media dictates as “socially desirable”. Suddenly Brown’s assertion of self-love does not seem so simplistic to achieve. The Gifts of Imperfection is not a “new-age” book nor does it offer up revolutionary ideas. The premise is solid and indeed life-changing for those who are willing to realize that regardless of flaws and imperfections, it is okay, we are all flawed and yet we are all worthy of love and happiness, to be content in the now. I recommend The Gifts of Imperfection to everyone.
(From Jennifer Higgins' blog: 

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