Brené Brown

US writer and professor

Casandra Brené Brown (born November 18, 1965) is an American research professor, lecturer, author, and podcast host. Brown is known in particular for her research on shame, vulnerability, and leadership. A long-time researcher and academic, Brown became famous following a widely viewed TED talk in 2010. Since then she has written six number-one New York Times bestselling books, hosts two podcasts and has filmed a lecture for Netflix. Brown holds the Huffington Foundation's Brené Brown Endowed Chair at the University of Houston's Graduate College of Social Work and is a visiting professor in management at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

Brené Brown in 2012


  • ‘Crazy-busy’ is a great armor, it’s a great way for numbing. What a lot of us do is that we stay so busy, and so out in front of our life, that the truth of how we’re feeling and what we really need can’t catch up with us.
  • ...the biggest mistake people make is not acknowledging fear and uncertainty.
  • Healthy striving is about striving for internal goals, and wanting to be our best selves. Perfectionism is not motivated internally. Perfectionism is about what people will think. And you do not see effective leaders in corporations sitting on an email for three hours to make sure it’s worded just perfectly. You don’t. They have work to get done..You don’t see elite athletes letting themselves be discouraged by a bad workout or a single bad performance. It happens all the time. They’re accustomed to winning, they’re accustomed to losing. Once perfectionism becomes the goal, they’re out of the sport.
  • Belonging is not fitting in...Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you're enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect. When we don't have that, we shape-shift and turn into chameleons; we hustle for the worthiness we already possess.
  • The thing that I have learned is that vulnerability is at the center of fear and shame, but it is also at the center of joy and gratitude and love and belonging...If we continue to wake up every day and put our game faces on and think that invulnerability is the way to be … then we pay the price, because I don't know that we would ever fully experience joy and love and belonging.
  • Shame hates to have words wrapped around it. If we talk about it, it loses its grip on us.

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience (2021)

  • Science is not the truth. Science is finding the truth. When science changes its opinion, it didn’t lie to you. It learned more.
  • Avoidance will make you feel less vulnerable in the short run, but it will never make you less afraid.
  • The near enemy of love is attachment...True love allows, honors, and appreciates; attachment grasps, demands, needs, and aims to possess.
  • People will do almost anything to not feel pain, including causing pain and abusing power
  • I’ve learned that power is not bad, but the abuse of power or using power over others is the opposite of courage; it’s a desperate attempt to maintain a very fragile ego.
  • Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage.
  • Worrying and anxiety go together, but worry is not an emotion; it’s the thinking part of anxiety.
  • When we’re faced with information that challenges what we believe, our first instinct is to make the discomfort, irritation, and vulnerability go away by resolving the dissonance. We might do this by rejecting the new information, decreasing its importance, or avoiding it altogether. “The greater the magnitude of the dissonance, the greater is the pressure to reduce dissonance.” In these challenging moments of dissonance, we need to stay curious and resist choosing comfort over courage. It’s brave to invite new information to the table, to sit with it and hear it out.
  • just as healing physical pain requires describing it, talking about it, and sometimes getting professional help, we need to do the same thing with emotional pain.
  • We have to belong to ourselves as much as we need to belong to others. Any belonging that asks us to betray ourselves is not true belonging.

Quotes about Brené Brown

  • (What’s the last great book you read?) TA: “Daring Greatly,” by Brené Brown! I was really moved by her Netflix special, and listening to her audiobook came at the perfect time in my life. She has a way of perfectly describing some of the most intimate human emotions and experiences, and she provides concrete, actionable solutions. She gave me a new level of self-awareness that’s helped me navigate my life in a meaningful way, so I’m a big fan.
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