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The Gifts Hub

Summer Sister Series on The Gifts of Imperfection

The Gifts Hub

Summer Sister Series on The Gifts of Imperfection

In this six-episode series, my sisters, Ashley and Barrett, and I dig in on The Gifts of Imperfection.

We start by each taking the Wholehearted Inventory, and then we work through all 10 Guideposts, sharing our scores along the way. Surgeon General’s Warning: This series is about as real as it gets. Equal amounts laughing, hard conversations, surprising revelations, and cussing. And some singing. But I file that under painful and/or laughing. If this sounds like your kind of conversation, listen along below.

Child photo of Barrett Brené and Ashley

Meet the Sisters

Say hello to my twin sisters, Barrett and Ashley

I’m the oldest of four. My brother, Jason, arrived on the scene four years after I did. And then four years after that came the twins, Ashley and Barrett (let the record reflect that Ashley is the older of the two, by nine minutes). Ashley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and at the Brené Brown Education and Research Group, she heads up The Daring Way community and our culture team. Barrett—who may be a familiar voice to regular Unlocking Us listeners—is BBEARG’s chief of staff (and is affectionately known among the team as “the boss of Brené”).

Before You Dig In, Take the

Wholehearted Inventory

The Wholehearted Inventory assesses your strengths and opportunities for growth, and you’ll see that the subscales align with the 10 Guideposts laid out in The Gifts of Imperfection.

We recommend you take the inventory before you start reading the book or listening to the Summer Sister Series! (On average, it will take you no more than 10 minutes to complete.)


Part 1
June 23, 2021

In our kickoff episode, we start with the Introduction to The Gifts of Imperfection and offer up an overview of the 10 Guideposts. We also establish what will be standard practice for the next five episodes: interweaving hard conversations and real-time revelations with laughter, cussing, and song — in equal measure.

Part 2
June 30, 2021

On the docket in Part 2: Guideposts #1 (Cultivating Authenticity and Letting Go of What People Think) and #2 (Cultivating Self-Compassion and Letting Go of Perfectionism). Practicing authenticity—and yes, it is a daily practice—is really connected to boundary work, so we admit the individual fears we each experience when setting boundaries. We also talk about perfectionism as a process addiction, and how our imperfections are not inadequacies, but instead, they’re reminders that we’re all in this together.

Part 3
July 7, 2021

In the crosshairs in Part 3: Guideposts #3 (Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness) and #4 (Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark). We look at our lives post-COVID and talk candidly about the ways we’ve numbed over the past year—and how we’ve lost some of our gratitude practices. These two things may be related. Moving forward, we (re)commit to making wholeheartedness a family affair.

Part 4
July 14, 2021

This might just be the toughest, most personal episode of the bunch. In tackling Guideposts #5 (Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty) and #6 (Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison), we reflect on an upbringing that was marked with uncertainty, unpredictability, and plenty of eggshell living. It’s no surprise then, that letting go of certainty is one of my greatest challenges. We talk about that and how we try to show up differently in the families we are raising now.

Part 5
July 21, 2021

Here’s where the in-real-time revelations really kicked in. In this episode, I talk about how I suck at cultivating quality rest and play (a.k.a. Guidepost #7), but that, thankfully, on the flip side, I’ve gotten pretty good over the years at cultivating calm and stillness (thank you, five-mile-long daily walks) and letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle (Guidepost #8). We also dig in and ask the existential question: What does your ideal restful vacation look like?

Part 6
July 28, 2021

The capstone: We finish strong as we zero in on Guideposts #9 (Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”) and #10 (Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”). We talk about how doing meaningful work connects us and how being cool is honestly, very lonely. And we finally reach the moment Ashley and Barrett had been waiting for all along—and possibly the only reason they agreed to do this series: They finally get to share their favorite, most sentimental songs.

Looking for More Sisters Content?

Check out these playlists below: one each from Ashley and Barrett, and then one not-so-mini-mixtape wherein the twins combined forces to share 48 of their favorite tracks.

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