Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” as Want to Read:
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  73,111 ratings  ·  4,976 reviews
New York Times best-selling author and professor Brené Brown offers a powerful and inspiring book that explores how to cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to embrace your imperfections and to recognize that you are enough.

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 beli
Paperback, 138 pages
Published August 27th 2010 by Hazelden Publishing
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  73,111 ratings  ·  4,976 reviews

Sort order
Ed McKeogh
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
I've read more than my fair share of "self-help" literature, so I can assert with conviction that this is not a self-help book. Instead, it's a revelation book. Each chapter triggered numerous "ah-Ha!" moments for me, because Dr. Brown goes a step (or two, or five) beyond the common way of looking at or framing an issue to reveal the interconnectedness of elements that stall or sabotage our efforts to live a more satisfying life. Instead of the "that doesn't quite resonate" vibe I often get from ...more
Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book after watching Brown's TED talk on vulnerability. The TED talk was shown as the last exercise for a leadership class at work. The talk was intriguing and I wanted to know more. Also, I noted that many of the comments regarding this fairly brief talk were often negative. I found the talk inspiring so I wanted to see if there was any validity to the negative comments.

The question that I had in my mind was why was this shown at work? Does Brown suggest that people should be vulnera
May 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
You may have noticed a theme in my last couple posts. I'm rundown, overwhelmed and I realize that, while my priorities are right in my head, they aren't in reality. So the book I'm reviewing today really came at a perfect time in my own personal crisis. In fact, as I was reading along yesterday (yes, I totally procrastinated reading it due to other books taking up my precious little reading time) I thought to myself, "This book could be companion material for President Uchtdorf's talk at confere ...more
Ann Lewis
Feb 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
I had to mark this as read to get if off my list. Actually I had to abort the read. Just could not relate to a word of it at all. I feel like this author is speaking a different language. I have a hard time believing anybody really CARES that much about what others think about them. It's amazing to me. A Whole book telling you it's OK if you're not who someone wants you to be?? I feel like saying "GET A LIFE!"
I also Really had trouble with the writing. This author reminds us on almost every sing
Dani (The Pluviophile Writer)

This book changed my life. Dramatic as it sounds, it's true.

I wrote this on Brené's Facebook page:


I've just about finished your book "The Gifts of Imperfection" which I discovered after watching you speak on TED talks and I can honestly say that this book is helping me completely change my life.

I suffer(ed) from a condition called Dermatillomania ( and I've tried everything from therapists, medication and herbal supplements to help manage
May 20, 2012 rated it liked it
I really like Brene Brown--she gave a terrific and funny TED talk about her research concerning the importance of vulnerability, of imperfection, of failure, and so I read her book. I think her thesis is superb, her research about shame and wholeheartedness really interesting, and the message of the book necessary to modern life. But! I can't help it. I hoped for a little more "perfectionism" in the writing (and structuring! of the book as a whole) which could have used another round or two of e ...more
Clumsy Storyteller
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People going through difficult times.
She makes it feel and seem so easy!

the main message here is: Let go of your insecurities,expectations, shame, guilt, discomfort. Happy people are happy because they make themselves happy, they are the ones who think of themselves as worthy of love. you're IMPERFECT Embrace it.

“Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”

“When I let go of trying to be everything to everyone, I had much more tim
Mohammed Abbas
نفس الهراء والنصائح المعلبة التي تجدها في معظم كتب تنمية الذات
Matt Evans
Listening to this book, I felt like I was being lectured to by the kind of person who concludes her cell-phone's voicemail with the word, 'namaste' -- a Hindi word that means 'I acknowledge the divine in you.' Actually, 'namaste" also signifies that its user knows an exotic Asian concept-word. (Total aside, but in my experience, chronic 'namaste' sayers tend to be impatient and prone to pedantic rages, when life hits them between the eyes with two-by-fours of difficulty and stress; I don't know ...more
Oct 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Self-Help Enthusiasts
This book is basically meaningless and worthless to me.

Not due to any fault on Brown's part, but simply because I do not need or want self-help books. She seems to be focusing on a reader that is obsessed with her own flaws or who is a perfectionist and self-hater. I am none of these things.

I just found the book extremely boring.

That being said, I did find two passages I liked:

Shame loses power when it is spoken.

True. Talking about what makes you a 'shameful person' really frees you and often h
Elyse Walters
Oct 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Update: I thought this book was 'fair'. The structure of the chapters was too repetitive. Plus, more personal stories needed to be added to make the book feel more human.

Yesterday I started listening to "Rising Strong" by this same author. I had no idea she was the same author as this book, nor did I know that this book, and "Rising Strong", is part of a trilogy. I highly doubt that it matters.
I'm getting much more enjoyment - with Brene Brown's gentle kick in the ass messages from "RISING STR
I read this after geeking out hard because of her TED talk. I think there is a certain point in some these books where you have to have a big fold out section that says in type as big as your face: DO YOU HAVE MONEY? and also DO YOU HAVE A FAMILY? and if you say no, the last 25% of the book will disintegrate or turn into dust. The first 75% was great, relevant, filled with good thoughts and information and quotable stuff. Then she gets to the "my husband's on call a lot" and "my kids dance in th ...more
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
I had to read this for work, but even without the burden of assigned reading, I would not have liked this book. It feels slight, filled with padded stories about shame and vulnerability and the author's reaction to said shame and vulnerability. (And sometimes the author's reaction to her reaction to the shame. Sigh.)

I shall now summarize the book's precepts: Feel Good About Yourself. Be Compassionate and Grateful. Blah blah Laugh Dance Love blah blah.

The book is only about 130 pages and can be r
Amin Dorosti
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-improvement
من همیشه به کتابهایی از این دست بدبین بودهام؛ شاید به دلیل یک پیشداوری قدیمی و شاید هم به دلیل برخورد با کتابهای به اصطلاح «زرد» در حوزه روانشناسی و رشدفردی. با وجود این، چندی پیش همسرم به من مطالعۀ این کتاب را پیشنهاد داد. من از همان کودکی با مشکل «کمالگرایی» دست به گریبان بودهام و هنوز هم همچنان دچار این مشکل هستم و چه بسا مشکلم شدیدتر هم شده باشد. خواندن این کتاب برای من به مثابۀ یک تلنگر دوسویه بود: از یک سو به من تلنگر زد که همۀ کتابهای این حوزه را با چوب «کتاب زرد» نرانم، و از سوی دیگر به ...more
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
It’s true, I’m a sucker for social science research: the human mind just intrigues me like there is not tomorrow; and the emotional side even more so than the rational one. After accidentally seeing Brené Brown’s TED speech for a second time this week, I was intrigued enough to pick up her books.

Unfortunately her book is nowhere near as exciting. First of all, for someone who claims to be an obsessive organizer, there is a remarkable lack of structure in her book. It seems more like a collectio
I am having a hard time writing this review, probably for two reasons. First of all, there is so much that I liked in this book that I know I will be reading it again. If the copy I read had been mine, I might have underlined most of the book.

The second reason that I am struggling here is that I haven't done anything with what I have learned. I have now read two books by Brown; she has pointed out some things I need to be doing for myself and I am resisting following her lead. I know that being
In addition to reading West, I've also been into a lot of mindfulness books/stuff that's related to mindfulness lately, like this one. I found and really liked her TED talk by chasing down some references from Buddha's Brain, so I decided to read her book after that. Overall, I think a lot of her points are well-taken. I also liked that she reiterates constantly that all of her ideas are research and statistics based, not something she just, like, felt one day. I also give her props for being op ...more
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
یک کتاب فوق العاده عالی که به ما کمک می کنه با نواقصمون نه تنها کنار بیایم بلکه بتونیم احساس شادی داشته باشیم
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
I think I stumbled across this on Goodreads, thought it looked good and gave it a try. I stopped being a sucker for drugstore psychology, Oprah Winfrey, self help books many years ago but I fell off the wagon on this one. Don't get me wrong, there are many wonderful points in this read but looking for solutions to life's most challenging issues in an Oprah empire endorsed and marketed self help tome is a recipe for disappointment.

That being said, the idea of true authenticity buried deep beneath
Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed To Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown -- Your Guide To A Wholehearted Life

**Because the nature of the book, this review turned out be more like a summary than a review, and it ended up being much longer than I expected. Thank you for reading!

I am forever grateful for Dr. Brene Brown -- her message, research, and work really makes sense to me and resonate with me. I have read all of her books and each one of them has had a
Odette Knappers
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inbezit, 2018
Een goed en fijn boek over minder moeten van jezelf.

Wat ik jammer vind is dat de dingen waar voor mij de nadruk op mogen liggen of die erg bijdroegen aan zo een situatie verbeteren, dat die vrij kort behandeld werden. Vragen als - je moet dit van jezelf, maar waarom eigenlijk? werden maar kort behandeld, terwijl mij dat juist een groot inzicht gaf. Daar had ze wel meer aandacht van mij aan mogen besteden.

De latere stukjes over zingeving en bezield leven - klinkt zo veel zweveriger dan hoe zij he
Brene Brown tries to distill her research and reporting what she found are the differences between "wholehearted" people and the rest of us running-scared-dogs.

What she doesn't do is make it any easier for us to bridge the gap between where we are and where we'd like to be. She claims she made some serious attitude shifts through a year of intensive therapy, then wraps up each chapter with some easy (and unfounded in her research) platitudes and daily affirmations about "digging deep". Which ar
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wat een fantastisch boek, precies wat nodig had! Bij sommige stukken had ik echt het gevoel alsof het voor mij was geschreven. Het leest niet als een typisch zelfhulpboek met praktische tips; de schrijfster deelt vooral persoonlijke verhalen en resultaten uit haar onderzoek (op een begrijpelijke/verhalende manier). Dat vond ik juist extra fijn en heel inspirerend. Doordat ze 'vage' begrippen die je op verschillende manieren kan opvatten goed uitlegt, maakt dat dingen ook voor jezelf veel duideli ...more
Feb 24, 2011 rated it liked it
It is quite unfortunate how much the author seems to be stuck in the write style appropriate to blogs, because this book is horribly structured. Each of the chapters tackles a huge subject in a few pages. They have only a marginal connection to one another and there is no flow throughout the book, often leaving the reader confused.

I say this is unfortunate not just because I spent my time reading the book, but because it contains a lot of good information based on the authors research. It conta
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I came to this book after watching Brown's TED talk on vulnerability and seeing this book mentioned elsewhere online. The messages of this book are so very important and they really spoke to me. The idea that we are worthy: "The greatest challenge for most of us is believing that we are worthy now, right this minute. Worthiness doesn't have prerequisites." Some of the prerequisites she mentions are "I'll be worthy when I lose twenty pounds," "I'll be worthy if everyone thinks I'm a good parent," ...more
Oct 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Some good points, but most of the suggested solutions are pretty obvious. (Relax, play, center yourself spiritually whatever that means to you, stop striving, do something creative, blah blah blah).

It really annoyed me that she capitalized Wholehearted throughout the whole book. I would not be surprised to see a whole Wholehearted(tm) product line in stores soon. Journals! Notecards! Classes!

Ah well. Whatever works for you.

Cute slogans and catchphrases don't work for me. They turn me off.

Is it
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
A little disclaimer: The title isn’t fair to this book. It gives the Illusion this is a self help book. In my opinion its more about human behavior and embracing the life you have.

After watching a Brene Brown TEDtalk I purchased her most recent book, Daring Greatly. Her authenticity or pursuit of it, is what kept my attention.

A lot of authors who write self-help oriented books frustrate me with the façade of perfection. You can just see the word “Namaste” ooze out of their pores. Their seemingly
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
I felt that the author's writing and insights were somewhat disjointed and scattered. The book didn't flow well from beginning to end and has a serious drop off in relevance in the final chapters. I did think a lot of the advice was truly useful and important, but this information was given in small snippets amongst a large amount of other information which was less useful and not very helpful.

It bothered me that throughout the book that the author kept talking about the years and years of quali
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
یکم - به نظرم تلاش کتاب را میتوان در یک جمله خلاصه کرد: «تلاش برای نگریستن به مشکلات از نظرگاهی متفاوت. به اندازهای متفاوت که اغلب جای علت و معلول عوض میگردد.»
دوم- مثلا می گوید: تلاش ما برای انکار و فرار از هیجانها و احساسات منفی (هم چون غم، ترس، شرم، ناتوانی، بیسوادی، حس به اندازه کافی خوب نبودن، زیبا نبودن، محبوب نبودن و ...) منجر به سرپوش گذاشتن بر روی این هیجانها می شود. رفتن به سراغ رفتارهای اغلب اعتیاد گونه ای چون سیگار، مواد مخدر، مشروبات الکلی ، روابط جنسی و پرونوگرافی، کار زیاد، اختلال
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
First sentence: Once you see a pattern, you can't un-see it.

Favorite quote: Twinkle lights are the perfect metaphor for joy. Joy is not a constant. It comes to us in moments - often ordinary moments.

This is my first Brené Brown book. She writes as though she is across the table from me and we are enjoying a cup of tea in the sunshine. She is warm and understanding knowing we are so alike and are all going through this life wanting to make it the best we can. She wants to help us learn how to do
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Which Brene Brown book to read first? 24 3505 Nov 07, 2018 10:18PM  
Divisive opinions, delightful. 1 6 Aug 01, 2018 03:13PM  
Play Book Tag: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown 5 stars 2 20 May 09, 2018 07:34PM  
  • The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You're Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed, or Desperate
  • Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
  • This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart
  • The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions
  • Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally
  • Style Statement: Live By Your Own Design
  • The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life
  • Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel for Brilliance
  • There Is Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate
  • The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have
  • Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently
  • The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You
  • A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough
  • You Are The One You've Been Waiting For: Bringing Courageous Love To Intimate Relationships
  • Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life
  • How Not to Be Afraid of Your Own Life: Opening Your Heart to Confidence, Intimacy, and Joy
  • When Perfect Isn't Good Enough: Strategies for Coping with Perfectionism
  • Healing Your Emotional Self: A Powerful Program to Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem, Quiet Your Inner Critic, and Overcome Your Shame
Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.

She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wildern
“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.

Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”
“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.” 649 likes
More quotes…