The answer may just surprise you.

If you’re anything like me, you struggle to completely accept yourself.

Happiness can be a hard-won thing.

It’s just a fact of life. All too often, we get distracted from the search for personal fulfillment by all the frustrating little things that happen in our daily lives.

Thankfully, there are people out there trying to help us sort through that noise. At least, that’s how I felt after reading Brené Brown’s eye-opening book, The Gifts of Imperfection, which offers some fascinating quotes and insights into what life is actually about.

What does Brown, a best-selling author and renowned TED Talks speaker, believe is the purpose of our lives?

Living honestly and embracing ourselves “…so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness.”

Simply put — In order to live your life to the fullest, best extent possible, you have to first be honest and embrace yourself and who you are.

Imperfections really are gifts, and when we learn to accept all of ourselves (even our flaws), we begin to realize that happiness is in recognizing that we are enough as we are, right now.

But what does it honestly mean to live to the fullest possible extent — and are any of us currently reaching that goal?

It’s so normal to feel like our lives aren’t living up to their potential.

Life happens. We get beaten down, but then we get back up, we move forward, things get better. The journey might be hard, but that doesn’t mean that we should give up or stop fighting for what we believe in — and by no means should we allow shame to keep us from being who we were meant to be.

I found Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection to be filled with an incredible number of inspirational passages that truly speak about how we can live with joy and wholeheartedness, even in the midst of our most difficult and trying times.

Do you need a tangible reminder of what life is truly about?

If so, here are 10 amazing, inspirational quotes from Brené Brown’s Gifts of Imperfectionto remind us that, more than anything else, life is about being you.

Seeking happiness by being yourself is the only true way to find what you’ve always dreamed of.

1. You’ve earned your story; now own it!

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.”


2. Accept who you are — all of you.

“Most of us are trying to live an authentic life. Deep down, we want to take off our game face and be real and imperfect.”


3. What positive things could happen when you stop pretending and start living?

“However afraid we are of change, the question that we must ultimately answer is this: What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?”


4. Will you follow what other people chose for you, or be real to yourself?

“In a society that says, ‘Put yourself last,’ self-love and self-acceptance are almost revolutionary.”


5. Be the start of your own revolution!

“Revolution might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance. Choosing to live and love with our whole hearts is an act of defiance.”


6. Aretha said it best! Find out what R-E-S-P-E-C-T means to you.

“Practicing self-love means learning how to trust ourselves, to treat ourselves with respect, and to be kind and affectionate toward ourselves.”


7. Embrace your vulnerability, but reject the fear that comes with it.

“If we want to live and love with our whole hearts, and if we want to engage with the world from a place of worthiness, we have to talk about the things that get in the way — especially shame, fear, and vulnerability.”


8. Sometimes, getting there is all it takes.

“Sometimes it helps me to wake up in the morning and tell myself, “Today, I’m going to believe that showing up is enough.”


9. Don’t let the “crisis” engulf you. Use it to become who you were meant to be!

“People may call what happens at midlife ‘a crisis,’ but it’s not. It’s an unraveling—a time when you feel a desperate pull to live the life you want to live, not the one you’re ‘supposed’ to live.”


10. Don’t fight loving yourself. You deserve all the love you can muster.

“How much we know and understand ourselves is critically important, but there is something that is even more essential to living a Wholehearted life: loving ourselves.”

If you occasionally do need a reminder about what life is really about, pick up a copy of BrenéBrown’s The Gifts of Imperfection. You won’t regret it.

Originally appeared on YourTango