Brené Brown is a best-selling author, speaker, and professor who has spent the last two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy.

In her groundbreaking book Daring Greatly, she argues that the key to a more fulfilling life is to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections.

  • Save

By doing so, we can become more authentic and genuine people who are better able to connect with others.

We have compiled the best Brené Brown quotes for you.

Top 10 Brené Brown Quotes

  • Save

1. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

2. “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

3. “There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

4. “You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, but you can’t have both.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

5. “Believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

6. “If you own this story you get to write the ending.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

7. “It’s not about ‘what can I accomplish?’ but ‘what do I want to accomplish?’ Paradigm shift.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

8. “Share with people who have earned the right to hear your story.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

9. “You cannot shame or belittle people into changing their behaviors.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

10. “Those who have a strong sense of love and belonging have the courage to be imperfect.” ~ (Brené Brown).

Quotes by Brené Brown

11. “Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.” ~ (Brené Brown).

12. “We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.” ~ (Brené Brown).

13. “If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.” ~ (Brené Brown).

Famous Brené Brown Quotes
  • Save

14. “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” ~ (Brené Brown).

15. “Maybe stories are just data with a soul.” ~ (Brené Brown).

16. “Vulnerability is not about winning, and it’s not about losing. It’s about having the courage to show up and be seen.” ~ (Brené Brown).

17. “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

18. “Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect.” ~ (Brené Brown).

19. “When perfectionism is driving us, shame is riding shotgun and fear is that annoying backseat driver!” ~ (Brené Brown).

20. “Empathy fuels connection; sympathy drives disconnection.” ~ (Brené Brown).

21. “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).

22. “Worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

23. “Lean into the discomfort of the work.” ~ (Brené Brown).

24. “Self-compassion is key because when we’re able to be gentle with ourselves in the midst of shame, we’re more likely to reach out, connect, and experience empathy.” ~ (Brené Brown).

25. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

26. “When we deny our stories, They define us. When we own our stories, we get to write the ending.” ~ (Brené Brown).

27. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

28. “Joy, collected over time, fuels resilience – ensuring we’ll have reservoirs of emotional strength when hard things do happen.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

29. “There is no joy without gratitude.” ~ (Brené Brown).

30. “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ~ (Brené Brown).

31. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

Best Brené Brown Quotes

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston's Graduate College of Social Work, where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair. Brown has studied courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy over the past two decades.

32. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

33. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

34. “Trust is a product of vulnerability that grows over time and requires work, attention, and full engagement.” ~ (Brené Brown).

35. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

36. “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” ~ (Brené Brown).

37. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

38. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

39. “What we know matters but who we are matters more.” ~ (Brené Brown).

40. “In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen.” ~ (Brené Brown).

41. “We don’t have to be perfect, just engaged and committed to aligning values with actions.” ~ (Brené Brown).

42. “Don’t try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.” ~ (Brené Brown).

43. “The willingness to show up changes us, It makes us a little braver each time.” ~ (Brené Brown).

44. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

45. “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” ~ (Brené Brown).

46. “What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

47. “At the end of my life I want to be able to say I contributed more than I criticized.” ~ (Brené Brown).

48. “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” ~ (Brené Brown).

49. “When you numb your pain you also numb your joy.” ~ (Brené Brown).

50. “What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.” ~ (Brené Brown).

Powerful Brené Brown Quotes

51. “When we lose our tolerance for vulnerability, joy becomes foreboding.” ~ (Brené Brown).

52. “Our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self acceptance.” ~ (Brené Brown).

53. “Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?” ~ (Brené Brown).

54. “There is no such thing as creative and non-creative people, only people who use their creativity and people who don’t.” ~ (Brené Brown).

55. “The only unique contribution that we will ever make in this world will be born of our creativity.” ~ (Brené Brown).

56. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

57. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

58. “If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging.” ~ (Brené Brown).

59. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

60. “The most powerful teaching moments are the ones where you screw up.” ~ (Brené Brown).

Famous Brené Brown Quotes

61. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

62. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

63. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

64. “Vulnerability is not about fear and grief and disappointment; it is the birthplace of everything we’re hungry for.” ~ (Brené Brown).

65. “I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments, gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

66. “Knowledge is only rumor until it lives in the bones.” ~ (Brené Brown).

67. “If we want to cultivate hopefulness, we have to be willing to be flexible and demonstrate perseverance. Not every goal will look and feel the same. Tolerance for disappointment, determination, and a belief in self are the heart of hope.” ~ (Brené Brown).

68. “Unused creativity is not benign.” ~ (Brené Brown).

69. “We’re all so busy chasing the extraordinary that we forget to stop and be grateful for the ordinary.” ~ (Brené Brown).

70. “We can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly.” ~ (Brené Brown).

71. “Guilt is just as powerful, but its influence is positive, while shame’s is destructive. Shame erodes our courage and fuels disengagement.” ~ (Brené Brown).

72. “You cannot talk about race without talking about privilege. And when people start talking about privilege, they get paralyzed by shame.” ~ (Brené Brown).

73. “We’re a nation of exhausted and over-stressed adults raising over-scheduled children.” ~ (Brené Brown).

74. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

Inspirational Brené Brown Quotes

75. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

76. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

77. “Talk about your failures without apologizing.” ~ (Brené Brown).

78. “For me, the opposite of scarcity is not abundance. It’s enough. I’m enough. My kids are enough.” ~ (Brené Brown).

79. “I’m just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.” ~ (Brené Brown).

