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The Gifts of Imperfection ~by Brené Brown, Ph.D

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On July 29,2010, I wrote a post entitled  I HAVE FAILED. I received a number of wonder full comments, lots of sympathy and a tremendous number of emails.  One such email was from Lisa Munley of TLC Book Tours and she said, “I think you might like this book, could I send it on for review?”   I said yes send it to me, I will review it.

I opened the book and began reading and could not believe that here was a credentialed researcher and public person making the same point that I was embracing in my article on how to make change work in one’s living.

Dr. Brené Brown had even been on Oprah talking about how to live through making change and living a Wholehearted life.

What is a Wholehearted Life?

“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.  It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.  It’s going to bed at night thinking,  Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid but that doesn’t change that truth that I am worthy of love and belonging. “

Format of the book is very clear and simple,   I think it allows understanding to come into one step by step with very personalized stories of how to take on this process and make the changes one needs to make in their own life.

There is a terrific 50 page overview divided into sections to begin the book, and then one is presented with 10 Guidelines with exercises to help one integrate the ideas and concepts presented.   I found this to be very powerful and definitely the way folks read these days.

I want to share a quote from each of the guidelines’ sections :

Cultivating Authenticity

“It’s a practice-a conscious choice of how we want to live.          Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day.  It’s about the choice to show up and be real.  The choice to be honest.  The choice to let our true selves be seen.”

Self- Compassion – Letting go of Perfectionism

“Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame.  It’s a shield.  Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us, when in fact; it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from taking flight.

…at its core, is about trying to earn approval and acceptance.”

A Resilient Spirit

“ When I interviewed the participants who I’d describe as living a Wholehearted life about the same topic, they consistently talked about trying to feel the feelings, staying mindful about numbing behaviors, and trying to lean into the discomfort of hard emotions.”

Gratitude and Joy

“When it comes to gratitude, the word that jumped out to me throughout this research process is practice.”

Intuition and Trusting Faith

“Intuition is not a single way of knowing – its’ our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we’ve developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason.”


“Unused creativity doesn’t just disappear.  It lives within us until it’s expressed, neglected to death, or suffocated by resentment and fear.”

Play and Rest

“If we want to live a Wholehearted life, we have to become intentional about cultivating sleep and play and about letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth.”

Calm and Stillness

“Stillness is about…..opening up an emotionally clutter-free space and allowing ourselves to feel and think and dream and question.”

Meaningful Work

From theologian Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Laughter, Song and Dance

“Laughter, song, and dance create emotional and spiritual connection; they remind us of the one thing that truly matters when we are searching for comfort, celebration, inspiration, or healing:  We are not alone.”

I can recommend this book; I believe it is well written and easy to understand and  very important reading for people who would like to be free to change  and become the best that they can be.

Needing More Information?

You can purchase  The Gifts of Imperfection via Amazon.com using the link above.

Dr. Brené Brown can be found here:

Blog site

This book review was sponsored by TLC Book Tours.  To read more reviews of this book, one can find the full tour schedule online .

Now here is a sweet treat!  If you write a comment you will be entered to win a copy of this book.   There will be a random drawing and October 31, 2010 I will announce the winner on the November 1st post!

35 Responses to “The Gifts of Imperfection ~by Brené Brown, Ph.D”

  1. Arts web show Says:

    sounds like a very interesting read.
    it’s a philosophy a great many of us need to take into our lives.
    Shame we don’t really
    .-= Arts web show´s last blog ..Arts Web show ep 3- perform that review =-.

  2. J.D. Meier Says:

    > A Resilient Spirit
    I think that’s the most important thing for making our way through life.
    .-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..When To Use Task-Oriented vs Relationship-Oriented Leadership Styles =-.

  3. Talon Says:

    Thank you, Patricia, for another of your amazing reviews. We do tend to be too hard on ourselves and should really learn to not only live in the moment, but love them as well.
    .-= Talon´s last blog ..Lonely Soul Short Story =-.

  4. Patricia Says:

    It is a wonder to me that people find it so hard to love themselves. It seems that Jesus assumed that we would know to love ourselves when He said “Love your neighbor as yourself”.

    I cannot say I have perfected this in my life–but I am working on it.
    .-= Patricia´s last blog ..Formula for Peace =-.

