The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Divided into ten “Guideposts,” The Gifts of Imperfection combines Brown’s research on wholehearted living with insights from her personal life as she tries to implement what she’s learned.

This book is somewhere between self-help and memoir, which makes it a bit tough to categorize. I appreciate that Brown avoids the rah-rah optimism of many self-help books. That kind of crap really annoys me, and I would have dropped this book with much haste had I detected that kind of thing in it. Read More

Vulnerability and Shame

My friend Linda shared with me two TED talks by Brené Brown, one about vulnerability and one about shame. I listened to both while my daughter read in her room and my son pretended to nap and I baked cookies and prepared a casserole for a church potluck tonight.

Both talks are excellent and filled with great insights, but this piece from the one about shame really hit home for me:

“As much as I was frustrated about not being able to get my work out to the world, there was a part of me that was working very hard to engineer staying small, staying right under the radar.”

I was talking to another friend on the phone recently, and I said that as much as I’d like to be known and respected as a writer, I’m not sure I really want to be that well known because I don’t really want to feel like I’m in the public eye. I don’t want my face out there. I don’t want that fame or that scrutiny.

And—because she’s a very good friend—my friend said, “Yeah, I’m not going to let you go with that. I’m not going to let you use that excuse.”

I don’t have much more to say about this right now. I just like the talks and thought I’d share them and what was percolating for me (as a person who blogs under a pseudonym) and see what you all think about them.

If you’ve seen these TED talks, what struck you about them? What role do shame and vulnerability play in your life? Do you avoid vulnerability or do you lean into it? (Or do you do a little of each?)

If you haven’t seen the talks, I’ve included links to them in the first sentence of this post, and here they are again:

Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

Brené Brown: Listening to Shame