The Gifts of Imperfection

Tips to become a recovering perfectionist and an aspiring good-enoughist – Review of Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection

gifts of imperfection

I picked up the book The Gifts of Imperfection Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, over the holidays and discovered that it is a little gem of a book. The author Brené Brown, explores the practices of wholehearted living. Her book shows us how to live more authentic and compassionate lives, while learning to embrace our imperfections, and recognize what issues get in our way, such as shame and fear. The strength of Brown’s book lies in two things: clear information and straightforward brevity. Brown’s book is succinct and not at all sentimental. Although the book is an easy read on one level, it is a complex blueprint for living that had me dog-earing many pages of my copy. Brown unpacks concepts such as the difference between happiness and joy; courage and heroics; fitting-in and belonging.

The journey to a wholehearted life can be a spiritual process, and Brown draws from her own strengths and struggles, her words come not from an elevated plane, but from walking right beside the reader.

Reading it was more of an experience and a short lesson in what she calls “Wholehearted Living.”

A key point in the guideposts (aka her chapters) is to dispel perfectionism and live from a place of authenticity. In order to do so we need to practice:

  1. Self kindness – Being warm and understanding towards ourselves when we suffer, fail or feel inadequate, rather than resorting to self criticism.
  2. Common Humanity – Recognizing that suffering and inadequacy are part of the shared human experience.
  3. Mindfulness – We don’t need to suppress or exaggerate our negative emotions. We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. Acknowledge it, but don’t over identify with it.

The Gifts of Imperfection (courage, compassion and connection) is a book that keeps giving and is worth your time to read. Practice gratitude. Reach out and share your shame story with someone who has earned the right to hear it. And lastly “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.”

2706 13th Avenue (Northwest corner of 13th and Angus Street)
Regina, Saskatchewan
S4T 1N3
p: 306.543.HEAL

saskatchewan association of naturopathic practitioners
canadian association of naturopathic doctors