Brave, Not Perfect Book Summary By Reshma Saujani

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Brave, Not Perfect is the groundbreaking 2019 guidebook that encourages women to break away from the expectations of perfection and instead strive for bravery.

In this book, author Reshma Saujani empowers women to become more courageous in their actions and decisions, ultimately enabling them to achieve their goals while being true to themselves.

Each chapter uncovers different tools needed on the journey of becoming brave, not perfect; from recognizing your strengths, speaking up regardless of fear, learning the power of failure and celebrating joy and abundance.

With anecdotes from real-life scenarios as well as exercises to practice your new-found braveness, this book will equip readers with the confidence necessary for transformation – no matter where you are in life.

Brave, Not Perfect

Book Name: Brave, Not Perfect (Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder)

Author(s): Reshma Saujani

Rating: 4.1/5

Reading Time: 15 Minutes

Categories: Personal Development

Author Bio

Reshma Saujani is the author of the inspiring book 'Brave, Not Perfect'.

She is a renowned public speaker and founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, an organization whose mission is to close the gender gap in the tech world.

Through her organization, she has committed herself to helping over 50,000 women and girls pursue their dreams in technology.

Saujani gained even more recognition due to her popular 2016 TED talk on the power of bravery which earned over three million views.

This highly-successful talk led Reshma to write a book about embracing failure and bravery rather than aiming for perfection and she has since become an advocate for women's empowerment worldwide.

The Courage To Fail: How To Overcome The Fear Of Failure And Embrace Bravery In Your Life

Fear Of Failure

In our society, women are often policed for not being perfect in everything they do.

They have to put on a friendly face to everyone they meet and not be too critical of others for fear of being judged harshly.

Even from a young age, girls are conditioned to please others instead of taking risks and exploring the world.

But achieving perfection is an impossible goal!

This is what author Reshma Saujani discovered after her epic failure while running for Congress.

Instead of letting it bring her down, she decided to embrace bravery instead by founding Girls Who Code – and now it’s reached tens of thousands of women all over the country.

This has opened up many opportunities that were once not available to them before!

In “Brave, Not Perfect,” Saujani encourages readers to throw out perfectionism and embrace bravery.

By doing this, you’ll learn why perfectionism won’t necessarily get you promoted; how daily bravery challenges can lead you on new paths; and how the #MeToo movement has inspired millions of women to stand up for themselves with courage.

So don’t be afraid – step away from the fear of not being good enough and move towards your own brave future!

The Power Of Societal Conditioning: How It Teaches Girls To Please And Boys To Be Brave

Erica is a classic example of the reality that so many women face in the world today.

Instead of being encouraged to be brave and take risks, girls are taught from an early age to take on the role of people-pleasers and strive for perfection.

This categorization of girls as agreeable people-pleasers starts as soon as they’re born, with studies suggesting that when infants express emotion, adults will more often assume they are boys if they show unhappiness, and girls if they appear happy.

A University of California study involving a lemonade stand further revealed this inequality.

When presented with unsweetened lemonade, boys immediately commented on how disgusting it was whereas girls chose to politely sip it, unwilling to cause discomfort for the researchers by speaking out.

So much emphasis is placed on pleasing others in society that even a simple situation like this highlighted how young girls were conditioned to put others first instead of being brave enough to act for themselves.

And this isn’t only something seen in children; Erica too falls victim to it by projecting perfectionism onto those around her instead of standing up for what she believes in.

It’s clear that there is still much work needed in order to eliminate the pressure on females to achieve perfection above all else; hoping to achieve bravery and independence should not be too much ask for anyone.

The Lesson Of Perfection Versus Bravery: Why Women Should Reject Seeking Impeccability For Courage In Adulthood

Perfection Versus Bravery

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck once famously said that “if life were one long grade school, girls would rule the world.” While getting straight A’s in school is commendable, this drive for perfection doesn’t necessarily translate well into adult life.

When it comes to navigating difficult situations such as sexual harassment in the workplace or taking risks in love, having a perfect body or mannerly conversation skills alone won’t give you the courage you need.

You must be brave enough to face these challenges head-on.

Take for example the author of Brave, Not Perfect: she was a successful lawyer at a prestigious firm and an avid campaigner for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid.

However after Clinton lost her bid, the author was struck by something Clinton said during her concession speech – that we should never give up on our dreams despite a failure – and decided to quit her corporate job and give running for Congress a shot.

