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



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'This important book is about the lifelong journey from 'What will people think?' to 'I am enough.' Brown's unique ability to blend original research with honest storytelling makes reading The Gifts of Imperfection like having a long, uplifting conversation with a very wise friend who offers compassion, wisdom, and great advice.' '”Harriet Lerner, New York Times best-selling author of The Dance of Anger and The Dance of Connection'Bren_ Brown courageously tackles the dark emotions that get in the way of leading a fuller life; read this book and let some of that courage rub off on you.' '”Daniel H. Pink, New York Times best-selling author of A Whole New Mind'Courage, compassion, and connection: Through Bren_'s research, observations, and guidance, these three little words can open the door to amazing change in your life.' '”Ali Edwards, author of Life ArtistIn The Gifts of Imperfection, Bren_ Brown, a leading expert on shame, authenticity, and belonging, shares ten guideposts on the power of Wholehearted living'”a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.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. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, What if I can't keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn't everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?In The Gifts of Imperfection, Bren_ Brown, Ph.D., a leading expert on shame, authenticity and belonging, shares what she's learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living ' a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate 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, And to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn't change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.

Author Biography

Bren Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W., is a writer and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. A dynamic speaker, she frequently presents on the topic of shame resilience at conferences and public events. Visit her popular blog ( to learn more.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Introduction: Wholehearted Livingp. 1
Courage, Compassion, and Connection: The Gifts of Imperfectionp. 7
Exploring the Power of Love, Belonging, and Being Enoughp. 23
The Things That Get in the Wayp. 31
Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Thinkp. 49
Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionismp. 55
Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessnessp. 63
Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Darkp. 77
Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certaintyp. 87
Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparisonp. 93
Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worthp. 99
Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestylep. 105
Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self Doubt and ôSupposed Toöp. 111
Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and ôAlways in Controlöp. 117
Final Thoughtsp. 125
About the Research Process: For Thrill-Seekers and Methodology Junkiesp. 127
Notesp. 131
About the Authorp. 137
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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