Review: The Gifts Of Imperfection – Brene Brown

the gifts of imperfect brene brown
Title: The Gifts Of Imperfection
Let Go Of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.

Author: Brene Brown
Published: 2010
Publisher: Hazelden
Pages: 137
UK Price:  £10.95

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

USA : $8.47 at time of posting (Purchase HERE)

Genre: Self Help/ Emotional Health

This book was on my reading bucket list.

Brene brings a different slant to the self-help arena and brings us home to our humanity, which I much prefer in self-help books. As a writer and research professor she likes to look into the human condition and why people do what they do. This book brings together her research in clear and concise chapters under the headings of Guideposts.

These include:

  • Guidepost #1 Cultivating Authenticity – Letting Go Of What People Think.
  • Guidepost #2 Cultivating Self-Compassion – Letting Go Of Perfectionism.
  • Guidepost #3 Cultivating a Resilient Spirit – Letting Go Of Numbing Powerlessness
  • Guidepost #4 Cultivating Gratitude and Joy – Letting Go Of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark.
  • Guidepost #5 Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith – Letting Go Of The Need For Certainty.
  • Guidepost #6 Cultivating Creativity – Letting Go Of Comparison.
  • Guidepost #7 Cultivating Play and Rest – Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth.
  • Guidepost #8 Cultivating Calm and Stillness – Letting Go Of Anxiety as a Lifestyle.
  • Guidepost #9 Cultivating Meaningful Work – Letting Go Of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”
  • Guidepost #10 Cultivating Laughter, Song and Dance – Letting Go Of Being Cool and Always In Control.
The introduction really whetted my appetite for this book, and it holds a lot of promise. I found the topic of shame helped me understand my own shame and to get a better understanding of how to release it.Based on her extensive research into shame and guilt as a research professor at the University of Houston, Brene has written an accessible book, especially for those who need an introduction to these aspects of human behaviour and how to overcome them.

The first 3 chapters I enjoyed, but after that I found the constant referring to her research and her way of using the DIG analogy (get Deliberate, get Inspired, and get Going) over and over again irritating. I know a lot of people seem to have got a lot out of this book, I just found it did not DIG deep enough to help embrace myself with compassion. She referred lightly to mindfulness, which in my experience is an excellent way of embracing through compassion.

What would have been great was to see Brene share her own vulnerability which I didn’t feel she did. And as the book is about this topic it would have warmed me more to the writing.


Overall it has potential, some elements of interest and support, but it needed to be fuller and more in-depth than it was written. It would make a good beginners’ guide to self compassion but would for me, be only classed as a starting point.


Clearly laid out, some good thoughts on the topic of shame. Some relevant ways of looking at oneself through the eyes of compassion. A good beginners’ guide.

Needs more depth. Brene would have engaged the reader more with fewer references to her research and more to vulnerability from her own life experiences. Quite basic – more is needed for self compassion.


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The Gifts Of Imperfection by Brene Brown

*Post Disclaimer: I received 1 copy of the book ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ by Brene Brown’ from Hazelden for review. All opinions are my own.

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Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

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  1. June 28, 2014 / 10:53 am

    handwriting, it's terrible, even when I try really hard it's still illegible and would so like it to be beautiful copperplate

  2. June 28, 2014 / 11:11 am

    never being able to leave cups or dishes that need to be washed up, have to do it then & there even if it's just one cup!

  3. June 28, 2014 / 11:27 am

    It's confidence and self doubt I struggle with and anxiety and worry all the time

  4. June 28, 2014 / 11:28 am

    i dont have them really that bother my life but i like the curtains to be a certain way the right 1 has to be closed 1st and then left goes over top of right so the sun or moon shine doesnt come in

  5. June 28, 2014 / 11:32 am

    cleaning, i am a perfectionist when it comes to cleaning and takes me hours x

  6. June 28, 2014 / 11:44 am

    I have no perfectionist traits because I'm perfect 🙂

  7. June 28, 2014 / 12:15 pm

    I nsuffer from anxiety and depression and know this book has to have some good things in it to help me

  8. June 28, 2014 / 12:45 pm

    I am a perfectionist when it comes to cleaning the home.

  9. June 28, 2014 / 3:02 pm

    has to be my cooking if it aint perfect enough for me its not perfect enough for anyone else especially when I am catering for parties I hate not having things perfect.

