Brené Brown is a researcher storyteller and professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington – Brené Brown Endowed Chair.
For the past twenty years, her study involves courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Brown has also authored five #1 New York Times best-sellers entitled, The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and Dare to Lead.
She and her husband, Steve, have been together for more than 20 years and they live with their children, Ellen and Charlie, at their home in Houston, Texas.
In 2012, Brown presented “The power of vulnerability” as a TED talk, which is one of the most viewed discussions, garnering more than 35 million views. She also has a Netflix Special, Call To Courage, which debuted on April 2019.
Change the way you live your life as you read through these Brené Brown quotes and sayings that demonstrate her learning about love, vulnerability, courage, happiness, and more.
Table of Contents
Brené Brown Quotes About Love and Compassion
1. “It’s hard to practice compassion when we’re struggling with our authenticity or when our own worthiness is off-balance.”
2. “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.”
3. “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”
4. “Normally, when someone we love is turning away from a struggle, we self-protect by also turning away. That’s definitely my first response. I think change is more likely to happen if both partners have common language and a shared lens to see problems.”
5. “When we’re looking for compassion, we need someone who is deeply rooted, is able to bend and, most of all, embraces us for our strengths and struggles.”
6. “I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few.”
7. “When the people we love stop paying attention, trust begins to slip away and hurt starts seeping in.”
8. “When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible.”
9. “Many people think of perfectionism as striving to be your best, but it is not about self-improvement; it’s about earning approval and acceptance.”
10. “You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”
Brené Brown Quotes About Vulnerability
1. “Vulnerability is not weakness. And that myth is profoundly dangerous.”
2. “The moment someone asks you to do something you don’t have the time or inclination to do is fraught with vulnerability.”
3. “I think our capacity for wholeheartedness can never be greater than our willingness to be broken-hearted. It means engaging with the world from a place of vulnerability and worthiness.”
4. “When you stop caring what people think, you lose your capacity for connection. When you’re defined by it, you lose our capacity for vulnerability.”
5. “Through my research, I found that vulnerability is the glue that holds relationships together. It’s the magic sauce.”
6. “Live-tweeting your bikini wax is not vulnerability. Nor is posting a blow-by-blow of your divorce . That’s an attempt to hot-wire connection. But you can’t cheat real connection. It’s built up slowly. It’s about trust and time.”
7. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling of worthiness. If it doesn’t feel vulnerable, the sharing is probably not constructive.”
8. “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?”
9. “Faith minus vulnerability and mystery equals extremism. If you’ve got all the answers, then don’t call what you do ‘faith.'”
10. “Men walk this tightrope where any sign of weakness illicits shame, and so they’re afraid to make themselves vulnerable for fear of looking weak.”
11. “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It’s tough to do that when we’re terrified about what people might see or think.”
12. “Vulnerability is basically uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.”
Brené Brown Quotes About Courage and Happiness
1. “I’ve learned that men and women who are living wholehearted lives really allow themselves to soften into joy and happiness. They allow themselves to experience it.”
2. “The difficult thing is that vulnerability is the first thing I look for in you and the last thing I’m willing to show you. In you, it’s courage and daring. In me, it’s weakness.”
3. “I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”
4. “The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.”
Brené Brown Quotes About Parenting
1. “First and foremost, we need to be the adults we want our children to be. We should watch our own gossiping and anger. We should model the kindness we want to see.”
2. “My husband’s a pediatrician, so he and I talk about parenting all the time. You can’t raise children who have more shame resilience than you do.”
3. “If I feel good about my parenting, I have no interest in judging other people’s choices. If I feel good about my body, I don’t go around making fun of other people’s weight or appearance. We’re hard on each other because we’re using each other as a launching pad out of our own perceived deficiency.”
4. “I think if you follow anyone home, whether they live in Houston or London, and you sit at their dinner table and talk to them about their mother who has cancer or their child who is struggling in school, and their fears about watching their lives go by, I think we’re all the same.”
5. “I’m not a parenting expert. In fact, I’m not sure that I even believe in the idea of ‘parenting experts.’ I’m an engaged, imperfect parent and a passionate researcher. I’m an experienced mapmaker and a stumbling traveler. Like many of you, parenting is by far my boldest and most daring adventure.”
Brené Brown, More Quotes Sayings
1. “You cannot talk about race without talking about privilege. And when people start talking about privilege, they get paralyzed by shame.”
2. “I hesitate to use a pathologizing label, but underneath the so-called narcissistic personality is definitely shame and the paralyzing fear of being ordinary.”
3. “For me, the opposite of scarcity is not abundance. It’s enough. I’m enough. My kids are enough.”
4. “In many ways, September feels like the busiest time of the year: The kids go back to school, work piles up after the summer’s dog days, and Thanksgiving is suddenly upon us.”
5. “Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be our best. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth; it’s a shield.”
6. “I’m like a recovering perfectionist. For me it’s one day at a time.”
7. “Social media has given us this idea that we should all have a posse of friends when in reality, if we have one or two really good friends, we are lucky.”
8. “Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.”
9. “There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.”
10. “To me, a leader is someone who holds her- or himself accountable for finding potential in people and processes. And so what I think is really important is sustainability.”
11. “One thing that I tell people all the time is, ‘I’m not going to answer a call from you after nine o’clock at night or before nine o’clock in the morning unless it’s an emergency.'”
12. “As unique as we all are, an awful lot of us want the same things. We want to shake up our current less-than-fulfilling lives. We want to be happier, more loving, forgiving and connected with the people around us.”
13. “I’m just going to say it: I’m pro-guilt. Guilt is good. Guilt helps us stay on track because it’s about our behavior. It occurs when we compare something we’ve done – or failed to do – with our personal values.”
14. “The intention and outcome of vulnerability is trust, intimacy and connection. The outcome of oversharing is distrust, disconnection – and usually a little judgment.”
15. “To me, constructive criticism is when people take ownership of their ideas. That’s why I don’t listen to anything that’s anonymous. But it’s hard; when there’s something hurtful out there, I still want to read it over and over and memorize it and explain my point of view to the person.”
16. “We use work to numb out. We can’t turn off our machines because we’re afraid we’re going to miss something.”
17. “If you think dealing with issues like worthiness and authenticity and vulnerability are not worthwhile because there are more pressing issues, like the bottom line or attendance or standardized test scores, you are sadly, sadly mistaken. It underpins everything.”
18. “Maybe stories are just data with a soul.”
19. “The best marriages are the ones where we can go out in the world and really put ourselves out there. A lot of times we’ll fail, and sometimes we’ll pull it off. But good marriages are when you can go home and know that your vulnerability will be honored as courage, and that you’ll find support.”
20. “‘Crazy-busy’ is a great armor, it’s a great way for numbing. What a lot of us do is that we stay so busy, and so out in front of our life, that the truth of how we’re feeling and what we really need can’t catch up with us.”
21. “Anonymous comments? You’re not in the arena, man. If you can’t say it to me in person in front of my kids, don’t say it.”
If you’d like to read Brené Brown’s books and be inspired, we recommend that you read her latest book, Dare to Lead.
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