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born 1965

Texas social worker Brené Brown never planned to become an expert on vulnerability ~ in fact, she set out to beat it. But, after six long years of research and countless interviews, she conceded defeat. And, shared her own struggles with admitting weakness in a revealing 2010 TED talk that went viral. "I lost the fight," she said, "but I probably won my life back."

Today, the University of Houston research professor continues to help others win their lives back by preaching the importance of embracing vulnerability + accepting our imperfections. One of the key tools of Brené's trade? Storytelling.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Brené Brown (26)

"One of the best pieces of advice that my dad has given me is this: 'You can’t parent perfectly; your only measure of success is your children’s ability to parent even better than you and your willingness to support them in that process.'"

like father, like daughter | april 2010

"People who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they're worthy of love and belonging. That's it."

The Power of Vulnerability | june 2010

"When we work from a place 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."

The Power of Vulnerability | june 2010

"Maybe stories are just data with a soul."

The Power of Unvulnerability | june 2010

"Wholehearted living is not a onetime choice. It is a process. In fact, I believe it's the journey of a lifetime."

The Gifts of Imperfection | september 2010

"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."

The Gifts of Imperfection | september 2010

"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 Gifts of Imperfection | september 2010

"Shame is that warm feeling that washes over us, making us feel small, flawed, and never good enough."

The Gifts of Imperfection | september 2010

"Shame needs three things to grow out of control in our lives: secrecy, silence, and judgment."

The Gifts of Imperfection | september 2010

"Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we're supposed to be and embracing who we are."

The Gifts of Imperfection | september 2010

"Courage is contagious."

The Gifts of Imperfection | september 2010

"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."

The Gifts of Imperfection | september 2010

"We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong."

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are | september 2010

"My entire academic career I was surrounded by people who kind of believed in the 'life's messy, love it.' And I'm more of the, 'life's messy, clean it up, organize it and put it into a bento box'."

The Power of Vulnerability | december 2010

"When you lose your capacity to care what other people think, you've lost your ability to connect. But when you're defined by it, you've lost your ability to be vulnerable."

Being vulnerable about vulnerability | march 2012

"Raising children who are hopeful and who have the courage to be vulnerable means stepping back and letting them experience disappointment, deal with conflict, learn how to assert themselves, and have the opportunity to fail."

Daring Greatly | september 2012

"We’re all grateful for people who write and speak in ways that help us remember that we’re not alone."

Daring Greatly | september 2012

"Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it's understanding the necessity of both."

Daring Greatly | january 2013

"Divinity is a carpool line."

Brené Brown: Have the courage to be imperfect | march 2013

"If you are not in the arena getting your butt kicked on occasion, I'm not interested in your feedback."

Dr. Brene Brown's Vulnerability Breakdown | march 2013

"Cool is the emotional straightjacket. It makes us less available for connection which makes us less equipped for leadership roles."

Find Your Own Strength | september 2013

"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."

The Power of Shame on Women Living on the Brink | february 2014

"When confronted with a stranger's unimaginable pain...choose courage."

Choose Courage | august 2014

"It’s difficult to respond to the tragedies of strangers—even those we think we know—because we will never have access to the whole truth. In the absence of information, we make up stories, stories that often turn out to be our own biographies, not theirs."

Choose Courage | august 2014

"Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we're all in this together."

The Gifts of Imperfection | august 2014

"Stay in your own lane. Focusing on what’s next to you, or who’s next to you, takes away your joy."

Guidance for the negative thinker in all of us | august 2015
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curated with care by Kathleen Murray