Quotes by Brené Brown
Welcome to our collection of quotes by Brené Brown. We hope you enjoy pondering them and please share widely.
Wikipedia Summary for Brené Brown
Casandra Brené Brown (born 1965) is an American researcher story-teller, professor, lecturer, author, and podcast host. Brown holds the Huffington Foundation's Brené Brown Endowed Chair at the University of Houston's Graduate College of Social Work and is a visiting professor in management at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.
Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.
Numb the dark and you numb the light.
If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.
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.
There was only one variable that separated the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging and the people who really struggle for it. And that was, the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they're worthy of love and belonging. That's it. They believe they're worthy.
Love is a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them -- we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
If we want to be able to move through the difficult disappointments, the hurt feelings, and the heartbreaks that are inevitable in a fully lived life, we can't equate defeat with being unworthy of love, belonging and joy. If we do, we'll never show up and try again.
Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn't change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.
We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don't function as were meant to be. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache … The absence of love and belonging will always lead to suffering.
If we don't allow ourselves to experience joy and love, we will definitely miss out on filling our reservoir with what we need when... hard things happen.
Those who feel lovable, who love, and who experience belonging simply believe they are worthy of love and belonging. I often say that Wholeheartedness is like the North Star: We never really arrive, but we certainly know if we're headed in the right direction.
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.
You either walk inside your own story and own it, or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.
Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.
What we know matters but who we are matters more.
What we know matters, but who we are matters more. Being rather than knowing requires showing up and letting ourselves be seen. It requires us to dare greatly, to be vulnerable.
To love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly.
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.
There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.
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.
When the people we love stop paying attention, trust begins to slip away and hurt starts seeping in.
Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message if you're not alone.
Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy and gratitude into our lives.
People learn how to treat us based on how they see us treating ourselves. If I don't put value on my work or my time, neither will the person I'm helping. Boundaries are a function of self respect and self love.
Vulnerability is not about fear and grief and disappointment; it is the birthplace of everything we're hungry for.
I believe that feedback thrives in cultures where the goal is not getting comfortable with hard conversations but normalizing discomfort.
In fact, all of us are very susceptible to having our humiliating experiences turn to shame, especially when the person who is putting us down is someone with whom we have a valued relationship or someone whom we perceive to have more power than we do.
There is no intimacy without vulnerability. Yet another powerful example of vulnerability as courage.
Our need for certainty in an endeavor as uncertain as raising children makes explicit 'how-to-parent' strategies both seductive and dangerous.
He explained that unlike our other classes in the program, research was all about prediction and control. I was smitten. You mean that rather than leaning and holding, I could spend my career predicting and controlling? I had found my calling.
The laughter that happens when people are truth-telling and showing up and being real -- I call that knowing laughter. That's what happens between people when we recognize the absurdity of the belief that we're alone in anything.
If we choose not to get involved or pretend it's not happening, we're going against the very sense of connection that makes us human.
The truth is, I'm a storyteller. And it scares me, because my training as an academic is that the more accessible you are and the more human you are, the less smart you are. It's a shame trigger for me to be honest.
Then I tell my own story. The two things that people really need to transform is language to understand their experience and to know they're not alone. It's the combination of the researcher-storyteller part.
You don't have to be a mother to experience mother-shame. Society views womanhood and motherhood as inextricably bound, therefore our value as women is often determined by where we are in relation to our roles as mothers or potential mothers.
When you don't put your initials behind your name, and I've got tons of them, and when you talk about storytelling or love or gratitude, you're diminishing your legitimacy and importance in this world.
I wasn't really testing it on myself as much as I was learning from other people about what it meant to live and love with your whole heart, and then thinking, oh my god, I'm not doing that.
We can talk about courage and love and compassion until we sound like a greeting card store, but unless we're willing to have an honest conversation about what gets in the way of putting these into practice in our daily lives, we will never change. Never, ever.
