33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability

Brene Brown Quotes

In this blog post we collected some of the most inspirational Brene Brown quotes about the power of vulnerability and the courage to be vulnerable.

Who is Brene Brown?

Dr. Brené Brown is an author and research professor at the College of Social Studies at the University of Houston.

A dynamic speaker, she frequently lectures on flexibility in the face of shame at public conferences and events.

Researcher in the social sciences, Brené Brown has spent the last 16 years studying the feelings that give meaning to our lives – experiences full of courage, vulnerability, love, sense of belonging, shame and empathy.

With his unique style, Brown combines the results of his research with authentic life stories and an overflowing sincerity.

She is the author of three bestselling books by the famous New York Times: The Gifts of Imperfection, The Courage to Be Vulnerable, and Get Up Strongly.

Her speech at the TED conferences – The Power of Vulnerability – garnered over 30 million views, making it one of the top five TED speeches in the world.

33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability

What does it mean to be vulnerable?

We have been taught that vulnerability means weakness.

That it is better not to show it to people, that it can affect your image, that you have to fight against it and repress it.

You have to be strong. But doesn’t vulnerability mean power?

Don’t you need courage to go out into the world and expose yourself?

Courage to take off the mask of perfection and be natural?

Brene Brown sought to understand how vulnerable people cope with vulnerability.

Those who assume it and make it a lifestyle. She learned that people generally anesthetize vulnerability, try to exclude it from their lives.

This often leads to food addictions or addiction to dangerous substances, to the search for certainty and perfection. 

We do this by trying to get rid of negative emotions.

But we end up eliminating the positive emotions from our lives, because they are closely related. In this way we become unhappy.

That’s why we feel vulnerable again and start over. Everything turns into a vicious circle.

5 Brene Brown Quotes

  1. “When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them.”
  1. “Joseph Campbell wrote, “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”
  1. “Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?”
  1. “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. “There’s nothing more daring than showing up, putting ourselves out there and letting ourselves be seen.” 
33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability

15 Brene Brown Quotes

  1. “Living a connected life ultimately is about setting boundaries, spending less time and energy hustling and winning over people who don’t matter, and seeing the value of working on cultivating connection with family and close friends.”
  1. “Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘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.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “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.”
  1. “TEN GUIDEPOSTS FOR WHOLEHEARTED LIVING  – 1. Cultivating authenticity: letting go of what people think 

2. Cultivating self-compassion: letting go of perfectionism 

3. Cultivating a resilient spirit: letting go of numbing and powerlessness 

4. Cultivating gratitude and joy: letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark 

5. Cultivating intuition and trusting faith: letting go of the need for certainty 

6. Cultivating creativity: letting go of comparison 

7. Cultivating play and rest: letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth

8. Cultivating calm and stillness: letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle 

9. Cultivating meaningful work: letting go of self-doubt and “supposed to” 

10. Cultivating laughter, song, and dance: letting go of being cool and “always in control”

  1. “It’s always helpful to remember that when perfectionism is driving, shame is riding shotgun.”
  2. “…research tells us that we judge people in areas where we’re vulnerable to shame, especially picking folks who are doing worse than we’re doing. 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 shaming deficiency.”
  3. “…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.”
  4. “Courage is forged in pain, but not in all pain. Pain that is denied or ignored becomes fear or hate.”
  5. “We’re a nation of exhausted and over-stressed adults raising over-scheduled children.” 
  1. “Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.”
  2. “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. For me, if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”
  1. “Belonging: Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it. 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.”
  2. “As Rumi says, “We’re all just walking each other home.”
  3. “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.” 
33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability

20 Brene Brown Quotes

  1. “When the culture of any organization mandates that it is more important to protect the reputation of a system and those in power than it is to protect the basic human dignity of the individuals who serve that system or who are served by that system, you can be certain that the shame is systemic, the money is driving ethics, and the accountability is all but dead.”
  2. “We cannot grow when we are in shame, and we can’t use shame to change ourselves or others.”
  1. “C. S. Lewis captured this so beautifully in one of my favorite quotes of all time: To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
  2. “Perfectionism is self destructive simply because there’s no such thing as perfect. Perfection is an unattainable goal.”
  3. “Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”
  4. “We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to.”
  5. “The biggest potential for helping us overcome shame is this: We are “those people.” The truth is…we are the others. Most of us are one paycheck, one divorce, one drug-addicted kid, one mental health illness, one sexual assault, one drinking binge, one night of unprotected sex, or one affair away from being “those people”–the ones we don’t trust, the ones we pity, the ones we don’t let our kids play with, the ones bad things happen to, the ones we don’t want living next door.”
  1. “Spirituality emerged as a fundamental guidepost in Wholeheartedness. Not religiosity but the deeply held belief that we are inextricably connected to one another by a force greater than ourselves–a force grounded in love and compassion. For some of us that’s God, for others it’s nature, art, or even human soulfulness. I believe that owning our worthiness is the act of acknowledging that we are sacred. Perhaps embracing vulnerability and overcoming numbing is ultimately about the care and feeding of our spirits.”
  2. “Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
  3. “Hope is not an emotion; it’s a way of thinking or a cognitive process.”
33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability
  1. “For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” The next one is “I don’t have enough time.” Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of. …Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that reverie of lack. …This internal condition of scarcity, this mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “How can we expect people to put value on our work when we don’t value ourselves enough to set and hold uncomfortable boundaries?”
  4. “When I see people stand fully in their truth, or when I see someone fall down, get back up, and say, “Damn. That really hurt, but this is important to me and I’m going in again”—my gut reaction is, “What a badass.”
  5. “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.”
  1. “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.”
  1. “Dehumanizing and holding people accountable are mutually exclusive. Humiliation and dehumanizing are not accountability or social justice tools, they’re emotional off-loading at best, emotional self-indulgence at worst. And if our faith asks us to find the face of God in everyone we meet, that should include the politicians, media, and strangers on Twitter with whom we most violently disagree. When we desecrate their divinity, we desecrate our own, and we betray our faith.”
  1. “MANIFESTO OF THE BRAVE AND BROKENHEARTED There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers Than those of us who are willing to fall Because we have learned how to rise With skinned knees and bruised hearts; We choose owning our stories of struggle, Over hiding, over hustling, over pretending. When we deny our stories, they define us. When we run from struggle, we are never free. So we turn toward truth and look it in the eye. We will not be characters in our stories. Not villains, not victims, not even heroes. We are the authors of our lives. We write our own daring endings. We craft love from heartbreak, Compassion from shame, Grace from disappointment, Courage from failure. Showing up is our power. Story is our way home. Truth is our song. We are brave and brokenhearted. We are rising strong.”
  1. “I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”
  2. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability

25 Brene Brown Quotes

  1. “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 the truth to me. Not an easy truth, but truth.”
  2. “We live in a world where most people still subscribe to the belief that shame is a good tool for keeping people in line. Not only is this wrong, but it’s dangerous. Shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, eating disorders, and bullying.”
  3. “The opposite of recognizing that we’re feeling something is denying our emotions. The opposite of being curious is disengaging. When we deny our stories and disengage from tough emotions, they don’t go away; instead, they own us, they define us. 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. This is my truth. And I will choose how this story ends.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “Worrying about scarcity is our culture’s version of post-traumatic stress. It happens when we’ve been through too much, and rather than coming together to heal (which requires vulnerability) we’re angry and scared and at each other’s throats.”
  6. “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.”
  1. “Those who have a strong sense of love and belonging have the courage to be imperfect.” 
  2. “Cruelty is easy, cheap and rampant.”
  3. “Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.”
  4. “To become fully human means learning to turn my gratitude for being alive into some concrete common good. It means growing gentler toward human weakness. It means practicing forgiveness of my and everyone else’s hourly failures to live up to divine standards. It means learning to forget myself on a regular basis in order to attend to the other selves in my vicinity. It means living so that “I’m only human” does not become an excuse for anything. It means receiving the human condition as blessing and not curse, in all its achingly frail and redemptive reality.”
  5. “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.”
  6. “Hope is a function of struggle.”
  7. “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 courage.”
  1. “Sufficiency isn’t two steps up from poverty or one step short of abundance. It isn’t a measure of barely enough or more than enough. Sufficiency isn’t an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough.”
  2. “You are only free when you realize you belong no place—you belong every place—no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.”
33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability
  1. “People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses.”
  2. “Courage is telling our story, not being immune to criticism.”
  3. “We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time.”
  4. “…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.”  ”
  5. “When we can let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness—the feeling that we are enough just as we are and that we are worthy of love and belonging. When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don’t fit with who we think we’re supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving. Our sense of worthiness—that critically important piece that gives us access to love and belonging—lives inside of our story.”
  1. “People often silence themselves, or “agree to disagree” without fully exploring the actual nature of the disagreement, for the sake of protecting a relationship and maintaining connection. But when we avoid certain conversations, and never fully learn how the other person feels about all of the issues, we sometimes end up making assumptions that not only perpetuate but deepen misunderstandings, and that can generate resentment.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “I believe that owning our worthiness is the act of acknowledging that we are sacred. Perhaps embracing vulnerability and overcoming numbing is ultimately about the care and feeding of our spirits.”
  4. “But what we know now is that when we deny our emotion, it owns us. When we own our emotions, we can rebuild and find our way through the pain.”
  5. “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.”
33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability

30 Brene Brown Quotes

  1. “We’re a nation hungry for more joy: Because we’re starving from a lack of gratitude.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “If you own this story you get to write the ending.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “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.”
  1. “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.”
  2. “Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.”
  3. “The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button.”
  4. “Shame works like the zoom lens on a camera. When we are feeling shame, the camera is zoomed in tight and all we see is our flawed selves, alone and struggling.”
  5. “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.”
  1. “The real questions for parents should be: “Are you engaged? Are you paying attention?” If so, plan to make lots of mistakes and bad decisions. Imperfect parenting moments turn into gifts as our children watch us try to figure out what went wrong and how we can do better next time. The mandate is not to be perfect and raise happy children. Perfection doesn’t exist, and I’ve found what makes children happy doesn’t always prepare them to be courageous, engaged adults.”
  2. “You know, and so, I’ve come to this belief that, if you show me a woman who can sit with a man in real vulnerability, in deep fear, and be with him in it, I will show you a woman who, A, has done her work and, B, does not derive her power from that man. And if you show me a man who can sit with a woman in deep struggle and vulnerability and not try to fix it, but just hear her and be with her and hold space for it, I’ll show you a guy who’s done his work and a man who doesn’t derive his power from controlling and fixing everything.”
  1. “Until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart.
  2. “Just because someone isn’t willing or able to love us, it doesn’t mean that we are unlovable.”
  3. “True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”
  4. “Midlife: when the Universe grabs your shoulders and tells you “I’m not f-ing around, use the gifts you were given.”
  5. “There are too many people today who instead of feeling hurt are acting out their hurt; instead of acknowledging pain, they’re inflicting pain on others. Rather than risking feeling disappointed, they’re choosing to live disappointed. Emotional stoicism is not badassery. Blustery posturing is not badassery. Swagger is not badassery. Perfection is about the furthest thing in the world from badassery.”
  6. “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.”
33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability
  1. “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.”
  2. “Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.”
  3. “Maybe stories are just data with a soul.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. With that definition in mind, let’s think about love. 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.”
  6. “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.”
  7. “You cannot shame or belittle people into changing their behaviors.”
  1. “I’ve found what makes children happy doesn’t always prepare them to be courageous, engaged adults.”
  2. “It’s in our biology to trust what we see with our eyes. This makes living in a carefully edited, overproduced and photoshopped world very dangerous.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability

35 Brene Brown Quotes

  1. “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.”
  2. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
  5. “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.”
  1. “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weaknesses.”
  2. “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”
  3. “We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”
  4. “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.”
  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.”
  1. “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.”
  2. “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.”
  3. “If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”
33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability
  1. “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.”
  2. “What we know matters but who we are matters more.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “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.”
  1. “Healthy striving is self-focused: “How can I improve?” Perfectionism is other-focused: “What will they think?”
  2. “I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.”
  5. “Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.”
  1. “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.”
  2. “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. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.”
  3. “Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share: “Who has earned the right to hear my story?” If we have one or two people in our lives who can sit with us and hold space for our shame stories, and love us for our strengths and struggles, we are incredibly lucky. If we have a friend, or small group of friends, or family who embraces our imperfections, vulnerabilities, and power, and fills us with a sense of belonging, we are incredibly lucky.”
  4. “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!”
  5. “Numb the dark and you numb the light.”
  6. “The willingness to show up changes us, It makes us a little braver each time.”
  7. “Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences — good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as “ordinary courage.”
  8. “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.”
  9. “Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. The power that connection holds in our lives was confirmed when the main concern about connection emerged as the fear of disconnection; the fear that something we have done or failed to do, something about who we are or where we come from, has made us unlovable and unworthy of connection.”
  10. “Worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites.”
33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability

40 Brene Brown Quotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. “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.”

