The Gifts of Imperfection Summary & Study Guide

Brené Brown
This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Gifts of Imperfection.
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The Gifts of Imperfection Summary & Study Guide Description

The Gifts of Imperfection Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown.

The following version of the book was used to create this study guide: Brown, Brené. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Hazelden Publishing, 2010.

Author and research professor Brené Brown was surprised when her qualitative research led her to discover a new way of living that she came to dub as Wholehearted Living. After working toward Wholeheartedness in her own life, she decided to write this The Gifts of Imperfection as a guidebook to Wholeheartedness.

Wholehearted Living includes cultivating a sense of worthiness along with courage, compassion, connection, and an acceptance of imperfections and vulnerabilities. Wholehearted Living also involves love and belonging, two concepts that are central human needs. Brown emphasizes the importance of self-love as well as love for others and also notes the important difference between true belonging, which is being accepted for who you are, and fitting in which requires you to change who you are. Brown also addresses the challenges to Wholehearted Living and notes the importance of facing those challenges and working through them rather than trying to circumvent them. Shame, fear, and vulnerability are all things we need to cultivate resilience against and not push under the rug.

Brown then launches in to the ten guideposts for Wholehearted Living with a chapter devoted to each one individually. The ten guideposts are about cultivating the following things in one’s life in order to live Wholeheartedly: authenticity; self-compassion; a resilient spirit; gratitude and joy; intuition and faith; creativity; play and rest; calm and stillness; meaningful work; and laughter, song, and dance. Each chapter concludes with a section of practical tips that Brown subtitles “DIG Deep” and which encourages readers to get Deliberate, get Inspired, and get Going (DIG).

In the conclusion, Brown notes that Wholeheartedness is a way of life that requires practice and intention. It is also countercultural and subverts many pervasive cultural messages and can therefore be a challenge. However, Brown emphasizes that the rewards of Wholehearted Living are far greater than the challenges and invites readers to join the Wholehearted revolution.

In an after-note, Brown writes about the research methodology she used to develop her theories on Wholeheartedness. This includes qualitative research practices, specifically Grounded Theory in which theories are developed from the data that emerges from the process.

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