Overcoming Vulnerability and Shame with Brene Brown

If you are unfamiliar with the work of Brene Brown (or if you have forgotten her insights), I would highly encourage you to take the time to watch and listen to these messages, and/or consider her book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – a textbook I assign to my doctoral cohort for our course on Leading Missional Organizations.

On how we try to avoid vulnerability:
“We numb vulnerability….You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects, our emotions. You cannot selectively numb. So when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness. And then, we are miserable, and we are looking for purpose and meaning, and then we feel vulnerable, so then we have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. And it becomes this dangerous cycle.”

“Blame is a way to discharge pain and discomfort.”

On raising perfect children:
“That’s not our job. Our job is to look and say, “You know what? You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”


On letting ourselves feel joy:

“Instead of catastrophizing what might happen [we need to learn to say] “I’m just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.” … 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.”

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