136 Brené Brown Quotes on Vulnerability, Leadership & Courage

Brene Brown Quote

In this post we’ll read Brené Brown quotes who is an American scholar, author, and public speaker known for her research on topics such as vulnerability, courage, shame, and empathy.

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, and she spent decades studying human emotions and behaviors.

She has authored several bestselling books that explore the themes of vulnerability, courage, and resilience and in addition to her writing, Brown is a highly sought-after public speaker who delivers lectures, workshops, and TED Talks on her research. Her TED Talk on the power of vulnerability has been viewed millions of times and has inspired countless people around the world.

Let’s read some of the best Brené Brown quotes on topics such as vulnerability, shame resilience, authenticity, and wholehearted living.

Brené Brown Quotes on Courage

Brené Brown Quote on Courage

1. “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

2. “When we combine the courage to make clear what works for us and what doesn’t with the compassion to assume people are doing their best, our lives change.”

3. “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.”

4. “The courage to be vulnerable is not about winning or losing, it’s about the courage to show up when you can’t predict or control the outcome.”

5. “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”

6. “As a shame researcher, I know that the very best thing to do in the midst of a shame attack is totally counterintuitive: Practice courage and reach out!”

7. “We can choose courage, or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.”

8. “There will be times when standing alone feels too hard, too scary, and we’ll doubt our ability to make our way through the uncertainty. Someone, somewhere, will say, ‘Don’t do it. You don’t have what it takes to survive the wilderness.’ This is when you reach deep into your wild heart and remind yourself, ‘I am the wilderness.’”

9. “The truth is that falling hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up.”

Brené Brown Quotes on Vulnerability

Brené Brown Quote on Vulnerability

1. “Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.”

2. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”

3. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”

4. “People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses.”

5. “Vulnerability is not weakness. And that myth is profoundly dangerous.”

6. “Vulnerability is basically uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.”

7. “Faith minus vulnerability and mystery equals extremism. If you’ve got all the answers, then don’t call what you do ‘faith.’”

8. “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.”

9. “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.”

10. “Good marriages are when you can go home and know that your vulnerability will be honored as courage, and that you’ll find support.”

11. “I was raised in a family where vulnerability was barely tolerated: no training wheels on our bicycles, no goggles in the pool, just get it done. And so I grew up not only with discomfort about my own vulnerability, I didn’t care for it in other people either.”

12. “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.”

Brené Brown Quotes on Leadership

Brené Brown Quote on Leadership

1. “Brave leaders are never silent around hard things.”

2. “Courage is contagious. A critical mass of brave leaders is the foundation of an intentionally courageous culture. Every time we are brave with our lives, we make the people around us a little braver and our organizations bolder and stronger.”

3. “I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.”

4. “We desperately need more leaders who are committed to courageous, wholehearted leadership and who are self-aware enough to lead from their hearts, rather than unevolved leaders who lead from hurt and fear.”

Brené Brown Quotes on Shame

Brené Brown Quote on Shame

1. “Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.”

2. “You cannot shame or belittle people into changing their behaviors.”

3. “I’ve learned a lot since I was a new mother. My approach to struggle and shame now is to talk to yourself like you’d talk to someone you love and reach out to tell your story.”

4. “You cannot talk about race without talking about privilege. And when people start talking about privilege, they get paralyzed by shame.”

5. “Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.”

6. “Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it- it can’t survive being shared. Shame loves secrecy. When we bury our story, the shame metastasizes.”

7. “If we share our shame story with the wrong person, they can easily become one more piece of flying debris in an already dangerous storm.”

8. “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”

9. “We judge people in areas where we’re vulnerable to shame, especially picking folks who are doing worse than we’re doing.”

10. “Guilt is just as powerful, but its influence is positive, while shame’s is destructive. Shame erodes our courage and fuels disengagement.”

11. “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.”

12. “Ironically, parenting is a shame and judgment minefield precisely because most of us are wading through uncertainty and self-doubt when it comes to raising our children.”

Brené Brown Quotes on Belonging

Brené Brown Quote on Belonging

1. “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. ”

2. “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.”

3. “You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”

4. “But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others.… It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.”

5. “The opposite of belonging is fitting in.”

6. “True belonging never asks us to change who we are. True belonging requires us to be who we are.”

7. “The things we do for love and belonging, the things we do for work, are the things that define us.”

8. “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 on Connection

Brené Brown Quote on Connection

1. “Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.”

2. “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.”

3. “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.”

4. “The intention and outcome of vulnerability is trust, intimacy and connection. The outcome of oversharing is distrust, disconnection – and usually a little judgment.”

5. “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.”

Brené Brown Quotes on Self love

Brené Brown Quote on Self love

1. “Self-love is never arrogance. It’s the birthplace of human connection and respect.”

2. “We can only love others as much as we love ourselves.”

3. “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”

4. “Connecting the dots of our lives, especially the ones we would rather erase or skip over, requires equal parts self-love and curiosity.”

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

6. “I can encourage my daughter to love her body, but what really matters are the observations she makes about my relationship with my own body.”

7. “Self-compassion leads to resilience.”

8. “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”

9. “I now see that owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.”

10. “Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be; embrace who you are.”

11. “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?”

12. “In my research, I’ve interviewed a lot of people who never fit in, who are what you might call ‘different’: scientists, artists, thinkers. And if you drop down deep into their work and who they are, there is a tremendous amount of self-acceptance.”

