Books We Love: The Gifts of Imperfection
Reviewed by Rose David
Especially for women, there’s continuous pressure to do it all — and to look and act perfect while we’re doing it.
Kick-butt businesses? Check.
Clean houses? Check.
Our to-do lists? Covered with checks, checks, and more checks.
Now, we don’t know about you, but we’re tired after just typing that. “Doing it all” is impossible, but unfortunately, many of us feel like we should be able to manage it without breaking a sweat.
And when we inevitably can’t live up to this impossibly high standard, we can be overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy. But in her landmark book, Brené Brown asks us to consider an audacious, incredible question:
What would happen if we stopped trying so hard to earn our happiness and realized that we are enough?
Things We Learned
You Don’t Need to Earn a Spot at Your Own Table
Society fixates on the importance of working our butts off to achieve our goals. While this is an amazing mindset to have, as entrepreneurs, we can sometimes take this a little too far.
Many women suffer from the dreaded imposter syndrome, and sometimes, that means slipping into the role of workaholic just to prove to ourselves that we deserve to live our dreams.
Your worthiness has no correlation to the number of hours you put in at work or the accolades you may earn. Instead, Brown stresses the importance of understanding that you are worthy of happiness just as you are.
Vulnerability Creates Connection
According to Brown, focusing on perfection will not only damage your self-esteem, it can distance you from your greatest allies.
By admitting our missteps and embracing them, we give ourselves opportunities to connect meaningfully with our peers. Honestly, does anyone really want to confide in someone who is seemingly perfect?
While it can feel safer to hide ourselves behind walls of false perfection, we’re only isolating ourselves from the joy of authentic connection. If we want support from our friends and colleagues, we must start by being honest.
So let’s climb out from behind those meticulously crafted social-media posts and get real!
Gratitude > Scarcity
At LEAP for Women, we’ve talked a lot about approaching our biz-lives from a place of abundance. But sometimes, that’s easier said than done.
The real key to operating from a place of abundance (and experiencing the calm that comes with it) is to consciously put aside our feelings of scarcity. Often, a scarcity mindset comes from a place of fear – fear of not having enough or not being enough.
The best way to chase away a scarcity mindset? Focus on gratitude.
When we realize how much we already have, Brown says, it’s easier to conquer the fear that creates a mindset of scarcity.
So, what would happen if we stopped working so hard to earn happiness and instead realize that we may have already achieved it by just being who we are?
“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.”