  5. vered | blogger for hire Says:

    Sounds interesting! Thank you for the review.
    .-= vered | blogger for hire´s last blog ..Eating Well- Staying Fit =-.

  6. patricia Says:

    Arts Web Show,
    This is a 100+ page gem of a read….I believe because she blogs, her sections are very easy reads that fit together…and truly assist us in making change.. help your character with his heart break recovery after that great rap and drinking episode

  7. patricia Says:

    This author I believe is a new giant with laughing shoulders – I highly recommend the book

  8. patricia Says:

    I wish I could have written this book, but I am not a researcher with such good technique….I just gained my insights from living life…there is so much guidance here about moving forward….she started out researching shame…and discovered wholehearted living. Great book and thank you for your nice words

  9. patricia Says:

    You are welcome and I think it is a great book…as I live and grew up surrounded by perfectionists, the author’s research was very moving and enhanced my understanding of making change…

  10. patricia Says:

    Dr. Brown is doing a free webinar on this book on October 17th

    please register early: Space is limited

    The Gifts of Imperfection:
    Join us for a Webinar on October 17
    Space is limited.
    Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

  11. patricia Says:

    Welcome and that is quite a good thought you shared….I think this author would say that folks can not imagine loving themselves until they thought they were perfect….since perfectionism is a hindering influence on our growth and endeavors it would prevent us from achieving self love/ neighbor love/ and living a wholehearted life.

  12. Lisa Munley Says:

    I really like the quote on Creativity- so true!! Nice review.. thank you so much for being on the tour!

  13. patricia Says:

    Thank you for the comment and good words. I truly wish I written this book – Dr. Brown did such an amazing job of researching and pulling it all together…

    I thank you so much for thinking of me

  14. Eliza Says:

    Ha, see? Totally different from my review *grin*

    This is a great book. I am sure it will be sparking future articles from me since there were so many thought provokers in it.
    .-= Eliza´s last blog ..What are you waiting for =-.

  15. patricia Says:

    It is a great book and several folks have asked to borrow my copy and I can not let go of it…I think I will use it as my next meditation reading book…

    I still can not believe how the first write up was so like yours…hope folks will read yours too….when I re-wrote it it opened up even new avenues of thinking and I liked the book even better…

    a wealth of info…

    I have to say the drawing for the book will only be for folks in Canada or USA…..

    Eliza also has a give away of this book coming up folks…several opportunities here!

  16. Mama Zen Says:

    This sounds like a must read!

  17. patricia Says:

    Yes Mama Zen – for me it is…a must read…incredible book indeed

  18. suzen Says:

    Hi Patricia! Giving up on perfectionism is so refreshing and certainly should be embraced by one and all. Leave perfection to the Divine! It’s so clearly not my job to be perfect but to bring good energy to all that I do. And boy, the gratitude attitude really does take practice but it is SOOOO worth it.

    Great points! I can see why you liked the book!

  19. Lisa@Practically Intuitive Says:

    OH! Like I need more books to read, Patricia! :-) This one looks really cool – and it was perfect for one of my coaching client who longs to be more of her authentic self. I’m sending her the link to this post as well as the webinar invite.

    Timing is everything! Thanks for the review.

  20. Sara Says:


    Great book review…as usual:~) I always enjoy your take on books.

    The line that jumped out at me and said “READ ME!” was this one about ‘wholehearted living’, “It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.” I like the thought that “I AM ENOUGH.” It’s a comforting feeling and when I say it aloud, I can feel myself settle inside.

    Thanks for sharing this book with us, Patricia. BTW I loved the opening picture:~)
    .-= Sara´s last blog ..Story Photo- What Happened =-.

  21. Katie Gates Says:

    This sounds like a wonderful book. As I was reading the passages that you excerpted, I thought about a time in my life when I was really down quite consistently. I realized (subconsciously, I think) that I had surrounded myself with several very judgmental people, and that their perspectives and attitudes were hurting me. I slowly released them from my life, and ever since then, my approach to friendships and general human interaction has been based on the fact that I am much too imperfect for the types who constantly assess others. Being surrounded by nonjudgmental, fellow embracers-of-the-imperfect has helped me find my joy and honor my intuition.

