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Brené Brown is the world’s #1 researcher on shame, vulnerability, and courage. An American professor, author, and podcaster born in 1965, Brené’s work first received widespread public attention after her 2010 TEDx talk on “the power of vulnerability.” If you’re looking for the best Brené Brown quotes from her books and talks, you’ve come to the right place!
Despite covering important topics that affect all of us, Brené’s research initially wasn’t super popular among her academic peers. After her TED talk went viral, however, it became clear that mainstream demand to learn more about shame and vulnerability was huge. That’s why Brené started publishing books , and so far, 6 of her 8 main titles have become major bestsellers.
To give you an overview of her work and best ideas, we’ve compiled the most popular Brené Brown quotes for you in an organized list. Besides the top 10 lines based on reader votes, we’ve also included the top 5 quotes from 7 of her books each, as well as some custom-designed images for you to share your favorites on social media.
Navigating this list is as easy as clicking on the section that most interests you in the table of contents below. To share any quote, just highlight the text, and sharing options will appear. You can also use the images towards the end of this list.
Now, without further ado, let’s jump into the best quotes from Brené Brown!
1. “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.”
13. “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.’”
15. “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.”
29. “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.”
31. “Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.”
33. “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.”
39. “If you are not in the arena getting your ass kicked on occasion, I’m not interested in or open to your feedback. There are a million cheap seats in the world today filled with people who will never be brave with their lives but who will spend every ounce of energy they have hurling advice and judgment at those who dare greatly. Their only contributions are criticism, cynicism, and fearmongering. If you’re criticizing from a place where you’re not also putting yourself on the line, I’m not interested in what you have to say. ”
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