Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Gifts of Imperfection

During my recent trip to Boston to see my friend Erin, I read the most incredible book on the plane. I can easily say that the The Gifts of Imperfection (by Brene Brown) is the best book (in the realm of "self help") that I have ever read, hands down.

I stumbled upon this book when I was on Amazon looking for The Happiness Project (a great book which I'm currently reading). The book description talked about to the overall concept of letting go of perfectionism and embracing exactly who you are (and letting go of what others think). I was immediately intrigued by this subject.

In the Preface, Brene states: "we all struggle with shame and the fear of not being enough" (x). The word "enough" is something that (ironically) hit me hard one day earlier this year. I was with my friend Emily, having a venting session about the challenges I was facing.

After chatting for a while, Emily stops me and says: "I know what your problem is. You aren't enough."
Me: "What do you mean?!"
Emily: "You don't think you are ENOUGH. All these situations we are talking about have that exact same theme."

It hit me like a lightening bolt. Holy crap - I don't think I'm enough! What a liberating thought. If I did, I wouldn't beat myself up for not having a perfectly clean kitchen, not working out x days per week, not having the perfect relationship, etc. I would embrace exactly who I am, through both successes and failures, and say "I am awesome. What I accomplished today IS enough," and have a lot less stress and anxiety as I navigate through life.


Back to the book. :) As you can see, it loved it so much that I wanted to blog about it and do a series of posts sharing some of my favorite insights (stay tuned). In the meantime, I would highly recommend this book to anyone, and encourage you to check it out. It's smart, funny, insightful, practical, and only 130 pages long.

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