When it comes to people who inspire us, here at Silk + Sonder we’re huge fans of Brené Brown. First and foremost, Brown is a researcher who dives deep into important topics like vulnerability, leadership, and shame. Her popular books Dare to Lead, Daring Greatly, Atlas of the Heart, The Gifts of Imperfection, and more have inspired millions of people around the world.
So when it comes to inspirational quotes, it only makes sense that we would refer to Brené Brown quotes over and over again for inspiration. Here are 40 of our favorite quotes from one of the greatest thought leaders of our generation.
1. “You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”
2. "A crisis highlights all of our fault lines. We can pretend that we have nothing to learn, or we can take this opportunity to own the truth and make a better future for ourselves and others."
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. "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."
5. “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”
6. “Trust is earned in the smallest of moments. It is earned not through heroic deeds, or even highly visible actions, but through paying attention, listening, and gestures of genuine care and connection.”
7. “Midlife: when the Universe grabs your shoulders and tells you “I’m not f-ing around, use the gifts you were given.”
8. “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.”
9. “When I let go of trying to be everything to everyone, I had much more time, attention, love, and connection for the important people in my life.”
10. “You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”
11. “What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think – or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?”
12. "I now see that owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do."
13. "We are complex beings who wake up every day and fight against being labeled and diminished with stereotypes and characterizations that don’t reflect our fullness. Yet when we don’t risk standing on our own and speaking out, when the options laid before us force us into the very categories we resist, we perpetuate our own disconnection and loneliness. When we are willing to risk venturing into the wilderness, and even becoming our own wilderness, we feel the deepest connection to our true self and to what matters the most."
14. “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can't survive.”
15. “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.”
16. “The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.”
17. “To see and to be seen. That is the truest nature of love.”
18. “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.”
19. "The only unique contribution that we will ever make in this world will be born of our creativity.”
20. “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.’”
21. "Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are."
22. “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."
23. “Until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.”
24. "We are born makers. We move what we’re learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands."
25. "Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light."
26. “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”
27. “Everyone has a story or a struggle that will break your heart. And, if we’re really paying attention, most people have a story that will bring us to our knees.”
28. “At the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of my life, I want to say that I contributed more than I criticized.”
29. “Compassionate people ask for what they need. They say no when they need to, and when they say yes, they mean it. They're compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment.”
30. "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."
31. “Shame loves perfectionists — it’s so easy to keep us quiet."
32. “There will be times when standing alone feels too hard, too scary, and we’ll doubt our ability to make our way through the uncertainty. Someone, somewhere, will say, ‘Don’t do it. You don’t have what it takes to survive the wilderness.’ This is when you reach deep into your wild heart and remind yourself, ‘I am the wilderness.’”
33. “Hope is a function of struggle.”
34. “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”
35. “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.”
36. “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."
37. “The truth is that falling hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up."
38. “True belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others…It's a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.”
39. “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.”
40. “The opposite of scarcity is not abundance; the opposite of scarcity is simply enough. Empathy is not finite, and compassion is not a pizza with eight slices. When you practice empathy and compassion with someone, there is not less of these qualities to go around. There’s more. Love is the last thing we need to ration in this world.”
Looking for more inspirational quotes? Here are 33 new week quotes for your Monday.