Book Review by Alyson Krahl LPC


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


I have heard great things about Brené Brown and was interested in reading one of her works. She did not disappoint. I chose to listen to the audiobook version of The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, by Brené Brown, narrated by Lauren Fortgang.

Brown encourages her readers to refrain from using dichotomous or black and white thinking. It is not accurate to call ourselves perfect/imperfect or authentic/inauthentic, but rather on a range in between. We can get stuck in labeling ourselves or others and become disappointed if our desired definition doesn’t fit 100%. Brown explains how we short change ourselves positive emotions such as joy and replace them with fears or anxiety. One example spoke to me, she described how we may stare at our children with complete happiness and joy, but then replace these by thinking about horrible things that can happen to them and fill ourselves with anxieties instead of embracing the joy.

Brown discusses the idea of getting “deliberate” when you are trying to make a change. Change does not always occur naturally or easily, but Brown’s words felt inspirational for me to start getting deliberate in my own life and really choosing to make things happen. After this book, I will now be deliberate by embracing joyful moments and not replace them with fears. I was moved by her definition of what courage means. Brown explains many of the actions we may find embarrassing can actually be seen as courageous if we embrace and own them. Brown shares an example of allowing herself to be vulnerable in the book by revealing times she has been embarrassed, let her temper show, and made mistakes. Brown’s personal stories do not sound embarrassing because she has to courage to share her mistakes and in turn shows bravery. If you would also like to find the courage to dance like no one is watching in the shoe department, I’d suggest this book, whether you read or listen. While I did not understand the title of “imperfections,” as I felt the content of the book was more related to Brown’s definition of living a “wholehearted life” and has inspired to start getting more wholehearted in mine.

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