63 Brene Brown Quotes on Embracing Vulnerability, Shame & Connection

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Have you allowed yourself to be vulnerable? That it is okay to make mistakes and do not feel ashamed about it?   Check out the inspiring quotes by American professor Brene Brown, author of “Dare to Lead”, to have the courage to own your stories and love yourself.


Brene Brown Quotes on Vulnerability

1. “Vulnerability is not about winning or losing. It’s having the courage to show up even when you can’t control the outcome.”

“Vulnerability is not about winning or losing. It’s having the courage to show up even when you can’t control the outcome.” Brene Brown

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

3. “Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”

4. “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”

5. “If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.”

6. “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.’”

7. 'Vulnerability is not weakness. I define vulnerability as emotional risk, exposure, uncertainty. It fuels our daily lives.' Brene Brown Share on X

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

9. “To create is to make something that has never existed before. There’s nothing more vulnerable than that.”

10. “The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness—even our wholeheartedness—actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls.”

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

12. 'People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses.' Brene Brown Share on X

13. “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.”

14. “When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.”

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Brene Brown Quotes on Love

15. “Don’t try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.”

“Don’t try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.” Brene Brown

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

17. “We run from grief because loss scares us, yet our hearts reach toward grief because the broken parts want to mend.”

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

19. 'You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.' Brene Brown Share on X

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

21. “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. But I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude, and grace.”

22. “Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion.”

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Brene Brown Quotes on Leadership & Courage

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

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

24. “To me, a leader is someone who holds her- or himself accountable for finding potential in people and processes.”

25. “Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending—to rise strong, recognize our story, and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. And I will choose how the story ends.”

26. “The willingness to show up changes us, It makes us a little braver each time.”

27. “I believe that what we regret most are our failures of courage, whether it’s the courage to be kinder, to show up, to say how we feel, to set boundaries, to be good to ourselves. For that reason, regret can be the birthplace of empathy.”

28. “Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.”

29. '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.' Brene Brown Share on X

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

31. “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.”

32. “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; it’s choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.”

33. “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.”

34. “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

Related: Steve Jobs’ Advice on Innovation, Success & Death (Life-Changing)


Brene Brown Quotes on Connection

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

36. “I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

37. “Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”

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

39. “Connection doesn’t exist without giving and receiving. We need to give, and we need to need.”

40. “One of the greatest barriers to connection is the cultural importance we place on ‘going it alone.’ Somehow we’ve come to equate success with not needing anyone. Many of us are willing to extend a helping hand, but we’re very reluctant to reach out for help when we need it ourselves. It’s as if we’ve divided the world into ‘those who offer help’ and ‘those who need help.’ The truth is that we are both.”

Related: Tara Brach Quotes on Radical Acceptance, Love & Compassion


Inspiring Brene Brown Quotes about Life

41. “Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.”

“Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.” Brene Brown

42. “Talk about your failures without apologizing.”

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

44. “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.”

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

"Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect." Brene Brown

46. “Hope is a function of struggle.”

47. “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.”
“Regret is a tough but fair teacher. To live without regret is to believe you have nothing to learn, no amends to make, no opportunity to be braver with your life.”

Related: J.K. Rowling’s Wisdom on Love, Life and Success


Brene Brown Quotes on Shame

48. 'Nothing silences us more effectively than shame.' Brene Brown Share on X

49. “Shame needs three things to grow exponentially in our lives: secrecy, silence and judgment.”

50. “Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.”

51. “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.”

52. “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.”

53. 'Laughter is evidence that the chokehold of shame has been loosened.' Brene Brown Share on X

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

55. “The culture of shame is driven by fear, blame, and disconnection, and it is often a powerful incubator for issues like perfectionism, stereotyping, gossiping, and addiction.”

56. “Shame and self-esteem are very different issues. We feel shame. We think self-esteem.”

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

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

Related: Robin Williams’ Wisdom on Love, Life, Happiness (LAUGHTER)


Brene Brown Quotes on Empathy

59. “We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”

60. “Courage gives us a voice and compassion gives us an ear. Without both, there is no opportunity for empathy and connection.”

61. “When we work from a place, I believe, that says ‘I’m enough,’ then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.”

62. “If you want to make a difference, the next time you see someone being cruel to another human being, take it personally. Take it personally because it is personal!”

63. “Empathy has no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone.’”

Related: Powerful Dalai Lama Quotes on Health, Happiness and Compassion

Power of Vulnerability (video)

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