Eventually she failed miserably but learned something invaluable – that clinging onto the veneer of perfection instead of presenting a brave face wouldn’t help her (or any women) get ahead in life.

This isn’t to say there isn’t pressure on women to present themselves perfectly; Hillary Clinton herself had commented how Obama could roll out of bed while she spent hours doing her hair and make-up before any public appearance.

In other words, appearance is important but not everything; being brave matters much more.

The Power Of Female Bravery: Debunking The Myth That Women Are Not Biologically Fitted To Take Risks

The idea that bravery is an inherently male trait is one that has been pushed by misguided people for a long time.

Society has drastically changed since the days when men were expected to take risks while women stayed in the safety of the cave.

Women are now just as capable of taking risks and embracing bravery, regardless of what some might try to tell you.

Take Sharon, for example – she ended a 25-year marriage in order to come out as a lesbian.

That took courage, strength and bravery beyond measure.

Or how about Audrey – she made it through breast cancer, showing her unwavering strength and willpower despite all odds.

And then there are all the women who are brave enough to speak out against sexism in the workplace, even if it puts their job security at risk – that’s something we should be celebrating!

The author herself put bravery into action when standing up against injustice: She chose to publicly refuse an invitation from famous tech companies in order to vote with her conscience against Trump’s refugee travel ban.

But instead of hatred, what she experienced was love – small donations poured into her organization Girls Who Code from people around America appreciating her bravery.

This story proves one thing: Bravery isn’t an exclusively male trait – it’s a universal skill that women shouldn’t be afraid to embrace if they want their voices heard and recognized!

Developing A Bravery Mindset: How Women Can Escape The Vicious Cycle Of Striving For Unattainable Perfection

Bravery Mindset

Women in the modern world often find themselves exhausted from juggling multiple roles of employee, parent, housewife and chief household organizer, while constantly striving for perfection.

This can prove to be a recipe for burnout – so how can women break out of this vicious cycle and escape into a state of liberation? The answer lies in adopting a ‘bravery mindset’ that encourages women to push past perceived limitations instead of allowing them to succumb to impossible standards.

The first step in getting there is self-care: making sure you’re taking care physically and mentally.

Get enough sleep; take meditative breaks throughout the day; set aside time to stretch and exercise; build yourself up in order to exemplify the very best version of yourself — this is key to eventually attaining a heroic level of bravery.

Secondly, challenge yourself on a daily basis by setting small bravery goals that grow incrementally larger each day, like speaking up in meetings when your opinions inspire others even if they don’t understand, or consistently pausing throughout the day for 15 minutes here and there just to ground yourself with your breath.

Join The Sisterhood Of Strength To Achieve Great Things And Learn To Celebrate Failure

When talking about bravery, it’s important to remember that its strength comes from coming together and forming sisterhoods with other women.

That’s what Shalane Flanagan did in 2017 with her record-breaking New York City Marathon win – she not only achieved something extraordinary, but she inspired other female athletes to come together and support one another, leading to the “Shalane Flanagan effect” in the world’s top long-distance running circle.

However, courage isn’t always rewarded with success immediately or singularly – failures still happen despite taking risks for the greater good.

That’s why it is important for women to learn how to persevere when faced with any challenge or failure if they hope to build upon their bravery as part of a sisterhood of strength.

It could be as small as standing up against sexist comments directed toward other women, or taking on challenges like applying for a job or election campaign even though there is a chance of being rejected.

The key is knowing how to move forward after the setback.

After letting yourself process your emotions and celebrating your bravery – even if it didn’t lead to success – take some time out for review; assess yourself on what happened, where you went wrong and what you could do better next time.

Take an external perspective if possible, as this can give you insight that you may have been too caught up in your own thoughts before then be sure to realign towards what drives you originally towards any goal set forth.

Wrap Up

Brave, Not Perfect is all about encouraging women to let go of perfectionism and to start embracing more of a bravery mindset.

The book highlights the fact that from an early age, girls are sadly taught to become people pleasers, whereas boys are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them.

These habits continue into adulthood, causing many women to be held back in their personal and professional lives.

However, this book also provides an inspiring message – that with courage and by refusing to be weighed down by our old way of thinking, we can break free from perfectionism and start thriving in our own lives.

By following the principles outlined in this book, we can protect ourselves from burnout, achieve success and embrace a new way of doing things.

This doesn’t just benefit us personally – but it could also have a powerful ripple effect if enough women get on board with the message!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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