  22. patricia Says:

    I truly loved this book and have set it by my meditation spot to read it again since the sections are short and pithy/on target

    This one is short and easy to pickup and put down…and think upon the ideas. All in perfect time :)

    I highlighted about 30 more quotes, it was hard to choose there were so many ideas that were just right. I did like this book and thank you for your kind words

    It took a bit to get that opening picture but it is actually part of the cover of the book – it is nice

    Embracing the imperfect does open up joy, respect, compassion and intuition – along with making more meaningful connections..
    so true Thanks

  23. Jannie Funster Says:

    The more I realize that I’m enough and that each moment I am exactly where I need to be, the happier I am. Perfectionism is a big lie, getting in the way of enjoying life as we should.

    Great reminder.

    Great review.

    .-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..The Blog Marm — a poem =-.

  24. patricia Says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head here…this author has a lot of good suggestions about family activities that boost belonging

    You are wonderful and enough – and creative, and fun, and musical, and brilliant, and delightful, and and and

    sending you a great big squeeze

  25. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. what a wonderful review to a very interesting and thought provoking book .. all good sections – but meaningful work .. what the world needs is people who have come alive ..

    Says so much .. be happy, wise and loving today .. and enjoy it -when it reaches you .. Hilary
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..B is for Barbara- A is for Apple- B is for Blogging without a Blog =-.

  26. patricia Says:

    This is an exceptional book and very short – so I think blog readers might even try this one on!!!???

    We are having a refresher taste of summer today and I am feeling very loving and kind….a bit wiser too :) because I took a double long walk this morning.

    If you hop over to the author’s blog she is setting up a revolution over perfectionism….it is quite wonderful too..a very happy post

  27. Andy Says:

    The book, and your own writing, seems to reinforce a few things that are great reminders to us all; to accept ourselves for who we are, with our gifts and faults and to find a balance in our lives. What struck me most was Cultivating Authenticity. My experience is that because of my own insecurities, I sometimes try to be what I think others want me to be. Without fail, I always end up creating more stress, or life messiness than if I were able to to just “be” me. Thanks for the reminder to have the courage to live authentically every day.

  28. patricia Says:

    Welcome and thank you for making a comment. This is a great book and full of a tremendous number of helpful ideas and observations – I am very glad if this presentation encouraged you to lift up your strengthens and authenticity – isn’t that just about the best we can hope for?

  29. Davina Haisell Says:

    This sounds like a great book, Patricia.

    What stood out for me was that bit about perfectionism. I wrestle with this! It really can become a burden and it leaves us open to disappointment and despite our efforts, people will criticize anyway. The trick is to not try to be a people-pleaser. When folk can pull that off, they will be more content with doing the work that they love, they way the love; that will give it the room it needs to grow.
    .-= Davina Haisell´s last blog ..Inspired by Spider =-.

  30. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. thanks – I do read .. just sort of live this double life – between my mother and here .. and books and life get jumbled up – & thoughts re the blog etc .. and now I’ve moved some books to read first – that never got the light of day before .. but I am actually reading!!

    Thank goodness I realised that I couldn’t do it all – when illness took over the elderly & as long as I was there, doing what I could do – that was ‘sufficient’ .. so perfectionism and thus potential ill-health went by the board – probably my saving grace.

    I shall be back to look over the books you’ve recommended ..once I’ve done what I need to do here ..

    Have a great rest of the week – Hilary
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..This Earth’s Crust its waste- but yet its offerings =-.

  31. patricia Says:

    Glad to hear you have some time for reading…I kept myself going with reading as my mum was leaving…reading aloud to her and when I could not go back to sleep at night – reading to unwind and escape all the thoughts..

    All in it’s perfect time!

    Go over to her blog she is running a fun protest related to this book and her family has joined in! the pictures are worth it and all of the comments are about 1 word or sentence long…worth the peak

  32. patricia Says:

    A very powerful book…eases the struggle of perfectionism right away

    Also her protest on her blog is Davina kind of humor…you would love it…drop by and check it out…it will make you laugh and laugh

  33. Kristen Says:

    “It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.” Gah! I LOVE that and cannot wait to read this book!

    Patricia Reply:

    This is one excellent/amazing book and now you are entered to win a copy!

    Welcome to my site and thank you for commenting

  34. Do You Know Your WALK SCORE? | The Biking Architect Says:

    […] a couple of more days to make a comment on THE GIFTS OF IMPERFECTION post for an opportunity to win a copy of this amazing book . Drawing for USA and Canada October […]