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25 Empowering The Gifts of Imperfection Quotes

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As you read The Gifts of Imperfection quotes will jump out at you and knock you off your chair with their power.

Almost every page of Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection contains a sentence or paragraph that is highly quotable. This shows just how effective and powerful this book is in helping you understand how to embrace yourself for who you are – imperfections and all.

The Gifts of Imperfection takes the reader on an odyssey of self-exploration that challenges us to reflect on our imperfections. The reader sees their imperfections as gifts that will help them live a wholehearted life.

This book feels like it is somehow looking into your soul and speaking directly to all the sore parts. The result is the soothing feeling that comes from embracing yourself for who you are.

Brené Brown is an incredibly motivating writer. As a qualitative researcher, her focus on stories and the personal insight they offer makes her work highly relatable. Particularly to anyone who has ever struggled with self-confidence, perfectionism, or self-compassion.

Brene Brown's the Gifts of Imperfection

Below you will find our favorite The Gifts of Imperfection quotes. These quotes are organized by the key topics from throughout the book. This will help you see how they can be applied to different areas of your life.

Specifically, quotes about perfectionism, self-compassion, worthiness, and the three ‘gifts of imperfection’ – courage, compassion, and connection – are included below. These quotes were all used to develop our Brené Brown definition poster set.

brene brown quote posters

As the book’s tagline promises, these quotes will help you ‘embrace who you are and let go of who you think you are supposed to be‘.

If you are interested in a more in-depth summary of the book, check out our The Gifts of Imperfection summary, or grab a copy of this highly recommended book for yourself!

The Gifts of Imperfection is available in: print | digital | audiobook

The Gifts of Imperfection Quotes About Courage

The first ‘gift’ that Brené Brown explores in The Gifts of Imperfection is courage.

She is quick to exclude exclusively heroic acts in her definition of courage. Rather, it is the strength to speak and act honestly with what is in our minds and hearts that makes up Brené Brown’s definition of courage.

Acting with courage and honesty requires us to be vulnerable. It means having the courage to own our imperfections and share them with the world.

The following The Gifts of Imperfection quotes from Brené Brown will help you understand what it means to act with courage and vulnerability. This is a key step in embracing your imperfections and living a wholehearted life.

  • “Speaking honestly and openly about who we are, about what we’re feeling, and about our experiences, (good or bad) is the definition of courage.”
  • “Asking for what you need is one of the bravest things you’ll ever do.”
  • “Courage has a ripple effect. 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.”
  • “Loving and accepting ourselves are the ultimate acts of courage.”

Quotes About Compassion from The Gifts of Imperfection

The second ‘gift’ that Brené Brown explores is compassion. She refers to the work of American Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön to explain how compassion requires us to acknowledge our own pain to act with compassion when others experience it.

Often, when others are in pain, we either jump to blaming, judging, or fixing. Brené Brown unpacks the work of Pema Chödrön and her own research to explain how compassion involves ‘sharing the darkness’ with those in pain. She also explores the uncomfortable complexities of scenarios where we need to hold someone accountable while still acting with compassion.

Two people connecting with one another

The following The Gifts of Imperfection quotes will help you reflect on how you can own your past and your experiences. This will help you act with a compassionate and whole heart when others are in pain.

  • “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It is a relationship between equals.” – Pema Chödrön
  • “It’s hard for us to understand that we can be compassionate and accepting while we hold people accountable for their behaviors. We can, and, in fact, it’s the best way to do it.” – Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
  • “Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” – Pema Chödrön
  • “We can confront someone about their behavior, or fire someone, or fail a student, or discipline a child without berating them or putting them down. The key is to separate people from their behaviors – to address what they are doing, not who they are.”– Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Quotes About Connection

Brené Brown defines connection as the third ‘gift’. She defines connection as ‘the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued.

When we feel this way in our lives, we are free to embrace our imperfections without fear of judgement. We can live our own authentic lives without being a people pleaser or compromising our own values. This is a crucial component of living a wholehearted lifestyle.

Brené Brown also warns of the dangers of social media in building the illusion of connection with other people. Taking a social media hiatus will help you spend more time forming genuine connections. These are the people who are going to make you feel seen, heard, and valued.