13. “To love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly.”

Brené Brown Quotes on Love

Brené Brown Quote on Love

1. “To see and to be seen. That is the truest nature of love.”

2. “Just because someone isn’t willing or able to love us, it doesn’t mean that we are unlovable.”

3. “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.”

4. “Love is not a noun, it’s a verb. Love — the feeling — is the fruit of love the verb or our actions.”

5. “When the people we love stop paying attention, trust begins to slip away and hurt starts seeping in.”

6. “True love allows, honors, and appreciates; attachment grasps, demands, needs, and aims to possess.”

7. “Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may

leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow – that’s vulnerability.”

Brené Brown Quotes on Perfectionism

Brené Brown Quote on Perfectionism

1. “Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be our best. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth; it’s a shield.”

2. “Those who have a strong sense of love and belonging have the courage to be imperfect.”

3. “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”

4. “I’m like a recovering perfectionist. For me it’s one day at a time.”

5. “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.”

6. “Healthy striving is self-focused: “How can I improve?” Perfectionism is other-focused: “What will they think?”

7. “Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.”

8. “Perfectionism is self destructive simply because there’s no such thing as perfect. Perfection is an unattainable goal.”

9. “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 Quotes on Life

Brené Brown Quote on Life

1. “At the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of my life, I want to say I contributed more than I criticized.”

2. ‘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.”

3. “To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. ”

4. “We use work to numb out. We can’t turn off our machines because we’re afraid we’re going to miss something.”

Brené Brown Quotes on Arena

Brené Brown Quote on Arena

1. “I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.”

2. “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.”

3. “If you are not in the arena getting your ass kicked on occasion, I am not interested in or open to your feedback. There are a million cheap seats in the world today filled with people who will never be brave with their own lives, but will spend every ounce of energy they have hurling advice and judgement at those of us trying to dare greatly. Their only contributions are criticism, cynicism, and fear-mongering. If you’re criticizing from a place where you’re not also putting yourself on the line, I’m not interested in your feedback.”

4. “A lot of cheap seats in the arena are filled with people who never venture onto the floor. They just hurl mean-spirited criticisms and put-downs from a safe distance. The problem is, when we stop caring what people think and stop feeling hurt by cruelty, we lose our ability to connect. But when we’re defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable. Therefore, we need to be selective about the feedback we let into our lives.”

Brené Brown Quotes on Happiness

Brené Brown Quote on Happiness

1. “Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect.”

2. “I’ve found what makes children happy doesn’t always prepare them to be courageous, engaged adults.”

3. “As a vulnerability researcher, the greatest barrier I see is our low tolerance for vulnerability. We’re almost afraid to be happy. ”

4. “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.”

5. “The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.”

Brené Brown Short Quotes

Brené Brown Short Quote

1. “We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to.”

2. “What we know matters but who we are matters more.”

3. “Numb the dark and you numb the light.”

4. “Hope is a function of struggle.”

5. “Hope is not an emotion; it’s a way of thinking or a cognitive process.”

6. “When we dare to show up and be seen, we can change the world with our work.”

7. “The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button”

8. “Dig deep—get deliberate, inspired, and going.”

9. “Talk about your failures without apologizing.”

10. “Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.”

11. “There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.”

Brené Brown Quotes on Friendship & Relationships

Brené Brown Quote on Relationships

1. “Through my research, I found that vulnerability is the glue that holds relationships together. It’s the magic sauce.”

2. “I carry a small sheet of paper in my wallet that has written on it the names of people whose opinions of me matter. To be on that list, you have to love me for my strengths and struggles.”

3. “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.”

4. “For me, the opposite of scarcity is not abundance. It’s enough. I’m enough. My kids are enough.”

Brené Brown Quotes on Boundaries

Brené Brown Quote on Boundaries

1. “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”

2. “When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice.”

3. “Even to me the issue of “stay small, sweet, quiet, and modest” sounds like an outdated problem, but the truth is that women still run into those demands whenever we find and use our voices.”

Brené Brown Quotes on Gratitude & Compassion

Brené Brown Quote on Gratitude

1. “What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.”

2. “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.”

3. “We’re a nation hungry for more joy: Because we’re starving from a lack of gratitude.”

4. “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.”

5. “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.”

6. “Everyone has a story or a struggle that will break your heart. And if we’re really paying attention, most people have a story that will bring us to our knees.”

Brené Brown Quotes on Worthiness

Brené Brown Quote on Worthiness

1. “Worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites.”

2. “Sometimes the most dangerous thing for kids is the silence that allows them to construct their own stories—stories that almost always cast them as alone and unworthy of love and belonging.”

3. “Here’s what is truly at the heart of wholeheartedness: worthy now. Not if. Not when. We’re worthy of love and belonging now. Right this minute. As is.”

4. “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.”

5. “It’s hard to practice compassion when we’re struggling with our authenticity or when our own worthiness is off-balance.”

6. “You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”

7. “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.”

These Brené Brown quotes inspire and empower us to live more authentic, courageous, and wholehearted lives.

Brené Brown is celebrated as a leading voice in the fields of psychology, self-help, and personal development and her research and writing have helped millions of people cultivate greater self-awareness, develop healthier relationships, and embrace vulnerability.

Which of these Brené Brown quotes left an impact on you?

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