Brave, Not Perfect - Reshma Saujani

Brave, Not Perfect - Reshma Saujani

Get free from perfectionism and become a braver and successful woman!

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Do you want to do everything perfect? Are you hammering the little mistakes you made on the day? Have you stopped facing a great opportunity for fear of failure?

You are not alone. All women have learned since an early age not to fail. The world regarded they as a "fragile sex" didn't letting them take risks, for fear that this would hurt them.

Meanwhile, boys were encouraged to speak, take risks, and if they failed, they would try again. The boys were taught to be brave.

Here, Reshma Saujani, will teach you how to free yourself from the "trap of perfection" and become a braver woman to make your dreams come true.

About the book "Brave, Not Perfect"

The book Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani, addresses the problem of how girls learn at an early age to be perfectionists and afraid of failing, rather than being brave.

Reshma Saujani shares a number of perceptions and practices to become courage a habit in your life. Based on hundreds of interviews with women across the country, their about the willing to transform the world as well as their personal accounts of the journey in seeking to accept imperfections.

The book, inspired in the popular TED Talk by Saujani, reveals women's pressure to look perfect and the patterns of beauty that control their lives.

About the author Reshma Saujani

Reshma Saujani is an American author, also founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization that aims to increase the number of women in computer science. She was named by Forbes as one of the most powerful women who want to change the world.

In addition to "Brave, Not Perfect", Saujani is author of "Women Who Do not Wait in Line: Break the Mold, Lead the Way" and the best-seller "Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World".

To whom is this book indicated?

This is a book for women who want to be more self-conscious in a society that teaches just about perfection. It is suitable for those who think about embarking on this challenge.

Also, if you are a man that sympathize with the women empowerment cause this reading will be pleasant.

Main ideas of the book "Brave, Not Perfect"

  • Men were taught to become brave while women were taught to become perfect;
  • If you failed, it means you tried. Celebrate this as an act of courage;
  • Worry more about doing what makes you happy, than about what people want you to do;
  • When you work hard to make everyone like you, you often end up not liking yourself very much;
  • Once you learn to be brave enough to stop worrying about pleasing everyone and putting yourself first, it is when you become the empowered author of your own life;
  • Rejections are marks of courage. Look at them as something normal and not as a limit.

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[Book Summary] Brave, Not Perfect - Reshma Saujani

Overview: How Girls Are Trained to Perfection

Since a young age, women are raised in a way that makes them be afraid to fail, to speak their minds, to make bold choices, to possess and celebrate their achievements and to live the life they want to live, without constantly seeking for external approval. In other words: fear of being brave.

The girls come to believe that if they do not get something right away, they are dumb. You can see how that impacts them later in life, since most of the time, they take even the smallest daily errors as indicators of fundamental limitation.

The "culture of indoctrination," according to Reshma, begins early with toys, when boys are encouraged to play with toys that stimulate creation, such as lego. In contrast, girls are encouraged to play with toys that stimulate motor skills like writing and making crafts, language development and social interaction.

The author emphasizes the influence of princess films on girls' lives. They are exposed to stereotyped female behavior, to be passive, submissive, and to value characteristics such as being thin and beautiful.

In addition, social media fuels the expectation of polished perfection, perhaps more than any other influence out there. Girls spend a lot of time, showing on social networks, through photos and publications, how popular, beautiful and awesome they are. While they worry about their body as well.

Overview: Courage "is the new black"

Reshma Saujani says that courage is what adds to your life everything that perfection tried to take, as joy, sense of genuine fulfillment, among others important ones.

This way, women do not have to be like men to be brave and to succeed.

Reshma points that you should be brave "as a woman". This means that women should make choices based on what they want and what makes them happy, not on others expectations.

The author also points out in the book "Brave, Not Perfect" that there are prejudices against women in workplace, in politics and elsewhere.

It's important, even with these impediments, that you accept the challenges that appear, recognize that you can fail and not give up before trying.

Overview: Make Courage a Habit

Saujani gives concrete strategies for women to overcome self-destructive thoughts and attitudes through the "daily challenges of courage".

They are:


She says that to acquire the habit of courage, you must, first, take care of your health. You can take a time for sleeping well, meditating and scheduling a time for exercising.

Change your thinking

In this strategy, Reshma says that if you make a small change in the way you think, it will guarantee a shocking result. When you find yourself making a statement about your limitations, remember this by adding a "yet" at the end and you will immediately feel the difference.