Courage is a value. My faith is the organizing principle in my life and what underpins my faith is courage and love, and so I have to be in the arena if I'm going to live in alignment with my values.
I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments, gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith.
But I don't think it's as dangerous, scary, or terrifying as getting to the end of our lives and wondering, what if I would have shown up?
We teach what we have to learn. It's been an extraordinary journey that I couldn't have done with not only the research participants but the community, the tribe that we've built of people who are also on this journey.
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!
I am a storyteller and a researcher, and I'm sorry the world has a hard time straddling the tension of those two things, but that's who I am.
That's really part of being a grounded theory researcher -- putting names to concepts and experiences that people have.
I can't even think of the right word, but it's not help. It's more like a prerequisite. I think connection is why we're here, it's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and belonging is in our DNA. And so tribe and belonging are irreducible needs, like love.
It's easier to live disappointed than it is to feel disappointed. It feels more vulnerable to dip in and out of disappointment than to just set up a camp there. You sacrifice joy, but you suffer less pain.
Courage, the original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language -- it's from the Latin word cor, meaning heart -- and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.
When we give ourselves permission to be imperfect, when we find self-worth despite our imperfections, when we build connection networks that affirm and value us as imperfect beings, we are much more capable of change.
Most people believe vulnerability is weakness. But really vulnerability is Courage. We must ask ourselves...are we willing to show up and be seen.
There is nothing more vulnerable than creativity... It's not about winning, it's not about losing, it's about showing up and being seen.
Shame cannot survive being spoken. It cannot tolerate having words wrapped around it. What it craves is secrecy, silence, and judgment. If you stay quiet, you stay in a lot of self-judgment.
I think laughter between people is a holy form of connection, of communion. It's the way you and I look at each other and without words, say, I get exactly what you're saying. And so, it's important to me.
Joy, collected over time, fuels resilience -- ensuring we'll have reservoirs of emotional strength when hard things do happen.
Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgment and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly.
Feeling vulnerable, imperfect, and afraid is human. It's when we lose our capacity to hold space for these struggles that we become dangerous.
Joy comes to us in moments -- ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.
Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy and gratitude into our lives.
When we spend our lives waiting until we're perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make.
I'm never more courageous than when I'm embracing imperfection, embracing vulnerabilities, and setting boundaries with the people in my life.
If we want to make meaning, we need to make art. Cook, write, draw, doodle, paint, scrapbook, take pictures, collage, knit, rebuild an engine, sculpt, dance, decorate, act, sing -- it doesn't matter. As long as we're creating, we're cultivating meaning.
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.
Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver. And our world could stand to be a little kinder and braver.
The question isn't so much Are you parenting the right way? as it is: Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?
If you put shame in a petri dish, it needs three ingredients to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in the petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can't survive.
Every single person has a story that will break your heart. And if you're paying attention, many people... have a story that will bring you to your knees. Nobody rides for free.
Nothing has transformed my life more than realizing that it's a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands.
We're all so busy chasing the extraordinary that we forget to stop and be grateful for the ordinary.
Let go of who you think you're supposed to be and embrace who you are.
Let go of who you think you should be in order to be who you are. Be imperfect and have compassion for yourself. Connection is the result of authenticity.
Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we're supposed to be and embracing who we are.
Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are. Choosing authenticity means cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable; exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle; and nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough. Authenticity demands Wholehearted living and loving—even when it’s hard, even when we’re wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we’re afraid to let ourselves feel it. Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy, and gratitude into our lives.
Trust is a product of vulnerability that grows over time and requires work, attention, and full engagement.
Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
For me, vulnerability led to anxiety, which led to shame, which led to disconnection, which led to Bud Light.
Pain is unrelenting. It will get our attention. Despite our attempts to drown it in addiction, to physically beat it out of one another, to suffocate it with success and material trappings, or to strangle it with our hate, pain will find a way to make itself known.
