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Updated: Aug 11, 2020

BRAVE, NOT PERFECT: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder


Do you run yourself ragged trying now just to do it all but to do it flawlessly? Or do you lose sleep ruminating over small mistakes are worrying about something you said or did? Have you ever passed up big opportunities for fear that you wouldn't nail it and possibly look foolish trying?For you, is failing simply not an option?

Often times were taught to play it safe. We are rewarded for being quiet and polite, we are urged to be careful so we don't get hurt, we are even steered in direction which can help us shine.

Reshma Saujani teaches us to Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder. Chasing perfection may set us on a path that feel safe, but it's bravery that leads us to the path we're authentically meant to follow. This book provides us with powerful insights and practises to make bravery a lifelong habit.


Boys are taught to be brave well girls are taught to be perfect.

As a result we grow up to be women who are afraid to fail. We tend to hold ourselves back because we dread not being good enough, appearing less than perfect, or making the wrong choice. As a result we tame down our dreams and narrow our world.

This book helps us break free from the trap of perfection and rewire ourselves for bravery. Bravery gives us power to clean my voice, to leave behind what makes us unhappy and go for what sparks are in our soul.

By being brave, not perfect, we can all become the authors of our biggest, oldest and most joyful lives. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage- Courage therefore is the key to living the biggest life we can create for ourselves.


Sugar and spice and everything nice

Well-meaning parents and educators guide girls towards activities and endeavours they are good at so that they can sign, and steer them away from ones that might be fine frustrating or worse, at which they could fail.

Along the way we tend to trade in confidence and courage for approval and acceptance. We develop an overpowering need to please. We tend to be held back by fear of not getting it right. This promotes a FIXED MINDSET.

In positive psychology and according to Carol Dweck's work on mindset, In a nutshell a fixed mindset is when we believe our abilities are innate and unchangeable. You are either Smart or you are not. With a growth mindset, it's based on the believe that our abilities can be developed and cultivated through effort.

Fixed mindset tends to hold us back from trying new things or anything outside of our comfort zone. Boys have a tendency to be raised by their process meaning they get rewarded for putting in effort, trying different strategies, sticking with it, and improving, rather than what the outcome. Girls have a tendency to be praised for the outcome.

The great news is that no one is born with a fixed mindset, in fact we are all pre-wired with a desire to learn and grow. We can also thankfully and do long ago wiring by practicing bravery.

The cult of perfection

Popular culture shapes the perfect girl. Women have been wired to play it safe and to colour well inside the lines of perfection. Do you Believe you need to be perfect? Chances are you answer the question no. I have to answer that question no because we know what the answer should be. But we still put it on believable amount of pressure on ourselves to be perfect. Whether were consciously aware of it or not, we're still buying to some outdated myths about being perfect. Perfection still rules our lives.Perfection still rules our lives.

When perfect girls grow up

Some of our beliefs might be; one being polished means were perfect. Once everything is perfect I'll be happy. If I'm not perfect, everything will follow apart. Perfection is the same as excellence. Failure is not an option. I need to be perfect to get ahead.

Beyond all the mass about protection lies one essential truths; perfect is boring. No mistakes, no flaws, no rough edges. But the reality is that it's the messy, unfinished edges that make us interesting and our lives rich and real.


Redefining Bravery

Bravery is a pursuit that adds to your life everything that perfection once threatened to take away.

Famous tweet: In a world full of princesses, dare to be a hotdog. Breakthrough the "perfection or past "conditioning it's brave to put yourself out there and do something when you're not sure you'll succeed.

Why be brave?

Bravery is what makes falling in love possible. It takes courage to allow someone to see the real you, Laz and all, and to except someone else equally in perfect.

As Winston Churchill once said, "courage is the first of human virtues because it makes all others possible. " bravery set us free. It gives us the power to clean my voice, and to leave behind what makes it unhappy and go for what sparks in our soul. It allows us to see that our gloriously messy, flawed, real self are in fact the true definition of perfection.


Build a bravery mindset

Since we can't simply will ourselves to be brave and there's no magic potion, here are some strategies to cultivate the mindset for bravery.

STRATEGY: 1. keep your tankful; we do and take on so much. Bruno it is no longer a badge of honour. Prioritize your health, meantime, get some sleep, meditate, gym time. 2. Claim the power of quote "yet" I am not brave yet. 3. Do the drama versus wisdom test. Does this really not make sense to do, or am I not doing it because I'm scared and out of my comfort zone? 4. Look for your ledge. What's the one thing you're most afraid of doing, the thing that if you could you would? 5. What scares me more? What will I weigh more heavily, the sting of failure or the pain of what might have been? 6. Take your own advice. When faced with something scary ask yourself what advice you would give someone else in that situation. 7. Set daily bravery challenges. Becoming brave over and over again reinforce his bravery rather than fear.

Get caught trying

Sometimes the best way to become fearless is to walk straight into the fire of fear.

STRATEGY: 1. Ask for feedback. Angela Duckworth's buck on grit. Those who have grits are constantly looking to improve. 2. Surround yourself with rejection. See how other people shake it off and just keep going. 3. Get your fears signal straight. Feeling fear often is a false alarm. 4. Start before you're ready. As soon as a brilliant idea arises don't let your thoughts interrupt. Just start. 5. Choose failure or at least the potential for it. 6. Do something you suck at. This is a way to build tolerance for imperfection. 7. Take on a challenge. When and if you get frustrated in the process, remind yourself that you're not aiming for a gold star here, it's the doing that counts.

Nix the need to please

The more comfortable you get with doing, saying and being in your truth, the last you'll get caught up in what others think of you.

STRATEGY: 1. Trust yourself. No what do you wantTrust yourself. No what do you want and listen to what your gut is telling you. Don't just say yes to be agreeable. 2. Catch not to be so polite and say fuck off more often. 3. Just say no. Ask yourself what are the things that are the highest value for me? What aligns with my purpose? 4. Make the ask. The idea of asking for what you want can be painful. 5. Persist. Don't get bulldozed. Claim your voice. If you have something to say, say it. Reclaim your time. Promote yourself.

Play for team brave

The way to change the global landscape for all women is by supporting and pushing one another in personal and meaningful ways. It's essential that we encourage each other to be brave and share results. We need to build a sisterhood of strength that supports us to take on even more courageous acts.

STRAGEY: 1. Show the mass behind the scenes. 2. Support the sisterhood. Brag about each other. Share your random acts of bravery. Be a bravery mentor. Give honest feedback. Be a connector.

Surviving a big failure

Find your way through when things don't quite go as you'd hoped or planned.

STRATEGY: 1. Throw a short pity party. 2. Celebrate your failure. 3. Shake it off literally. 4. Review, reassess, realign. What happened? Where, when, how did it happen? Who was involved? What are the real actual consequences? What needs to be changed, repaired, or put back on track? 5. Try again.

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