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The gifts of imperfection : let go of who…
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The gifts of imperfection : let go of who you think you're supposed to be and embrace who you are (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Brené Brown

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3,900653,221 (3.97)50
Psychology. Self-Improvement. Sociology. Nonfiction. HTML:The tenth-anniversary edition of the game-changing #1 New York Times bestseller, featuring a new foreword.

For over a decade, Bren Brown has found a special place in our hearts as a gifted mapmaker and a fellow traveler. She is both a social scientist and a kitchen-table friend whom you can always count on to tell the truth, make you laugh, and, on occasion, cry with you. And whats now become a movement all started with The Gifts of Imperfection, which has sold more than two million copies in thirty-five different languages across the globe.

What transforms this book from words on a page to effective daily practices are the ten guideposts to wholehearted living. The guideposts not only help us understand the practices that will allow us to change our lives and families, they also walk us through the unattainable and sabotaging expectations that get in the way.

Bren writes, This book is an invitation to join a wholehearted revolution. A small, quiet, grassroots movement that starts with each of us saying, My story matters because I matter. Revolution might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance..
… (more)
Member:josie2479
Title:The gifts of imperfection : let go of who you think you're supposed to be and embrace who you are
Authors:Brené Brown
Info:Center City, Minn. : Hazelden, c2010.
Collections:Your library
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The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown (2010)

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Lots of solid advice and prompts on living a wholehearted, compassionate, and authentic life alongside explorations of self-doubt and shame and how to work on conquering those things. Some of the strongest aspects of this book are Browns encouragements to honor your emotions, talk about them with those closest to you, and give advice on ways you can cultivate the most honest lifestyle for YOU as an individual.
At times Brown becomes a little repetitively vague when she says "I got a bunch of people together and researched xyz topic" without actually explaining how that research was conducted, but the results she shared were mostly either all interesting or thought-provoking, so that saves it a bit. Near the close of her book Brown also veers into the territory of saying "Just go have fun! Don't worry! Dance in your kitchen!" as a way to just ignore stress, which is both a touch ignorant and weirdly fluffy? However, on the whole I see "The Gifts of Imperfection" as a book you could easily read and apply various things in various ways, and leave behind the things that don't serve you, so I think this is a worthwhile read for those seeking books on embracing yourself and building your sense of self-worth. ( )
  deborahee | Feb 23, 2024 |
This is a book that definitely went over my head the first time I read it, although I liked it in a passive way. It’s not complicated, but to really get it requires a certain commitment, and not a certain chess-player-numbing that we often get from the men of religion (and not just those who attack rival religious men), although spiritual and religious inquiry and journey dovetails nicely with this (if you have to draw a line, secular) book. There’s a lot of thought that goes into this inquiry, since a lot of people numb—anyone can and most people do—and most people present themselves as being rather different than they really are; honesty and authenticity, especially when they require effort, just aren’t a big priority for the average person, even when they’re not consciously lying. But there is a sense in which the chess player sort of intellectual—and the way that the multitude looks up to him and tries to imitate him in their way, at critical times and ways: certainly being a girl isn’t seen as the best thing, right—is even farther afield from happiness. We do need strength to be open, bravery to be ourselves, and we need to be with other people in our personal and collective imperfections more than we need to be lonely and perfect. The average person or the average lover misunderstands and misapplies this—say by applying pity when compassion is called for—but the chess player often shuts down completely, denies everything, and (almost) intentionally sinks down into woe. Of course, embodying or embracing high-energy situations—a metal concert, say; or almost any music concert, really—isn’t really what a mean, but sometimes shutting down and sinking into lonely, robotic woe becomes a sort of ersatz intellect/courage, etc…. I don’t really understand the book yet, (although I’m re-reading it), and not just because she defines emotional terms so carefully. Really I don’t understand it (yet) because I don’t live out her psychology/applied philosophy of living your life and being present with your feelings (although I feel like I’m closer to that when I thought I could simply embrace the world of the printed word, just in general, right).

…. She has her stance, but she gets what she has to do to be balanced. She’s not advocating denial. But with her, confronting the dragons doesn’t become a mental-emotional cesspit that somehow never ACTUALLY involves looking at “the things that get in the way” of the treasure, right….

…. “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”

There’s really no quality that couldn’t be stigmatized by the people who think they know “who we’re supposed to be”, right. You could live in a small, ugly house—you’re poor, garbage. (You’re like the secondary character from the TV show!) You could live in a huge mansion—you’re a rich fucker, greedy, exploitative. (I read a book about you people once!) You could have a house ~just like everybody else’s house~ and the guy ~just like everyone else~ could make fun of you…. For being like him, basically. (As long as nobody from another neighborhood isn’t around when he says it, lol.)

So try to improve your life—by first being who you really are, then doing what you believe you should do, then eventually having the nice things. Feel good first. Then, in the end, feel even better. And don’t let people tell you that success is that high-level conformity, like the folk customs of the rich from the peasant days, you know.

But mostly just don’t try to win over people who are impossible to win over, because they lost all their approval in this icy internal sea, and don’t have it to give, you know….

Obviously when I say “any quality”, I don’t JUST mean where you live, but it’s a convenient metaphor, you know—any fucking place along the spectrum, can be “wrong”….

And yeah: I’m not going to give the Christian History 101 lesson and get accused to pressing down the crown on thorns on the brow of Chris Christians or whoever, (generic Gerry, lol), re: “you can be stigmatized for any stance”, but it’s (unsurprisingly) equally true of the radicals: the average radical doesn’t spend much time “radicalizing” people, you know. He spends his time trying (pretty unsuccessfully, of course) to punish people for not being radical…. “Radicalizing” people, he’d probably see as, selling out, basically. (And yes, the whole re: moderates thing does turn into very much a teenage metal band tour, you know.)

So again: if people are gonna hate you anyway…. Be yourself…. And for the record, I like some pop artists; I like the genre, really: but in a more grown-up world, the public wouldn’t have their head explode and die if one pop rap song or one melodic metal song was played on a store radio. I just don’t try to get revenge on that one pop singer who actually did have a pretty good song, which became popular, you know…. But anyways.

…. Brene has kinda a bubbly personality, but she has the ability to be brave when that bubbliness takes her to non-conformist places, basically. Consider her idea, You need a sense of spirituality, which is basically some sense of connection with life as a whole. ~Now, that basically holds out little appeasement both for conformist academics—consider a hardcore history researcher or a prestigious chemistry professor or somebody like that, who spends all day saying: this is not that; this is not that, and This is not!. THAT, right—and obviously for much of Christian history, which has consisted largely of saying, “This is not that: and if you can’t get THAT, you little fucker…. You little fucker!” (frothing at the mouth) ~right?

She doesn’t get in people’s faces like I guess I do, but she doesn’t back away from it, and I feel like she knows what she’s saying, you know.

Really, it’s all worthwhile, her stuff…. The low-bottom, over the top intense, get on the wagon, you fucker, I would have died, AA person can be a little…. I mean, there are people like that, and it’s better if they don’t die, because they do tend to be quite gifted, in their own way—and anyway, you’re meant to live. But with that ‘alcohol etc’ model of addiction, it can all center on ‘is this bad’, right. A better question might be, What would I be experiencing, if not for this? Right? I mean, to take the example of Threads or Instagram or something, it might be: reading some serious fucking book and not really getting it because my eyes are glazing over because I’m focusing too much, right. I do think that the traditional religious etc. view on what we call vices can be way too persecatory, basically: they just fucking…. You know? Like, you are not a fucking angel in paradise just flapping your ethereal little wings all day, gloating and floating, and making faces at the rabbits humping each other, right?…. But it’s also true that, “what would I be experiencing, if not for this” is a harder question than “is this bad”: and it’s a better question.

Which isn’t to say that I know everything about it, yet.

And also: just the kinda sane advocacy for kinda the default human state of wanting joy that she gives, right. Like, telling yourself that you don’t ~really~ want to be happy, is not all it’s cracked up to be, basically…. You’ll still suffer, in the end. It will just be that much worse, because you were never happy.

…. It is very true that intuition is not merely un-reason, all-that-is-not-reason, whatever reason is not. That definition is given by people hostile to intuition; anyone actually intuitive would have to know it as false, unless they were very naive indeed, and therefore not healthily intuitive. It’s very, “either you don’t exist, or else you are my enemy”, that definition.

Pure reason either cultivates fear like a crop, or else leads to aggression. One does not want to be so unreasonable as this…. How do you decide, when you have been made party to a dispute, that you have rights, and that you do not merely and foolishly hate your enemy? Or do you merely look for the reasons why he is wrong or you are wrong, or somebody is wrong? That is often what the other individual is doing, right: but it doesn’t lead to reasonableness.

And it has nothing to do with not wanting confirmation of things. Find out once how unreliable these precious little robots can be, the next time, you’ll want to see it in writing beforehand. Nobody had to tell you that: that came from the god within.

…. And yes: we know nothing because we have an unreasonable standard of knowledge. “Philosophicus Magnus was the greatest man. He said, ‘First ask yourself: does anything exist, or does nothing exist? Is the fastest runner faster than a turtle? Don’t stop until you can be SURE of these things. Put your life on hold: don’t ask yourself if it’s disempowering….’”

And of course, we would all rather be robots unless we’re drinking or something, and we think that’s normal.

…. It’s kinda like the Five of Swords in the Mythic Tarot: Apollo shows up, and like, bam, (gives quest), and now Orestes has to listen to him. The version of the story told in the last few centuries of the pre-Christian era isn’t perfect, although there is some sense to it, and it obviously isn’t always going to involve a female…. But the whole ambiguity of the Orestes story has something to it: you don’t always know that you’re perfectly right; sometimes you know, indeed, that you wouldn’t have allowed the other person to carry the heaviest burden of guilt or error if you had been ‘perfect’ or whatever—but if you were perfect, you’d not be on this earth, you know. You do NOT and probably cannot know everything, only what the god commands, basically.

(And in the Mythic Tarot the Kabbalah/Hebraic link is attenuated, but on the Tree of Life the Five is Geburah, the vengeful mother, you know.)

…. I really didn’t get the majority of the power behind the family move chapter. People make fun of magazines—Aldous Huxley, the Great Mystic, for example—but photos really would have helped. Maybe in a technical sense it would be too much of a burden on the publisher, but the story works a lot better with a store of pictures in your mind. I didn’t get that once: the link between “psychology” and your central ideas about and stance towards life, and the kinda “soft” topic of lifestyle, you know…. God, to move Away from the New Orleans Garden District, into some soulless suburb somewhere in the south; it’s like…. And because you made MORE money! It’s like, fucking up your life just so, you know? I hate to say ‘should’, but it’s like: you’re supposed to want more money so that you can make your life More Beautiful, you know…. Not fuck up your life just so…. I dimly understood the idea of the fallacy of ‘blend in but stand out’ or however she says it: but I really think she makes the gossip mob sound less crazy than it is: like, she’s too polite. It’s basically about trying to amass as many of the raw materials of a good life as you possibly can: so that you can fucking waste ALL of it, you know…. And just the ambivalence, you know: the almost criminal ambivalence…. I mean, once I had this experience where I was trying to shop for clothes, or something, at a Target—Old Navy isn’t quite as bad; Target, though, just has no fucking theme or purpose to its existence, really: I didn’t find good clothes…. But yeah, washing his hands next to me in the bathroom is this Orthodox Jewish man, in the 1000% classic outfit, so that he looks exactly like every other Orthodox Jewish man in the whole world, at least of roughly the same age, right: and, on the one hand, without trying to be too bigoted and prejudicial, you know—“anti-Semitism is wrong; the Jews are like us…. Except for those really JEWISH Jews, the Yiddish ones!”—if I were born into a Jewish family, like a lot of Jews, I can’t imagine myself dressing like that, you know…. But on the other hand, I feel like us 49%-ers Would have a uniform—we really would!—…. But then we’d have to be honest, you know. We say we’re individualists and we’ve all got to seethe with rage at rich people, communists, and random people just like us, but…. You think we belong here, right? You think we blend in with every other person here, right? Or wait…. I’m not like that guy. Let’s see, what’s he doing….

…. A 👩 who is 🏂

…. And yet, it’s because she was willing to be “uncool”. Not a line in the book that wasn’t brave.
  goosecap | Jan 8, 2024 |
Very inspiring, I felt like she was talking directly to me because it was so relatable, every little bit. A book I could read over and over again. ( )
  sophia.magyk | Jan 3, 2024 |
teaches us not to change ourselves to adapt to expectations, instead, we should embrace and engage with our imperfections ( )
  muhammadishaque | Aug 17, 2023 |
The library copy I read showed signs of vigorous use -- the small paperback cover and pages curled. Working my way through in fits and starts -- not because the text is difficult or dry, but rather because it is honest, and fresh -- I soon realized why. Brené Brown presents her research findings and her life with simplicity and openness that pull readers in. She is not a dazzling writer, but she is a solid researcher and generous, whole-hearted companion. I have a literary crush on Brené. And yes, an new uncurled copy now graces my collection.

The second time through and it's still SO good! I cried my way through the first time I read it. So many ideas were new and deeply refreshing, but unsettling because I was coming to them after years of angst and not-enoughness.

This time I paused to nod and appreciate just how much who I am now has been informed by the insight & wisdom of Brené Brown. ( )
  rebwaring | Aug 14, 2023 |
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Psychology. Self-Improvement. Sociology. Nonfiction. HTML:The tenth-anniversary edition of the game-changing #1 New York Times bestseller, featuring a new foreword.

For over a decade, Bren Brown has found a special place in our hearts as a gifted mapmaker and a fellow traveler. She is both a social scientist and a kitchen-table friend whom you can always count on to tell the truth, make you laugh, and, on occasion, cry with you. And whats now become a movement all started with The Gifts of Imperfection, which has sold more than two million copies in thirty-five different languages across the globe.

What transforms this book from words on a page to effective daily practices are the ten guideposts to wholehearted living. The guideposts not only help us understand the practices that will allow us to change our lives and families, they also walk us through the unattainable and sabotaging expectations that get in the way.

Bren writes, This book is an invitation to join a wholehearted revolution. A small, quiet, grassroots movement that starts with each of us saying, My story matters because I matter. Revolution might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance..

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