The Gifts of Imperfection

The Gifts of Imperfection

I’m an avid reader and have been meaning to share some of my good reads here on the blog. The book I’m about to feature was the first book I read this year. It’s life changing and one of those books I think all women should read. I’ve referenced it in workshops and recommend it to friends and women I work with. So let me tell you about The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown.

If you’ve been here before you’d know how much I adore the work of Brene Brown. Brene is a writer and research professor who has been featured on Oprah, CNN, PBS just to name a few. She’s also done some amazing TedTalks you can find on YouTube.

Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we’d no longer feel inadequate. It’s a challenge that many women and men can relate to. In  The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene calls us to let go of who we think we are supposed to be to embrace who we actually are through wholehearted living. Wholehearted living is engaging in our lives in a place of worthiness, knowing that we are enough and worthy of love and belonging. The book also offers 10 guideposts on how to fully achieve Wholehearted Living. Each guidepost is represented in a chapter:

  1. Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
  2. Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfection
  3. Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
  4. Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
  5. Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
  6. Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
  7. Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth
  8. Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
  9. Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”
  10. Cultivating Laughter, Song and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”

You should read The Gifts of Imperfection if:

  • You are suffering from insecurities, feelings of worthlessness, shame, anxiety, stress, etc.
  • You want to embrace yourself and love yourself as you are.
  • You desire genuine relationships.
  • You want a more deep, fulfilled, whole and enriched life.

This book is deep, thought provoking and packed with lots of quotes to mull over.

Some of my favorites quotes include:

  • Shame loves secrecy.
  • Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.
  • When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice.
  • Until we can receive with an open heart, we’re never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.

The book isn’t about a quick fix. But I highly recommend it to anyone who is ready to embrace her true self and her imperfections. And if you approach the guideposts presented, you ought to do so with the understanding that this is a lifelong process because this is life work. It’s a good place to start to dig deep and get really personal with yourself.  The Gifts will challenge you and at times you’ll want to close the book and move on. Don’t. Lean into the discomfort and uneasiness that may arise. It’ll be worth it.

I’d love your feedback on the book if you’ve read it. Happy Friday femmes!



  1. October 7, 2016 / 10:27 pm

    As a recovering perfectionist, I needed this book 5 years ago. All these steps are so vital to becoming mentally sound and healthy. I love it!

    • Carlana
      October 8, 2016 / 2:34 am

      It’s a great book that has been very instrumental to me.

  2. October 8, 2016 / 12:07 pm

    Ooh wee, this book sounds like it’s for me! I have heard her name but I can’t place the face. I’ll have to see if I can find this book.

    • Carlana
      October 10, 2016 / 5:47 am

      Brene is very popular. Maybe you saw her on Oprah, Tedtalks or somewhere on YouTube.

  3. October 9, 2016 / 9:03 pm

    I believe in reading to encourage your spirit. This book sounds like it would inspire and motivate its readers. Thanks for sharing!

    • Carlana
      October 10, 2016 / 5:46 am

      No problem. I think it will be one of those books you go back to from time to time. I know I do.

  4. October 9, 2016 / 10:34 pm

    This sounds like an excellent book! I’ve been looking for new things to read.


    • Carlana
      October 10, 2016 / 5:45 am

      If you’re into self-help/personal development, you will definitely love this one.

  5. October 9, 2016 / 10:40 pm

    I have not read this book but I have heard many great things about Brene Brown. I watched her on OWN several years ago and was moved by her story. I will have to put in a request for this book at the library tonight since I am nearing the end of my other book as we speak.

    • Carlana
      October 10, 2016 / 5:48 am

      I really think it will resonate with you deeply. I’d love to know your thoughts on it after you’ve read it.

  6. October 10, 2016 / 12:51 am

    I certainly like somebody was speaking to me with those chapters. I need to hit up Amazon Prime and get started on this one. I totally believe in investing in myself.

    • Carlana
      October 10, 2016 / 5:44 am

      Let me know what you think if you do.

  7. October 10, 2016 / 12:55 am

    I just added this book to my “to read” list.
    I totally agree with the quote,”Shame loves secrecy.”
    Man, does it!!

    • Carlana
      October 10, 2016 / 5:44 am

      It’s a really thought provoking and life changing book. I hope you get it.

  8. October 10, 2016 / 6:48 am

    I love a great uplifting motivational book. Thank for sharing some of your favorite excerpts definitely feel the good energy from it.

    • Carlana
      October 11, 2016 / 3:19 am

      You’re welcome!

  9. October 10, 2016 / 10:26 am

    The most powerful thing I could have done for myself was to let go of who I thought I was supposed to be, and I embraced who I truly am. This looks like a fantastic read!

    • Carlana
      October 11, 2016 / 3:20 am

      It is. It has helped me greatly.

  10. October 10, 2016 / 1:18 pm

    I would enjoy ch 5, Letting go of the fear of uncertainty. I think I need to read that chapter the most. I am working on trusting God and having more faith about certain things. Seems like a great book to read.

    • Carlana
      October 11, 2016 / 3:20 am

      You can read it in any order, starting with the gift you need to embrace most.

  11. October 10, 2016 / 1:30 pm

    This looks like a great, motivational book! I like that it’s not about a quick fix. There are so many self-help books that focus on quick fixes and I think it just leaves the reader disappointed. It’s important to let readers know whenever you’re on a mission to develop new, healthy habits in your life, it’s a journey. Definitely not something that will be fixed over night.

    • Carlana
      October 11, 2016 / 3:22 am

      I agree, way too many books out there pushing quick fixes. Meaningful change takes time as is often a lifetime of work.

  12. October 12, 2016 / 5:43 am

    I’m looking for something encouraging to read and this sounds perfect! Thanks for sharing!

  13. October 18, 2016 / 10:20 pm

    Actually, I need to gift this book to my boss! lol This is perfect.

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