The work of Brene Brown has been inspiring me since I first listened to her TEDtalks. I read Daring Greatly back in December and loved it too. Suffice it to say, that I knew I was in for good things when I opened this book and I was not disappointed.
In The Gifts of Imperfection, Dr. Brown presents us with the reasons it’s important to let go of what the world tells us. She reminds us that trying to be everything to everyone in the world is not the way to be our best selves. For me, the reminder is welcome. I feel like I need to read or re-read one of her books every six months just so I don’t lose hold of the encouragement to do the hard parts. Be vulnerable, put my creativity out there, set boundaries. Those are the hard ones for me.
In this book, she offers 10 Guideposts to help the reader DIG deep (Deliberate, Inspire, Get going) and get to Wholehearted living. The book is listed as a self-help book and she addresses that a few times. They’re guideposts, not how-to’s. Different things will work for different people. It’s not as cut and dry as some self-help books I’ve seen where simply getting 8 hours of sleep will make you more productive and live longer. Wholehearted living is more complicated than that. She’s not going to trim it down for the reader and take away the authenticity of the message. It’s one of the things I love about her.
As an ardent feminist, letting go of what everyone says you should be and becoming the real you are concepts that I’m faced with a lot. It’s uncomfortable to have to tell people about all the girl things I don’t like or the feminine things I won’t do. They aren’t authentic to me. It’s hard to defend the choices of others who are simply trying to be their authentic selves, but it’s something I try to do. It’s part of being an out feminist. It’s another part of the me I have to embrace. It’s a harder part of it because of all the negativity that people like to throw about women simply wanting to be treated as equals. It can be just as uncomfortable to talk to people about faith, specifically your own. And again, as a feminist, because some people think the beliefs of feminism and Christ are mutually exclusive. I’ve never thought that.
Both want us to remember the gifts of imperfection and lean into our true selves. This was one of those times that I got a book at just the right time in my life because I needed the reminder on all fronts.
Everyone should read this because everyone struggles with who they’re supposed to be. It would be great if we could just start being who we are.