For example, if you think, "I'm not brave," change that thinking to, "I'm not brave yet."

Do the test: "Drama vs. Wisdom"

The book states that when you come across a challenging situation or an opportunity and you are in doubt whether you will face it, you should ask yourself, "This really is not important to me, or I am not doing it because I am in fear and out of my comfort zone?"

Or in other words, "Is this my drama or my voice of wisdom speaking?".

What scares you the most?

For this matter is advised that when you come across a situation that scares you, instead of focusing on what frightens you, try to take a step back and ask yourself, "What would be the cost if I did not do that... and which option scares me the most?".

Use your own advice

For this circumstance the author says that when you come across a challenge or opportunity and you do not know what to do, ask yourself what advice you would give to someone in this situation.

Since, on average, we make better decisions for others than for ourselves.

Define the daily challenges of courage

In this strategy, the author points out that there is no defined path to become courageous, other than taking actions that reinforce courage rather than fear.

In this way, she highlights that one must choose one of the available strategies per day, and follow them until it becomes a habit.

Ask for feedbacks

In this topic, the author addresses the importance of receiving feedback for you to evolve, to see it as a way of improving on what has been scored, and not as a criticism that prevents you from doing what you want.

Reshma says that people who have courage are constantly looking to improve.

Accept rejections

The author states that rejections make people brave and advises them to read stories of celebrities or successful people who have gone through various rejections until they get where they are now.

She cites as an example, Steve Jobs, who was fired from his own company, Apple, and this did not destroy him and did not prevent him from achieving his goals.

Speak louder than your body

For Reshma, 99% of our sense of fear is a false alarm. However, our body does not differentiate when we are in real danger or when it is a "false danger".

This way we end up exposed to heart attacks or signs that we are in danger.

When we try to be perfect, any small fault will send the signal that we should run. What has to be done is to train yourself to recognize that, most of the time, you should ignore the alarm because it is not a real danger sign, that is just our anxiety.

Start before you are ready

Even if you've just had a great idea, some "voice in your head" tells you not to do that, without having a reason.

However, Reshma states that you should not stop doing something because you think you are not ready. Since you will never know everything.

The worst that can happen if you try is to fail, and there's no problem with that. If you do not take the first steps, you will always wonder what you lost. It is far better to fail because you have tried, than never take the risk.

Choose failure

The author says that we should not be afraid of failure. It is a part of us to develop ourselves and become better people. If you failed, it means that you tried, then you had an act of courage.

Do something you're not good at

Resham notices there is nothing better than training what you consider you are not good at, to accept that mistakes are part of the process, and that you will develop.

In addition, she advises you to look for a physical activity that you consider a challenge, so that you can work the courage.

Use your hands

When you come across a situation where you need to fix something and you have no idea how to do it, the author advises that instead of asking for someone's help, you should try with your own hands.

If you can't accomplish, call the tech support to advise you what to do, or watch a tutorial on youtube, for example.

Trust and focus more on yourself

Reshma states that we should trust ourselves in decision-making. Listening to what our instinct has to say is an important act of courage.

Also, you should train your brain to focus less on what others think and more on who you want to be and what you want; learn to say 'no' when you do not want something; do not be afraid to ask questions and persist.

By doing this, you will be training to become a braver woman.

What do other authors say about it?

In the book "Lean in: Women, Work and the Will to Lead", Sheryl Sandberg teaches that women are barred in the professional market by prejudice, lack of opportunity and often the creation of own barriers. And these barriers are: lack of self-confidence, fear, feeling of incapacity and inferiority in relation to men.

The book "The Wisdom of Failure", by Laurence G. Weinzimmer and Jim McConoughey, teaches that since childhood we have heard that failure is a bad thing and we fear it more than anything else in life. However, we must see failure as a form of learning and growth.

Finally, in "Awaken The Giant Within", Tony Robbins explains that staying committed to your decisions can be challenging, but the more you try, the easier it gets. So when you fail to try to evoke a change in your life, do not be discouraged. Instead, think about what you can learn from failure.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

By following Reshma Saujani strategies for becoming a more courageous woman, you will face the challenges that lie ahead, with more self-confidence. It is time to stop fear from following your dreams and say yes to the opportunity to contribute to the world.

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Book 'Brave, Not Perfect'