These The Gifts of Imperfection quotes from Brené Brown will help you understand the power of connection to help you live a wholehearted lifestyle that is true to your authentic self.

  • “I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
  • “In our technology-crazed world, we’ve confused being communicative with feeling connected. Just because we’re plugged in, doesn’t mean we feel seen and heard.”
  • “The willingness to tell our stories, feel the pain of others, and stay genuinely connected in this disconnected world is not something we can do halfheartedly.”
  • “We are wired for connection to thrive emotionally, physically, spiritually, and intellectually.”
  • “Somehow we’ve come to equate success with not needing anyone. Many of us are willing to extend a helping hand, but we’re very reluctant to reach out for help when we need it ourselves.”

The Gifts of Imperfection Quotes about Perfectionism and Self-Compassion

Much of The Gifts of Imperfection discusses strategies for coping with perfectionism. Brené Brown explores the roots of perfectionism so that the reader is able to hunt through their own story to understand and connect with themselves.

She also explores the power of self-compassion in managing some of the more damaging consequences of being a perfectionist. She provides a definition for perfectionism and contrasts it with a definition for healthy achieving. This is a particularly helpful for those of us who enjoy wanting the best for ourselves, but don’t want the negative impact of our perfectionism.

two hands holding pink and red hearts

These particular quotes are effective for managing relationships as friends, parents, and leaders. It is so easy to miss your own perfectionist tendencies when they show up. However, our children are always watching, and it is easy for them to absorb the behavior we model. When we project our high expectations of ourselves onto our friends or our work teams, it is easy for them to burn out and flounder under our perfectionism.

These The Gifts of Imperfection quotes from Brené Brown will help you dig deep to the roots of your own perfectionism. This will help you let perfectionism go in favor of self-compassion.

  • “Life paralysis refers to all of the opportunities we miss because we’re too afraid to put anything out in the world that could be imperfect. It’s also all of the dreams that we don’t follow because of our deep fear of failing, making mistakes, and disappointing others.”
  • “Perfectionism never happens in a vacuum. It touches everyone around us. We pass it down to our children, we infect our workplace with impossible expectations, and it’s suffocating for our friends and families.
  • “Perfection didn’t lead to results. It led to peanut butter.”
  • “Many of us think that being mindful means not avoiding painful emotions. Mindfulness also means not over-identifying with or exaggerating our feelings.”
  • “So many of us run around spackling all of the cracks, trying to make everything look just right…remember the beauty of the cracks…our imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together. Imperfectly, but together.”
  • “Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, its the thing thats really preventing us from taking flight.”
  • “Shame is the birthplace of perfectionism”
  • “Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. It is not about healthy achievement or growth. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame.”
  • “When we become more living and compassionate with ourselves and we begin to practice shame resilience, we can embrace our imperfections.”
  • “Perfectionism is self-destructive simply because there is no such thing as perfect. Perfection is an unattainable goal.”

You Are Imperfect and Worthy!

One of most important ideas that is developed throughout The Gifts of Imperfection is the importance of worthiness in living a wholehearted life. This is directly related to embracing our imperfections and knowing that we are worth no matter what.

As Brené Brown writes, we are:

“Worthy now. Not if. Not when. We are worthy of love and belonging now. Right this moment. As is.

This definition outlines that there are no conditions required for us to be worthy of love and belonging. This is one of the most effective The Gifts of Imperfection quotes that gets to the heart of what embracing who you are is all about.

the word 'worthy' written with Scrabble tiles

This list of The Gifts of Imperfection quotes is just a brief look into the power that the book holds for transforming the way you see your imperfections. I encourage you to dive into the full text yourself to see what discoveries you might find about yourself. You will be surprised by how this book helps you tackle perfectionism in ways you’ve never imagined.

You can also check out our The Gifts of Imperfection summary for a brief overview of the key ideas from the book.

As a final quote, consider this quote from Brené Brown about wholehearted living that I believe summarizes The Gifts of Imperfection perfectly (see what I did there!?):

“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. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging”.

Looking for more powerful Brené Brown quotes? Check out our list of 50 Brené Brown quotes about gratitude for more inspiration to embrace yourself for who you are.

Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family on social media! Sharing these quotes could make a difference in helping them embrace themselves for who they are!


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