Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

01 January 2012

Book Review: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

This is my New Year's gift to you.

GET THIS BOOK.

You don't have to make a list of resolutions, you don't have to throw out the one you already made either. But I highly recommend that you get this book and read it with care.

A Twitter friend sent me this book, along with another Brown book that still needs to be read, with a card expressing her support of my work and goal to earn a PhD. She works at a domestic violence crisis center, so she gets how heavy our work can weigh on our souls. She's also Latina and gets how our culture's kick ass work ethic can be a double-edged sword. She's become a bit like the big sister I always needed, but never wanted.

So the book...

Brené Brown wrote this book after having a breakdown of some kind. Brown is a researcher who suddenly found herself reflected in her work on shame and acceptance:
How much we know and understand ourselves is critically important, but there is something that is even more essential to living a Wholehearted life: loving ourselves.
Before I get further, let me say that while this book looks like a "girl book," I truly believe that all the men in my life would appreciate this book. Because while women have more inclination towards perfectionism, men also have their own version of perfectionism...I think we call it "being a man."

Brown explores what is behind our need to be perfect, our fear of being authentic and our fear of pursuing our dreams because "what if we fail?" There is so much in this book that it is hard for me to do it justice. Perhaps because this book hits me in places that are so personal that I can't share here. There were times when I was reading the book and I had to put it down and stifle a cry. Of course by the time I was done with the book, I realized I should just let myself cry.

Being in a doctoral program pretty much makes one a perfectionist. I am very much prone perfectionism, so this book came at a wonderful time for me. I wish I had had this book in high school or at least at the beginning of college. I'm not sure if I would had gotten as much out of it. Sometimes you have to screw up your life before you realize why people warn you about certain things.

So start 2012 with this book [P | IB]. It won't make you thinner, it won't make your house cleaner, but I do think it'll help you get to that better place we all need to be so we can truly work on being healthier and all around even more awesome.

* Book links are affiliate links. If you buy your book here I could make a very small amount of money that goes towards this blog by helping me purchase books for school. Thanks! 

2 comments:

This sounds wonderful, Veronica. I myself am struggling with burnout triggered by exactly the stuff you're talking about: perfectionism, feeling overwhelmed by our work's heaviness, etc. Thank you for this review--I will definitely treat myself to a copy in the new year. All the best to you!

thank you for sharing this veronica. it finally hit me that what i'm going through isn't quite a quarter life crisis, but fear of failure. i'll definitely be reading this book soon. all the best in this new year :)