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

Ah, the pursuit of perfection—the elusive standard many of us have chased for years, often at the expense of our own well-being and happiness. But what if I told you that the key to a fulfilling life lies not in perfection, but in embracing our imperfections? That’s precisely the message at the heart of Brené Brown’s transformative book, “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.” Having personally delved into its pages, I can confidently say that this book is a life-changer.

1 Sentence Summary: In “The Gifts of Imperfection,” Brené Brown explores the power of vulnerability, authenticity, and self-compassion, guiding readers on a journey to let go of the suffocating expectations of perfection and embrace their true selves, warts and all.

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

TitleThe Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
AuthorBrené Brown
GenreSelf Help
Publication DateAugust 27, 2010
Length208 pages

Where to Purchase

Best Quotes from the Book

  1. “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.”

Brené Brown’s words hit like a ton of bricks, forcing us to confront our own avoidance of vulnerability. In a world that often encourages us to hide our struggles and insecurities, this quote reminds us that true strength comes from acknowledging our stories, scars, and all. It’s a call to stop running and start embracing the authenticity within us.

  1. “What we know matters, but who we are matters more.”

This quote emphasizes that our worth isn’t solely determined by our accomplishments or knowledge. Instead, it’s rooted in our character, our values, and our ability to show up authentically in our lives. Brown challenges us to focus on being, not just doing or knowing.

  1. “Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating 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.'”

This quote beautifully encapsulates the essence of the book. It encourages us to embrace our inherent worthiness and let go of the never-ending quest for external validation. Wholehearted living, as Brown describes it, is the path to contentment and fulfillment.

  1. “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”

This quote is the heart and soul of “The Gifts of Imperfection.” It’s a gentle reminder that authenticity is a daily commitment, not a one-time achievement. It calls us to release the masks we wear and live in alignment with our true selves.

Book Summary

Brené Brown’s “The Gifts of Imperfection” is a guide to living a wholehearted life, free from the crippling constraints of perfectionism and shame. Drawing from her extensive research on vulnerability, shame, and empathy, Brown offers readers a roadmap to embracing their imperfections, cultivating self-compassion, and fostering genuine connections with others.

The book is divided into ten guideposts, or what Brown calls “guideposts for wholehearted living.” Each guidepost explores a different aspect of embracing imperfection, such as letting go of perfectionism, cultivating self-compassion, and developing resilience. Brown combines personal anecdotes, research findings, and practical exercises to help readers apply these guideposts to their own lives.

Readers can expect to learn valuable lessons about vulnerability, courage, and the importance of authenticity. Brown’s writing is approachable and relatable, making complex psychological concepts accessible to a broad audience. She uses real-life examples and stories to illustrate her points, which adds a human touch to the book’s message.

Book Review

“The Gifts of Imperfection” is a breath of fresh air in a world that often demands perfection. Brené Brown’s writing style is engaging and easy to understand, making it accessible to a wide range of readers. Her use of personal anecdotes and relatable examples helps drive home the book’s message and keeps the reader engaged throughout.

One of the book’s strengths is its emphasis on vulnerability as a source of strength rather than weakness. Brown effectively challenges the societal myth that vulnerability is something to be avoided. Instead, she encourages readers to lean into their vulnerability, as it is the pathway to deeper connections with others and a more authentic life.

However, no book is without its criticisms, and “The Gifts of Imperfection” is no exception. Some readers might find the book’s self-help tone and exercises a bit too prescriptive. While the exercises can be helpful for self-reflection, they may not resonate with everyone. Additionally, some readers may wish for a deeper dive into certain topics or more practical examples of how to apply the principles discussed.


This book is part of my list of best confidence books. Check out the list for more books on this subject.

This book is recommended for:

  1. Perfectionists: If you find yourself constantly striving for unattainable standards and feeling exhausted by the pursuit of perfection, this book is a must-read. It will help you let go of the unrealistic expectations you’ve placed on yourself and embrace your imperfections.
  2. Anyone struggling with shame: Brené Brown’s research on shame is central to the book, and her insights can be immensely helpful for those dealing with shame and self-criticism. You’ll learn how to cultivate self-compassion and break free from the shame cycle.
  3. Individuals seeking more authentic relationships: “The Gifts of Imperfection” offers valuable guidance on how to build deeper and more meaningful connections with others. If you’ve been yearning for more authentic relationships in your life, this book can point you in the right direction.

Small Actionable Steps You Can Do

Brené Brown provides readers with ten guideposts for wholehearted living in “The Gifts of Imperfection.” Here are some small actionable steps you can take based on each of these guideposts:

  1. Cultivate Authenticity: Start by being honest with yourself about your feelings and experiences. Share your true self with someone you trust, even if it feels vulnerable.
  2. Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer to a friend. Challenge your inner critic and practice self-compassion daily.
  3. Let Go of Perfectionism: Set realistic goals and embrace the idea that making mistakes is part of growth. Allow yourself to be imperfect.
  4. Cultivate Resilience: Develop a growth mindset and view challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. When faced with setbacks, ask yourself what you can learn from the experience.
  5. Cultivate Gratitude and Joy: Keep a gratitude journal and regularly reflect on the things you’re thankful for. Take time to savor joyful moments in your life.
  6. Cultivate Intuition and Trusting Faith: Pay attention to your intuition and gut feelings. Trust that you have the inner wisdom to make decisions that align with your authentic self.
  7. Let Go of Comparison: Practice gratitude for your unique qualities and accomplishments. Focus on your own journey instead of constantly comparing yourself to others.
  8. Cultivate Creativity: Engage in creative activities that bring you joy, whether it’s painting, writing, or playing music. Allow yourself to express your inner creativity.
  9. Cultivate Play and Rest: Prioritize self-care and relaxation. Make time for activities that bring you joy and rejuvenate your spirit.
  10. Cultivate Meaningful Work: Reflect on your values and passions. Seek work or activities that align with your sense of purpose and contribute to your sense of fulfillment.

“The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown is a powerful and transformative book that encourages readers to let go of the pursuit of perfection and embrace their authentic selves. Brown’s writing is relatable and accessible, making complex concepts easy to understand.

While the book may have some minor drawbacks, its message of vulnerability, authenticity, and self-compassion is both timely and essential. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone seeking a more meaningful and authentic life.


  • Michael Corbin

    Michael Corbin stands out as a dynamic content writer which combines his dual passions for self-help and digital marketing literature. A fervent believer in the transformative power of books, Michael delves deep into self-help titles, extracting valuable lessons and insights that he actively integrates into his daily life. Simultaneously, his keen interest in digital marketing books has not only expanded his knowledge but has also played a pivotal role in the success of his business ventures. Always on a quest for self-improvement and growth, Michael's reviews are a testament to his commitment to personal and professional development. His writings offer readers a unique perspective, as they are infused with real-world applications and experiences derived from the books he reviews. For those seeking to elevate their personal lives or enhance their business strategies, Michael Corbin's reviews serve as a trusted guide, pointing them to the most impactful and actionable books in the realms of self-help and digital marketing. His relentless pursuit of knowledge and betterment makes him an invaluable asset to the literary community and an inspiration to readers and entrepreneurs alike.

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