The Gifts of Imperfection

Brené Brown

The Gifts of Imperfection



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Imperfection, vulnerability, and shame: what if these human characteristics were gifts? In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Breneé Brown teaches us to be kind to ourselves and to others, to let go of who we think we should be and to embrace who we really are. This book is so much more than a manual: these words have the power to show us the way to a life lived wholeheartedly, full of authenticity and joy.

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Analysis and key concepts


“Wholehearted” living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.”


Practising courage, compassion and deep connection means turning on that mindset and working to develop it. A wholehearted life does not require grand gestures, but slow and steady consistency


Being enough: the feeling of being worthy of love and belonging simply for who we are, and not for what we think we should be, is at the heart of a peaceful life


Shame is an emotion that comes from believing that you are not worthy: of the situation, of love, of a person, of the respect of your work colleagues, or of passing an exam


Creativity, rest and play are almost frowned upon in a productivity-oriented society, but they are key to good physical and mental health because they stimulate the brain and allow us to achieve and maintain a state of calm




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Help you break free from the conditioning most of us have grown up with.
  • Understand what shame is and learn how to defend yourself when it strikes.
  • Learn to practice authenticity and courage.

Brené Brown is a professor and researcher at the University of Houston who has devoted the last ten years of her career to the study of courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy. She is also the author of five New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness and Dare to Lead. Her TED talk on the power of vulnerability went viral and became one of the most viewed video-talks in the world.

Publishing house:

Random House