My Take on a Book Review #5 – The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene Brown

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If you didn’t figure it out yet, I’m a huge Brene Brown fan!  I’ve read this book a couple of times just like her other books.  So, so, so good!  It’s not overly long (about 140 pages maybe), so is a nice quick read with some great tips and ideas!

“Your Guide to a Wholehearted Life”…the book is based on her 10 guideposts for wholehearted living and she gives you examples from her life on how she practices these.

The 10 guideposts are as follows:

  1. Cultivate authenticity: let go of what people think.
    – a daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embrace who we are
  2. Cultivate self-compassion: let go of perfectionism
    – perfectionism is not the same as striving to be your best.  It’s the belief that we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect.  It’s trying to earn approval and acceptance.
  3. Cultivate resilient spirit: let go of numbing and powerlessness
    – 5 traits of resilient people: 1. they have good problem solving skills.  2. they are more likely to seek help.  3. they believe they can do something that will help them manage their feelings and cope.  4. they have social support.  5. they are connected with others…friends/family.
  4. Cultivate gratitude and joy: let go of scarcity and fear of the dark
    – we need to practice gratitude…try making a gratitude journal or voice things you’re thankful for every day.
    – happiness vs. joy.  Happiness is tied to an experience.  Joy is tied to gratitude and spirituality.
  5. Cultivate intuition and trusting faith: let go of the need for certainty
    – “Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty”
  6. Cultivate creativity: let go of comparison
    – comparison is the thief of happiness.  This was such a good chapter!
  7. Cultivate play and rest: let go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth
    – “The opposite of play is not work, it’s depression”
    – we need to be intentional about cultivating sleep and play.
  8. Cultivate calm and stillness: let go of anxiety as a lifestyle
    – strive to be the person that you have seen be calm and not react to fear and anger. This takes a lot of practice!
    – lots of ways to do this….yoga, meditate, practice mindfulness exercises.
  9. Cultivate meaningful work: let go of self doubt and “supposed to”
    – think about doing something you love, something that inspires you…don’t think about making a living at it.  You don’t necessarily have to quit your day job to do meaningful work.
  10. Cultivate laughter, song, and dance: let go of being cool and “always in control”
    – a good belly laugh, singing loud, dancing like nobody is looking is so good for your soul!  But it’s also extremely vulnerable!
    – “When we don’t give ourselves permission to be free, we rarely tolerate that freedom in others.  We put them down, make fun of them, ridicule their behaviours, and sometimes shame them”.  So true.
    – “Cruelty is never brave, it is mostly cheap and easy”.  By far one of my favourite quotes from this book!

When you’re exhausted or overwhelmed in any aspect of your life DIG deep:
D – get deliberate in your thoughts and behaviours
I – get inspired to make new or different choices
G – get going.  Take action.



Author: thehealthylifesaver

I have been a paramedic for 17 years and over the years I have seen unhealthy lifestyle habits and many injuries to coworkers and friends. I have a passion for the health, wellness, and career longevity of Paramedics and decided to start a blog to promote these qualities. I hope to start a change in our physically and mentally demanding profession of paramedicine towards taking better care of ourselves.

2 thoughts on “My Take on a Book Review #5 – The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene Brown”

  1. Awesome summary Carla! I just picked up this book and can’t wait to read it – sounds like just what I need right now.


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