Length: 208 pages
Audiobook Length: 5 hours and 26 minutes
First Published: 2019
Inspired by her TED Talk, Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, empowers women to be brave enough to embrace imperfection. From a young age, girls are conditioned to be nice – to be kind, considerate, and not offend. Yet, what works well in elementary doesn’t translate into real-life creating women who feel like they are never good enough. I felt so called out reading Brave, Not Perfect because Saujani perfectly describes me and my insecurities in ways I had never really thought about. For readers like me who are in her target audience, Brave, Not Perfect is inspiring and relatable, though a little lacking in practical day-to-day advice.
Inspired by her popular TED Talk, the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code urges women to embrace imperfection and live a bolder, more authentic life.
Imagine if you lived without the fear of not being good enough. If you didn’t care how your life looked on Instagram. If you could let go of the guilt and stop beating yourself up for making human mistakes. Imagine if, in every decision you faced, you took the bolder path?
As women, too many of us feel crushed under the weight of our own expectations. We run ourselves ragged trying to please everyone, pass up opportunities that scare us, and avoid rejection at all costs.
There’s a reason we act this way, Saujani 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 to 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, Saujani 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 best and most joyful life.
Quotes from Brave, Not Perfect
What will I weight more heavily, the sting of failing, or the pang of what might have been?
We’ve become conditioned to compromise and shrink ourselves in order to be liked. The problem is, when you work so hard to get everyone to like you, you very often end up not liking yourself so much.
One of the hallmarks of happiness is having close, meaningful connections with others. But keeping up a facade of having it all together keeps us isolated, because it keeps us from forging real, honest, deep relationships where we can fully be ourselves and feel accepted exactly as we are.
About Reshma Saujani
Reshma Saujani is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Saujani is a former attorney and was the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress. She is the author of Brave, Not Perfect, Girls Who Code, and Women Who Don’t Wait in Line. Saujani currently lives in New York City. Visit the author’s website →