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Overview


#1 on The New York Times Best Seller Advice, How-To List!

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené 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.

"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

"Brené 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 Brené's research, observations, and guidance, these three little words can open the door to amazing change in your life."
--Ali Edwards, author of Life Artist

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, Brené 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.

Brené Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W., is a writer and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, where she studies how shame affects the way people live, love, parent, work, and build relationships. A dynamic public speaker, she frequently presents on the topic of shame resilience at conferences and public events. Visit her popular blog to learn more.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Brown, author or I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't), again urges us to expose and expel our insecurities in order to have the most fulfilling life possible. Her latest is a guidebook for pilgrims on the journey to wholehearted living, which she defines as containing courage, compassion, deliberate boundaries, and connection. She has defined 10 guideposts for personal introspection, which involve cultivating some positive quality, whether it be authenticity, self-compassion, or a resilient spirit, intuition, meaningful work, or laughter. Each guidepost is the focus of a chapter that contains illustrative stories, primarily from her own life; definitions, including the difference between shame and guilt; quotes from such diverse sources as Diane Ackerman and E.E. Cummings; and brief suggestions of activities that she pursues with the assumption that they might help her audience. Although these activities are highlighted in her introduction to the book, they are in short supply and the book functions more as a chatty meditation on the guideposts. Despite occasional moments of insight, this book's primary value may be in spurring thought and providing references to other authors that will provide further inspiration for those seeking a more meaningful life. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592858491
  • Publisher: Hazelden Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/4/2010
  • Pages: 137
  • Sales rank: 945

Meet the Author

Brené 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 (www.ordinarycourage.com) to learn more.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction: Wholehearted Living 1

Courage, Compassion, and Connection: The Gifts of Imperfection 7

Exploring the Power of Love, Belonging, and Being Enough 23

The Things That Get in the Way 31

Guidepost #1 Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think 49

Guidepost #2 Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism 55

Guidepost #3 Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness 63

Guidepost #4 Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark 77

Guidepost #5 Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty 87

Guidepost #6 Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison 93

Guidepost #7 Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth 99

Guidepost #8 Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle 105

Guidepost #9 Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self Doubt and "Supposed To" 111

Guidepost #10 Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and "Always in Control" 117

Final Thoughts 125

About the Research Process: For Thrill-Seekers and Methodology Junkies 127

Notes 131

About the Author 137

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