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

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

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

13. “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.”

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

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

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

17. “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.”

18. “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.”

19. “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.”

20. “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.”

33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability

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. “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.”

23. “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.”

24. “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.”

25. “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.”

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

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

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

29. “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.”

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

Other inspirational Brené Brown Quotes

31. “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.’”

32. “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.”

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

34. “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.”

35. “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.”

36. “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.’”

37. “If you can’t ask for help without self-judgment, you cannot offer help without judging others.”

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

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

40. “Talk about your failures without apologizing.”

33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability

50 Brene Brown Quotes

  1. “What we know matters but who we are matters more.”
  2. “If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.”
  3. “Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.”
  4. “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
  1. “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”
  2. “Don’t try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.”
  3. “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.”
  4. “You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”
  5. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.”
  6. “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weaknesses.”
  1. “The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “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.”
  1. “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.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.”
  1. “Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “To love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly.”
  4. “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.”
  1. “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
  2. “We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.”
  1. “DIG deep–get deliberate, inspired, and going.”
33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability
  1. “Talk about your failures without apologizing.”
  2. “It’s not about ‘what can I accomplish?’ but ‘what do I want to accomplish?’ Paradigm shift.”
  3. “Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”
  4. “To me, a leader is someone who holds her- or himself accountable for finding potential in people and processes.”
  5. “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day.”
  1. “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.”
  2. “Those who have a strong sense of love and belonging have the courage to be imperfect.”
  3. “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.”
  4. “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”
  5. “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”
  1. “If you can’t ask for help without self-judgment, you cannot offer help without judging others.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “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.’”
  5. “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.”
  6. “We run from grief because loss scares us, yet our hearts reach toward grief because the broken parts want to mend.”
  1. “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.’”
  2. “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.”
  3. “Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.”
  1. “Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share: “Who has earned the right to hear my story?” If we have one or two people in our lives who can sit with us and hold space for our shame stories, and love us for our strengths and struggles, we are incredibly lucky. If we have a friend, or small group of friends, or family who embraces our imperfections, vulnerabilities, and power, and fills us with a sense of belonging, we are incredibly lucky.”
  2. “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!”
  3. “Numb the dark and you numb the light.”
  1. “The willingness to show up changes us, It makes us a little braver each time.”
  2. “Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences — good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as “ordinary courage.”
  3. “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.”
  4. “Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. The power that connection holds in our lives was confirmed when the main concern about connection emerged as the fear of disconnection; the fear that something we have done or failed to do, something about who we are or where we come from, has made us unlovable and unworthy of connection.”
33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability

Other Mental health quotes which you may like

Below are other mental health quotes which may be of interest to you:

Shawshank Redemption Quotes
Shel Silverstein quotes and poems
Stop bullying quotes
Stress quotes
Sylvia Plath Quotes
Taken for Granted Quotes
The Best Donnie Darko Quotes
The Help Quotes to Inspire You

Conclusions

Dr. Brene Brown defines vulnerability as “emotional risk, exposure, uncertainty”, “the most accurate tool for measuring courage”, “the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change”, “the way we can find each other”.

Brené Brown has spent the last 16 years studying the feelings that give meaning to our lives – experiences full of courage, vulnerability, love, sense of belonging, shame and empathy. 

Which Brene Brown quotes inspired you the most?

Let us know in the comments section! 

33 Brene Brown Quotes About the Power of Vulnerability

Nadejda Romanciuc

Nadejda Romanciuc holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a diploma in Addiction studies. She is part of the Romanian Association of Integrative Psychotherapy as a psychotherapist under supervision. She's practicing online counselling for over two years and is a strong advocate for mental health.