Saturday, January 2, 2016

"The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown

  Several years ago now I remember a bunch of my friends reading this book.  They all had really good reviews of it, but at the time I had no interest in reading it because I thought I was above needing any "self-help".  The other day... years removed from thinking I have life figured out and I'm pretty much put together... I was walking through the bookstore and it was like a light bulb went off inside of me and I thought, "remember that book everyone was reading at some point...the imperfection book?... yeah, I should totally check that out now.
  To be fair, I was pretty confident that I would enjoy this book by the sub-title alone... "Letting go of who you think your suppose to be and embrace who you are".  I'm THAT girl.... the one who lives under "should's" and "suppose to's"... so immediately I thought this was the book for me.  Plus, with phrases like, "being enough", "letting go of perfectionism" and "letting go of always being in control" scattered throughout the table of contents, to say I was intrigued would be an understatement.
  One of the things I really like about the author was that she clearly states in the beginning of the book that this is not a "to do list"... the guideposts she points out in the book are guides, things we will continually use throughout this journey called life.  They aren't things to be checked off and moved past.  I needed to hear that, in fact I had to remind myself of that multiple times throughout reading the book.  By the end I found comfort in it.
  The other thing I really liked was that the author told stories not just about other people, but mostly about herself... she made this work personal and made herself vulnerable.  I felt connected to her and like I wanted to hear what she had to say because it was her life experience, not just some statistics that  she came up with observing and talking to others.
  I found something relevant to my own life in every chapter, but the chapter that probably resonated with me the most was about "Cultivating Self-compassion".  In it she talks about the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism and who the focus is in each...myself or others, what I think or what others think of me.  I found that very challenging and encouraging and I think others will too.
  There were a lot of great sound bites and quotes that I underlined in this book as well... things I want to hold onto has I work on each of the ten guideposts she mentions.  I also plan to continue processing what I read by "DIGging Deeper", an "activity that the author ends each chapter with (although I am sure the point what to do the activity as you read, but I was so interested in what I was reading that I just kept going).
  There's not a whole lot I didn't like about this book.  I think the author did a great job and focused on a lot of things we all need to hear/talk about but often don't.  I would certainly recommend it, as I see now why all my friends were doing the same back in the day.  If you find yourself stuck in the rhythm of life that just doesn't seem fulfilling, even though your doing "everything right" (according to other people), or you just want to explore more about who YOU are, I would suggest giving this book a try (plus it's super short read... I finished it in a day!).

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