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Book Review - The Gifts of Imperfection

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I love Brené Brown. I do. I fell in love with her when I saw her first TED talk, in which she talks about being vulnerable and living and loving with your whole heart. The ideas in the book are pretty much the same; it's an expansion of this talk, really.

The book had made me think about all kinds of stuff. Some I had already written about, some I'd like to write about, but I'm still trying to find the words. Generally, it's a good book. It's hard for me to read a book by a researcher and not hold it up to my research standards. It's definitely more academic than some popular science books I've read. But, for some of the arguments, there's not enough evidence that I can see. For instance, she says that creativity is essential, which I'm sure we can all agree, but there's no real argument as to the mechanisms in which creativity is related to the topic at hand.

The book talks about three gifts of imperfection: courage, compassion, and connection. She talks about being authentic, letting the real you to be seen, and feel that you are enough. The idea is that the only way to have a meaningful connection with others is by being courageous enough to let your true self be seen. The problem with that is that you're risking other people not liking your true self and then you're a bit stuck. Because you've put yourself in a very vulnerable position, you can be easily shredded down. But if you come to this exchange with a firm belief that you are enough, that you are worthy, then you can accept that not everyone is going to like you.

Bottom line: I like this book a lot, but it gets a little preachy sometimes. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but my academic self was rather appalled and judge-y about it.


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