Over the last year I have started reading books to challenge the way I see the world. One which still resonates with me is “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown. She also has two excellent Ted Talks (links below).
Imperfection is a gift
Brene is a shame researcher who discovered through her research that the key to living a whole hearted life is to embrace vulnerability. Being a strong Texan woman, this realization lead to her breakdown / spiritual awakening. That you need to acknowledge, own and embrace your weaknesses in order to grow and innovate was simply too confronting to a woman who wanted to smack weakness out of the ball park.
Vulnerability is courage not weakness
However, the core of her research outcomes is the preposition that vulnerability is not weakness, and in fact that vulnerability is the most accurate measurement of courage. Only through emotional risk and exposure to uncertainty can come new ideas. This means that vulnerability is at the core of creativity, innovation and change. Without vulnerability we cannot dare greatly to create something new.
In the book Gifts of Imperfection she offers 10 guideposts to wholehearted living
Cultivating authenticity – letting go of what people think
Cultivating self compassion – letting go of perfectionism
Cultivating a resilient spirit – letting go of numbing and powerlessness
Cultivating gratitude and joy – letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark
Cultivating intuition and trusting faith – letting go of the need for certainty
Cultivating creativity – letting go of comparison
Cultivating play and rest – letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self worth
Cultivating calm and stillness – letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle
Cultivating meaningful work – letting go of self doubt and “supposed to”
Cultivating laughter song and dance – letting go of being cool and “always in control”
Embrace your imperfections, be the best you that you can be
This isn’t a book to make you feel bad about or discover your imperfections, but rather to stop worrying about what people think of your imperfections and start embracing the best person you can be. In other words, to let go of who you think you are supposed to be, and embrace who you are.
To learn more about Brene Brown you can watch her Ted Talks:
You might also like: