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Brave, Not Perfect
Cover of Brave, Not Perfect
Brave, Not Perfect
Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder
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International Bestseller
Wall Street Journal Bestseller
USA Today Bestseller
LA Times Bestseller
Publishers Weekly Bestseller
In a book inspired by her popular TED talk, New York Times bestselling author Reshma Saujani empowers women to embrace imperfection and bravery.

Imagine if you lived without the fear of not being good enough. If you didn't care how your life looked on Instagram, or worry about what total strangers thought of you. Imagine if you could let go of the guilt, and stop beating yourself up for tiny mistakes. What if, in every decision you faced, you took the bolder path?
Too many of us feel crushed under the weight of our own expectations. We run ourselves ragged trying to please everyone, all the time. We lose sleep ruminating about whether we may have offended someone, pass up opportunities that take us out of our comfort zones, and avoid rejection at all costs.
There's a reason we act this way, Reshma says. As girls, we were taught to play it safe. Well-meaning parents and teachers praised us for being quiet and polite, urged us to be careful so we didn't get hurt, and steered us to activities at which we could shine.
As a result, we grew up to be women who are afraid to fail. It's time to stop letting our fears drown out our dreams and narrow our world, along with our chance at happiness.
By choosing bravery over perfection, we can find the power to claim our voice, to leave behind what makes us unhappy, and go for the things we genuinely, passionately want. Perfection may set us on a path that feels safe, but bravery leads us to the one we're authentically meant to follow.
In Brave, Not Perfect, Reshma shares powerful insights and practices to help us let go of our need for perfection and make bravery a lifelong habit. By being brave, not perfect, we can all become the authors of our biggest, boldest, and most joyful life.
International Bestseller
Wall Street Journal Bestseller
USA Today Bestseller
LA Times Bestseller
Publishers Weekly Bestseller
In a book inspired by her popular TED talk, New York Times bestselling author Reshma Saujani empowers women to embrace imperfection and bravery.

Imagine if you lived without the fear of not being good enough. If you didn't care how your life looked on Instagram, or worry about what total strangers thought of you. Imagine if you could let go of the guilt, and stop beating yourself up for tiny mistakes. What if, in every decision you faced, you took the bolder path?
Too many of us feel crushed under the weight of our own expectations. We run ourselves ragged trying to please everyone, all the time. We lose sleep ruminating about whether we may have offended someone, pass up opportunities that take us out of our comfort zones, and avoid rejection at all costs.
There's a reason we act this way, Reshma says. As girls, we were taught to play it safe. Well-meaning parents and teachers praised us for being quiet and polite, urged us to be careful so we didn't get hurt, and steered us to activities at which we could shine.
As a result, we grew up to be women who are afraid to fail. It's time to stop letting our fears drown out our dreams and narrow our world, along with our chance at happiness.
By choosing bravery over perfection, we can find the power to claim our voice, to leave behind what makes us unhappy, and go for the things we genuinely, passionately want. Perfection may set us on a path that feels safe, but bravery leads us to the one we're authentically meant to follow.
In Brave, Not Perfect, Reshma shares powerful insights and practices to help us let go of our need for perfection and make bravery a lifelong habit. By being brave, not perfect, we can all become the authors of our biggest, boldest, and most joyful life.
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Excerpts-
  • From the book Chapter 1

    Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

    Sixteen-year-old Erica is a shining star. The daughter of two prominent professors in Chicago, she is the vice president of her class with an impeccable grade point average. Her report card is peppered with praise from her teachers about her diligence and what a joy she is to have in class. She volunteers twice a month at a local hospital. At the end of sophomore year, she was voted "Best Smile" by her classmates, and her friends will tell you she's the sweetest person they know.

    Beneath that bright smile, though, things aren't quite as sunny. If you open Erica's journal, you'll read about how she feels like it's her full-time job to be perfect in order to make everyone else happy. You'll learn that she works to the point of exhaustion every night and all weekend to get all A's and please her parents and teachers; disappointing them is just about the worst thing she can imagine. Once, because of an accidental scheduling mistake, she had to back out of a debate competition at school because it conflicted with a volunteer trip she'd committed to go on with her church; she was so hysterical that her teacher was going to "hate her" that she literally made herself sick.

    Erica despises volunteering at the hospital (don't even get her started on emptying the bedpans . . .) but sticks with it because her guidance counselor said it would look good on her college applications. Even though she desperately wanted to try out for cheerleading team because she thought it looked like fun, she didn't, because her friends told her the jumps were really hard to learn and the last thing she wanted to do was make an idiot of herself. Truth be told, she doesn't really even like most of her friends, who can be mean and catty, but she just quietly goes along with what they say and do because it's too scary to imagine doing otherwise.

    Like so many girls, Erica is hardwired to please everyone, play it safe, and avoid any hint of failure at all costs.

    I know this story because today, Erica is forty-two and a good friend of mine. She is still supersweet with a dazzling smile—and still a prisoner of her own perfectionism. A successful political consultant with no kids, she works until after midnight most nights to impress her colleagues and overdeliver for her clients. Every time I see her she looks fabulously put together; she's that friend who always says just the right thing, always sends just the right gift or note, and is always on time. But just like her sixteen-year-old self, she'll only reveal privately that she still feels strangled by the constant need to please everyone. I asked her recently what she would do if she didn't care what anyone else thought. She immediately ticked off a list of goals and dreams she wished she had the guts to go after but wouldn't dare, ranging from telling her biggest client that she disagrees with his strategies to moving out of the city and having a child on her own.

    Our culture has shaped generations of perfect girls like Erica who grow up to be women afraid to take a chance. Afraid of speaking their minds, of making bold choices, of owning and celebrating their achievements, and of living the life they want to live, without constantly seeking outside approval. In other words: afraid of being brave.

    From the time they are babies, girls absorb hundreds of daily micromessages telling them that they should be nice, polite, and polished. Adoring parents and caretakers dress them impeccably in color-coordinated outfits, straighten their bows, and tell them how pretty they look. They are praised mightily for being A students and for being helpful, polite, and...
About the Author-
  • RESHMA SAUJANI is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology while teaching girls confidence and bravery through coding. A lifelong activist, Reshma was the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress. She's been named a Fortune 40 under 40, a WSJ Magazine Innovator of the Year, and one of the Most Powerful Women Changing the World by Forbes. She is the author of three books, including Women Who Don't Wait In Line and the New York Times Bestseller Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World. Reshma lives in New York City with her husband, Nihal, their son, Shaan, and their bulldog, Stanley.
Reviews-
  • Angela Duckworth, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania and New York Times Bestselling author of Grit "I love this book! A timely message for girls and women of all ages: perfection isn't just impossible but, worse, insidious. The prose is so clear, so honest -- you feel like you're sitting across from Reshma sharing stories."
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    The Crown Publishing Group
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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Brave, Not Perfect
Brave, Not Perfect
Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder
Reshma Saujani
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