The Gifts of Imperfection

Posted September 1, 2013 in Resilience, Self-Insight, What We're Reading

Book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene BrownBy: Brené Brown

Reviewed by: Glain Roberts-McCabe

The Premise: Author Brené Brown explores how to “let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are”. The book focuses on the concept of “whole-hearted” living and the practices of courage, compassion and connection. The book provides “guideposts” that explore habits and states of mind that can be cultivated in order to live life from a place of self-worth. Topics like: Cultivating Authenticity (letting go of what people think), Cultivating Self-Compassion (letting go of perfectionism) and Cultivating Creativity (letting go of comparison) are some examples of the 10 guideposts covered. Each chapter provides definitions and background plus an opportunity for the reader to “dig deeper” on the concept through self-reflection exercises. At less than 130 pages, this isn’t a particularly long book but, to get the most from it, it isn’t a “quick read”.

The Bottom-line: Brené Brown is currently doing the Oprah circuit with life classes about the concepts from this book and her other big seller Daring Greatly (see our review here). As with Daring Greatly, this is one of those books that can have a deep impact… IF you take the time to reflect along the way. The themes covered through the book – perfectionism, fear, control, power, self-doubt – are things that are common topics with the high achievers we work with at The Executive Roundtable. What Brown shows is how to confront self-defeating mindsets and build new habits that help you live a fuller – more wholehearted – life. This is self-help with a bit of a bite…forget the flowery words. What I enjoy about Brown’s writing style is her straightforward manner and lack of “fluff”.

Roundtable Rating: Excellent resource for any leader interested in furthering their self-insight and understanding. A bit like therapy on demand.

Check out the book and learn more by visiting and watch her TedTalk on vulnerability here.

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