Blog Title : The Gift of Imperfection By Brene Brown
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About the Author
Dr. Brené Brown is a researcher, writer, and professor. She is a member of the research faculty at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, where she has spent the past ten years studying a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness, posing the questions: How do we engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness?
Brené spent the first seven years of her decade-long research journey studying how the universal experiences of shame and fear affect us and how practicing resilience in our everyday lives can change the way we live, love, parent, and work.
The Gift of Imperfection Summary
Author Says knowledge is important, but only if we’re being kind and gentle with ourselves as we work to discover who we are. Wholeheartedness is as much about embracing our tenderness and vulnerability as it is about developing knowledge and claiming power.
Author says Wholehearted living is about engaging in 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.
Author Says wholehearted living is not a onetime choice. It is a process. Author believe it’s the journey of a lifetime. Author’s goal is to bring awareness and clarity to the constellation of choices that lead to Wholeheartedness.
Author says practicing courage, compassion, and connection in our daily lives is how we cultivate worthiness. The key word is practice.
When we’re looking for compassion, we need someone who is deeply rooted, able to bend, and, most of all, we need someone who embraces us for our strengths and struggles.
When we’re looking for compassion, it’s about connecting with the right person at the right time about the right issue.
Here Author says courage is a huge theme in my life. It seems that either I’m praying for some, feeling grateful for having found a little bit, appreciating it in other people, or studying it.
After interviewing people about the truths of their lives—their strengths and struggles—Author realized that courage is one of the most important qualities that Wholehearted people have in common.
Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver. And our world could stand to be a little kinder and braver.
If we want to live fully, without the constant fear of not being enough, we have to own our story. We also have to respond to shame in a way that doesn’t exacerbate our shame.
Author says authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.
The idea that we can choose authenticity makes most of us feel both hopeful and exhausted. We feel hopeful because being real is something we value.
Here Author say there are people who consciously practice being authentic, there are people who don’t, and there are the rest of us who are authentic on some days and not so authentic on other days.
Authenticity isn’t always the safe option. Sometimes choosing being real over being liked is all about playing it unsafe. It means stepping out of our comfort zone.
Here Author says Self-kindness: Being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism.
Common humanity recognizes that suffering and feelings of personal inadequacy are part of the shared human experience—something we all go through rather than something that happens to “me” alone.
Cultivating a Resilient Spirit
We develop a hopeful mind-set when we understand that some worthy endeavors will be difficult and time consuming and not enjoyable at all.
Author says Hope also requires us to understand that just because the process of reaching a goal happens to be fun, fast, and easy doesn’t mean that it has less value than a difficult goal. If we want to cultivate hopefulness, we have to be willing to be flexible and demonstrate perseverance.
In addition to being essential to resilience, practicing critical awareness is actually one of the four elements of shame resilience.
Here Author says Intuition is not independent of any reasoning process. In fact, psychologists believe that intuition is a rapid-fire, unconscious associating process—like a mental puzzle.
Sometimes our intuition or our gut tells us what we need to know; other times it actually steers us toward fact-finding and reasoning.
Author says Faith is essential when we decide to live and love with our whole hearts in a world where most of us want assurances before we risk being vulnerable and getting hurt.
The only unique contribution that we will ever make in this world will be born of our creativity.
Here Author says If we want to make meaning, we need to make art. Cook, write, draw, doodle, paint, scrapbook, take pictures, collage, knit, rebuild an engine, sculpt, dance, decorate, act, sing—it doesn’t matter. As long as we’re creating, we’re cultivating meaning.
There are only people who use their creativity and people who don’t. Unused creativity doesn’t just disappear. It lives within us until it’s expressed, neglected to death, or suffocated by resentment and fear.
Calm and Stillness
Author define calm as creating perspective and mindfulness while managing emotional reactivity. If we choose to heal with calm, we have to commit to practicing calm. Small things matter.
Here Author says In our increasingly complicated and anxious world, we need more time to do less and be less. When we first start cultivating calm and stillness in our lives, it can be difficult, especially when we realize how stress and anxiety define so much of our daily lives.
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