20 Inspiring Quotes from “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown


Dr. Brené Brown discovered vulnerability to be one of the most effective reasons for human behavior after much study and research on the subject. “Daring greatly” refers to accepting vulnerability and imperfection in order to live totally and bravely.

We have a basic desire for connection, love, and belonging as humans. Yet we are terrified of rejection and of not being good enough. We strive to hide our weaknesses, but this just leads to a deeper detachment from our families, communities, and jobs. Dr. Brene Brown explores the notion of vulnerability and how embracing it may affect how we live, love, lead, and interact with others, resulting in wholehearted living and rewarding connections, based on 12 years of study. 


Notable quotes

  • “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
  • “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.”
  • “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
  • “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.”
  • “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”
  • “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.”
  • “What we know matters but who we are matters more.”
  • “Numb the dark and you numb the light.”
  • “The willingness to show up changes us, It makes us a little braver each time.”
  • “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.”
  • “Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. The power that connection holds in our lives was confirmed when the main concern about connection emerged as the fear of disconnection; the fear that something we have done or failed to do, something about who we are or where we come from, has made us unlovable and unworthy of connection.”
  • “Even to me the issue of “stay small, sweet, quiet, and modest” sounds like an outdated problem, but the truth is that women still run into those demands whenever we find and use our voices.”
  • “Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.”
  • “The real questions for parents should be: “Are you engaged? Are you paying attention?” If so, plan to make lots of mistakes and bad decisions. Imperfect parenting moments turn into gifts as our children watch us try to figure out what went wrong and how we can do better next time. The mandate is not to be perfect and raise happy children. Perfection doesn’t exist, and I’ve found what makes children happy doesn’t always prepare them to be courageous, engaged adults.”
  • “I only share when I have no unmet needs that I’m trying to fill. I firmly believe that being vulnerable with a larger audience is only a good idea if the healing is tied to the sharing, not to the expectations I might have for the response I get.”
  • “I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. With that definition in mind, let’s think about love. Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow—that’s vulnerability.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  • “I’ve found what makes children happy doesn’t always prepare them to be courageous, engaged adults.”
  • “To love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly.”