The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

By: Brené Brown

Get the book here!

What it’s all about: Have you ever compared yourself to anyone else? Wondered why you went to bed at the end of day feeling like you hadn’t accomplished enough to deserve your job? Hadn’t put forth enough effort to deserve affection from your family or a partner? If you say you’ve never felt like this, you are a liar. Or a robot. For the sake of this review, we’ll go with liar. Brené Brown knows what it’s like to feel ‘not enough’. As a shame and vulnerability researcher, Brené has pioneered a new field that has often been misunderstood and even ridiculed. But Brené, after having her own spiritual awakening (which she often refers to as her mental breakdown—they’re really the same, aren’t they?), has dedicated her career (and really her life) to finding out why some people are able to live as authentic, happy individuals (she calls these The Wholehearted) and some are…well, not.

Who it’s good for: Anyone, really (unless you’re the aforementioned robot). If we all as human beings read this book and tried to absorb and practice all it says, we’d really be a much better planet. But if you want me to get specific, this is good for those who really want to love and live fully and are willing to face some uncomfortable truths to do so.

The good stuff: This books makes you think, it makes you consider, it makes you redefine what success and happiness are all about. It’s full of ‘ah-HA!’s and ‘ohhhh, so that’s why I feel that way’ and even some, ‘wow, I thought I was doing it right but it turns out I really suck at that’. And the voice. Oh, Brené’s voice. You not only believe her and want to listen to her, but you also want to pull up a stool and have a beer with her (but you can’t because she stopped drinking. Hell, I’d even have an iced tea with her, that’s how much I like her). She’s real, she’s spunky, she’s a mess just like the rest of us but by the end of the book, you realize this mess has kinda got stuff figured out.

The not-so-fabulous: Don’t read this book while you’re sitting and waiting for your turn at them DMV. Especially if you’re on the section where she and her daughter encounter some mean girls at the mall. Trust me on this one. Most people at the DMV are crying because their license got taken away, not because they are questioning the very basis of their emotional stability. You may get looks.

Favorite takeaway: Don’t make me choooooose, there are too many!! Okay, fine. Perhaps the part where she says if we block hurt, we also block love. It’s a deep concept. And it will blow you away. The bottom line: Read it. Think about it. Absorb it. Then read it again. If you’re a dude, read it in the bathroom and throw a Maxim cover over it so no one makes fun of you. Just read it already.