We spend too much precious time and energy managing perception and creating carefully edited versions of ourselves to show to the world. As hard as we try, we can't seem to turn off the tapes that fill our heads with messages like "Never good enough!" and "What will people think?" Why? What fuels this unattainable need to look like we always have it all together? At first glance we might think it's because we admire perfection, but that's not the case. We are actually the most attracted to people we consider to be authentic and down-to-earth. We love people who are "real" — we're drawn to those who both embrace their imperfections and radiate self-acceptance. There is a constant barrage of social expectations that teach us that being imperfect is synonymous with being inadequate. Everywhere we turn there are messages that tell us who, what, and how we're supposed to be. So we learn to hide our struggles and protect ourselves from shame, judgment, criticism, and blame by seeking safety in pretending and perfection. Based on seven years of groundbreaking research and hundreds of interviews, I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn't) shines a long-overdue light on an important truth: Our imperfections are what connect us to one another and to our humanity. Our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses; they are powerful reminders to keep our hearts and minds open to the reality that we're all in this together. Dr. Brown writes, "We need our lives back. It's time to reclaim the gifts of imperfection — the courage to be real, the compassion we need to love ourselves and others, and the connection that gives true purpose and meaning to life. These are the gifts that bring love, laughter, gratitude, empathy, and joy into our lives."