  10. June 28, 2014 / 3:50 pm

    If my mac screen isn't clean, then I easily get frustrated! 😉

  11. June 28, 2014 / 4:18 pm

    confidence, especially about weight,

  12. June 28, 2014 / 6:02 pm

    cleaning 🙁

  13. June 28, 2014 / 7:23 pm

    Don't say no often enough so end up with stress head

  14. June 28, 2014 / 9:13 pm

    Dont speak up for myself enough

  15. June 29, 2014 / 7:01 pm

    keeping house.. and then i complain when no one helps out!

  16. June 30, 2014 / 7:14 pm

    i dont stand up for myself

  17. June 30, 2014 / 8:06 pm

    I never believe that my foreign language skills are good enough. I want to speak like a native.

  18. June 30, 2014 / 8:17 pm


  19. July 1, 2014 / 8:49 am

    I love that I can do craft, I hate that it never looks good enough. Then I ruin it, and after all that decide that it wasn't so bad after all. I have wasted hours fretting over a bit of craft I have made!!!

  20. July 2, 2014 / 10:07 am

    making sure everything is cleared away

  21. July 4, 2014 / 11:38 am

    Expecting other people to live up to my expectations

  22. July 5, 2014 / 9:49 am

    a bit f everything

  23. July 6, 2014 / 7:56 am

    How clean my car is!

  24. July 6, 2014 / 11:13 am

    Don't say No enough

  25. July 6, 2014 / 2:48 pm

    Look out for others. I was brought up with this philosophy. It works when that is the General Culture, as then everyone can be looked out for and supported. Unfortunately when the culture, individuals and or groups are looking out for self and / or being competitive then :- There are those who need assistance who are left without e.g. old (elderly), frail, ill, disabled, those who put effort / energy int tasks/work etc believing the team were ' pulling together' :- When actually there were slackers (those who were avoiding using energy, turning up for own benefit :- to collect wage, keep boss off their back etc).

    Oh, for a truly Caring, Sharing Society. Where we meet needs, and control / curb / curtail wants :- As there can be an element of greed, waste, unsustainability etc :- As resources are not limitless.

  26. July 6, 2014 / 2:56 pm

    Not even attempting a work of prose fiction because I know nothing I did could ever match the brilliance of my literary heroes, so what`s the point of trying?

  27. July 7, 2014 / 10:16 am

    So many. I'm vain I suppose … I'm always worried about how I look, I'm obsessive about cleaning and always push myself.

  28. July 7, 2014 / 2:16 pm

    washing up………………. it has to be done in a certain way OR DON'T BOTHER DOING IT!!!!!

  29. July 7, 2014 / 2:48 pm

    looking at rooms and noticing the tiny tiny details (how the curtains were pulled, how the hem of a curtain doesn't sit quite right. How the paint is not quite fully lined up in a position. Relaxing is hard when you see a coaster in the wrong place…

  30. July 7, 2014 / 2:55 pm

    start with good intentions but soon lose interest

  31. July 8, 2014 / 4:09 am

    Just what i need!

  32. July 8, 2014 / 7:36 am

    A place for everything & everything in it's place!

  33. July 8, 2014 / 11:59 am

    I don't Standing up for myself x

  34. July 8, 2014 / 12:43 pm

    having things done properly, like cleaning and ironing

  35. July 8, 2014 / 3:41 pm

    Trying to please everyone

  36. July 8, 2014 / 5:46 pm

    I am bit of a control freak and don't believe anyone can do a job as good as I can. I find it difficult to let go and let people have a try and help me.

  37. July 8, 2014 / 6:10 pm

    If I get something wrong or forget something, I get really annoyed with myself. Thing is, as you get older, you can't be as good as you were when you were younger.

  38. July 8, 2014 / 7:16 pm

    I'm a fusspot when it come to the English language and am annoyed on a daily basis by poor spelling and bad grammar 🙂

  39. July 8, 2014 / 7:56 pm

    My hair I hate it when it doesn't go right

  40. July 8, 2014 / 10:06 pm

    At work 🙁 I spend so long being a perfectionist about things that I never get everything done. I need to sort out my time management and prioritise what is actually having a positive impact on my students' learning x

  41. July 9, 2014 / 6:27 am


  42. July 9, 2014 / 8:35 am

    Cleanliness, the perfectionist part of me is never happy but the lazy part says leave it for another day – I end up in mental turmoil

  43. July 9, 2014 / 2:30 pm

    Trying to please everyone

  44. July 9, 2014 / 4:22 pm

    Trying to make everyone happy!

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