80. “We’re a nation hungry for more joy: Because we’re starving from a lack of gratitude.” ~ (Brené Brown).

81. “A good life happens when you stop and are grateful for the ordinary moments that so many of us just steamroll over to try to find those extraordinary moments.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

82. “Vulnerability is not weakness. And that myth is profoundly dangerous.” ~ (Brené Brown).

83. “I now see how gifts like courage, compassion, and connection only work when they are exercised. Every day.” ~ (Brené Brown).

84. “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.” ~ (Brené Brown).

85. “We cannot give our children what we don’t have.” ~ (Brené Brown).

86. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

87. “Feeling vulnerable, imperfect, and afraid is human. It’s when we lose our capacity to hold space for these struggles that we become dangerous.” ~ (Brené Brown).

88. “Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.” ~ (Brené Brown).

89. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

90. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

91. “We cannot give our children what we don’t have. Where we are on our journey of living and loving with our whole hearts is a much stronger indicator of parenting success than anything we can learn from how-to books.” ~ (Brené Brown).

92. “Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.” ~ (Brené Brown).

Popular Brené Brown Quotes

93. “Who we are matters immeasurably more than what we know or who we want to be.” ~ (Brené Brown).

94. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

95. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

96. “Connection gives purpose and meaning to our lives.” ~ (Brené Brown).

97. “The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button.” ~ (Brené Brown).

98. “I’m never more courageous than when I’m embracing imperfection, embracing vulnerabilities, and setting boundaries with the people in my life.” ~ (Brené Brown).

99. “We have to be women we want our daughters to be.” ~ (Brené Brown).

100. “Courage is telling our story, not being immune to criticism.” ~ (Brené Brown).

101. “I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” ~ (Brené Brown).

102. “Laughter, song, and dance create emotional and spiritual connection; they remind us of the one thing that truly matters when we are searching for comfort, celebration, inspiration, or healing: We are not alone.” ~ (Brené Brown).

103. “The truth is, rarely can a response make something better – what makes something better is connection.” ~ (Brené Brown).

104. “Rest and play, are as vital to our health as nutrition and exercise.” ~ (Brené Brown).

105. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

106. “We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

107. “Tell your story with your whole heart.” ~ (Brené Brown).

108. “That’s what life is about: about daring greatly, about being in the arena.” ~ (Brené Brown).

109. “Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy and gratitude into our lives.” ~ (Brené Brown).

110. “What’s worth doing even if you fail?” ~ (Brené Brown).

111. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

112. “The question isn’t so much, Are you parenting the right way? as it is: Are you the adult you want your child to grow up to be?” ~ (Brené Brown).

113. “Hope is a function of struggle.” ~ (Brené Brown).

Inspiring Brené Brown Quotes

114. “Wholehearted living is not like trying to reach a destination. It’s like walking toward a star in the sky. We never really ‘arrive,’ but we certainly know that we’re heading in the right direction.” ~ (Brené Brown).

115. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

116. “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.” ~ (Brené Brown).

117. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

118. “Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from taking flight.” ~ (Brené Brown).

119. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

120. “The opposite of play is not work – the opposite of play is depression.” ~ (Brené Brown).

121. “Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experience.” ~ (Brené Brown).

122. “You can’t get to courage without walking through vulnerability.” ~ (Brené Brown).

123. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

124. “If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.” ~ (Brené Brown).

125. “We are a culture of people who’ve bought into the idea that if we stay busy enough, the truth of our lives won’t catch up with us.” ~ (Brené Brown).

126. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

127. “If we can’t stand up to the never good enough and who do you think you are? we can’t move forward.” ~ (Brené Brown).

128. “We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

129. “Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.” ~ (Brené Brown).

130. “I don’t just want someone who says they love me; I want someone who practices that love for me every day.” ~ (Brené Brown).

131. “The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: me too.” ~ (Brené Brown).

132. “When failure is not an option, we can forget about creativity, learning, and innovation.” ~ (Brené Brown).

133. “Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.” ~ (Brené Brown).

134. “There’s nothing more daring than showing up, putting ourselves out there and letting ourselves be seen.” ~ (Brené Brown).

Inspirational Brené Brown Quotes

135. “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.” ~ (Brené Brown).

136. “Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.” ~ (Brené Brown).

137. “Perfectionism is self destructive simply because there’s no such thing as perfect. Perfection is an unattainable goal.” ~ (Brené Brown).

138. “Connection, the ability to feel connected, is neurobiologically wired, that’s why we’re here!” ~ (Brené Brown).

139. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

140. “How can we embrace rest and play if we’ve tied our self-worth to what we produce?” ~ (Brené Brown).

141. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

142. “Hope is not an emotion; it’s a way of thinking or a cognitive process.” ~ (Brené Brown).

143. “Numb the dark and you numb the light.” ~ (Brené Brown).

144. “Joy comes to us in moments – ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.” ~ (Brené Brown).

  • Save

145. “Shame cannot survive being spoken. It cannot survive empathy.” ~ (Brené Brown).

146. “Knowledge is important, but only if we’re being kind and gentle with ourselves as we work to discover who we are.” ~ (Brené Brown).

147. “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.” ~ (Brené Brown).

148. “Daring greatly means the courage to be vulnerable. It means to show up and be seen. To ask for what you need. To talk about how you’re feeling. To have the hard conversations.” ~ (Brené Brown).

149. “You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” ~ (Brené Brown).

149. “You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” ~ (Brené Brown).

150. “You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” ~ (Brené Brown).

151. “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” ~ (Brené Brown).

You Might Like: