I just finished the Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. My counselor recommended it.
Usually I am skeptical of self-help books. Especially ones that have cheesy subtitles and clouds and doves and hearts on the cover. In other words, I never would have picked up this book if it wasn’t recommended to me.
But I put my skepticism aside, read the book, and it was very, very good.
When I read a book review, I don’t really care to know the plot summary, themes, interpretations, etc. Mostly I just like to know if the book is worth reading or not. So I am going to skip all the summary and what-I-learned stuff and just give you three reasons you should read it and three reasons you shouldn’t.
You should read The Gifts of Imperfection if:
- You are suffering from depression, anxiety, stress, insecurities, etc. These are sometimes symptoms of an unhealthy emotional, spiritual, and physical life. This book focuses mostly on the emotional side. It has some really valuable things to say about practicing healthy emotional habits.
- You desire to be seen, known, and loved (i.e., have genuine relationships). I think we all want these things. But for many of us, or for me at least, having genuine relationships (which result in being seen, known, and loved) doesn’t come easy. They scare me and I run from them, but I also desire them at the same time. Brown does a great job of addressing the struggles and fears involved in developing genuine relationships, and she gives good, practical advice on how to begin “moving gently” past fears and insecurities and towards honest relationships.
- You want something “more,” something deeper, from life. She writes this book as a result of research on people who live “whole-hearted” lives. This book won’t give you the “more” you desire, but it will point you in the right direction. Some of the directions it points are pretty unexpected, but I think they are right on target.
You should not read The Gifts of Imperfection if:
- You are a skeptic. If you go into it thinking it has nothing useful to say, you won’t find anything useful in it. The most powerful parts of the books are the simple ideas that get heavier and more complex the more you think about them. This book takes a good deal of honest introspection.
- You think you have everything figured out. You don’t have everything figured out, but if you think you do, avoid this book. A learning spirit is a necessity.
- You don’t plant to take action. This book is less about gaining knowledge and more about taking action. If you want to feel good but don’t want to change your life, don’t waste your time with this book. But if you want to make positive changes in your life, give it the time. It is worth it.
So now you can decide for yourself if you would like to read it or not. I learned a lot from it, and it’s impacting my life in good ways. I think it could do the same for you.
Question: Have you read this book? Did you like or dislike it? Who would you recommend it to? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.