There's nothing more daring than showing up, putting ourselves out there and letting ourselves be seen.
Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn't require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.
Shame resilience is the ability to say, This hurts. This is disappointing, maybe even devastating. But success and recognition and approval are not the values that drive me. My value is courage and I was just courageous. You can move on, shame.
1. People Are Hard to Hate Close Up. Move In. 2. Speak Truth to Bullshit. Be Civil. 3. Hold Hands. With Strangers. 4. Strong Back. Soft Front. Wild Heart.
We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.
Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness.
Courage is forged in pain, but not in all pain. Pain that is denied or ignored becomes fear or hate.
In its original Latin form, sacrifice means to make sacred or to make holy. I wholeheartedly believe that when we are fully engaged in parenting, regardless of how imperfect, vulnerable, and messy it is, we are creating something sacred.
Of all the things trauma takes away from us, the worst is our willingness, or even our ability, to be vulnerable. There's a reclaiming that has to happen.
How can we expect people to put value on our work when we don't value ourselves enough to set and hold uncomfortable boundaries?
Everyone wants to know why customer service has gone to hell in a handbasket. I want to know why customer behavior has gone to hell in a handbasket.
Sometimes when we are beating ourselves up, we need to stop and say to that harassing voice inside, Man, I'm doing the very best I can right now.
Courage is like--it's a habitus, a habit, a virtue: You get it by courageous acts. It's like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.
When we stop caring about what people think, we lose our capacity for connection. When we become defined by what people think, we lose our willingness to be vulnerable.
When we stop caring about what people think, we lose our capacity for connection. When we become defined by what people think, we lose our willingness to be vulnerable. If we dismiss all the criticism, we lose out on important feedback, but if we subject ourselves to the hatefulness, our spirits gets crushed. It's a tightrope, shame resilience is the balance bar, and the safety net below is the one or two people in our lives who can help us reality-check the criticism and cynicism.
Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it's understanding the necessity of both; it's engaging. It's being all in.
Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.
Steve said, I don't know. I really don't. All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be. His answer felt like truth to me. Not an easy truth, but truth.
No one reaches out to you for compassion or empathy so you can teach them how to behave better. They reach out to us because they believe in our capacity to know our darkness well enough to sit in the dark with them.
Wholeheartedness. There are many tenets of Wholeheartedness, but at its very core is vulnerability and worthiness; facing uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks, and knowing that I am enough.
E.E Cummings wrote, To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody but yourself -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight -- and never stop fighting.
Compassion is not a virtue -- it is a commitment. It's not something we have or don't have -- it's something we choose to practice.
Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.
Shame derives its power from being unspeakable...If we speak shame, it begins to wither. Just the way exposure to light was deadly for the gremlins, language and story bring light to shame and destroy it.
Until we can receive with an open heart, we're never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.
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.
Nostalgia is also a dangerous form of comparison. Think about how often we compare our lives to a memory that nostalgia has so completely edited that it never really existed.
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.
The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It's our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.
If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can't survive.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Guilt is just as powerful, but its influence is positive, while shame's is destructive. Shame erodes our courage and fuels disengagement.
We judge people in areas where we're vulnerable to shame, especially picking folks who are doing worse than we're doing.
Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it's often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.
I only share when I have no unmet needs that I'm trying to fill. I firmly believe that being vulnerable with a larger audience is only a good idea if the healing is tied to the sharing, not to the expectations I might have for the response I get.
Creativity, which is the expression of our originality, helps us stay mindful that what we bring to the world is completely original and cannot be compared.
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.
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. Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.
I thought faith would say: I'll take away the pain and discomfort, but what it ended up saying was, I'll sit with you in it.
It's not fear that gets in our way. We're all afraid. It's how we self-protect that moves us away from our integrity.
We run from grief because loss scares us, yet our hearts reach toward grief because the broken parts want to mend.
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.'
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?
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.
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.
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.