25 Popular Brené Brown Quotes on Empathy, Shame, and Trust

Here at The Daily Shifts, we absolutely love Brené Brown and her quotes. She’s an amazing research professor who has spent the last 20 years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Oh, and not to mention, she’s a five-time New York Times bestselling author.

We’ve compiled some of our favorite Brené Brown quotes from her books and speeches that will inspire you to go out there and be the best person you can possibly be.

Without further adieu, here are 25 of the best Brené Brown quotes.

Brené Brown on Empathy

“Courage gives us a voice and compassion gives us an ear. Without both, there is no opportunity for empathy and connection.”

“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”

“Self-kindness is self-empathy.”

“Empathy has no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone.’”

Brené Brown on Shame

“We desperately don’t want to experience shame, and we’re not willing to talk about it. Yet the only way to resolve shame is to talk about it. Maybe we’re afraid of topics like love and shame. Most of us like safety, certainty, and clarity. Shame and love are grounded in vulnerability and tenderness.”

“If you put shame in a petri dish, it needs three ingredients to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in the petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive.”

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

If you want more Brené Brown quotes and wisdom about shame, check out her 2012 TED Talk all about shame. We can't recommend it enough!

Brené Brown on Leadership from Dare to Lead

“I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.”

“We desperately need more leaders who are committed to courageous, wholehearted leadership and who are self-aware enough to lead from their hearts, rather than unevolved leaders who lead from hurt and fear.”

“Daring leaders work to make sure people can be themselves and feel a sense of belonging.”

“Our ability to be daring leaders will never be greater than our capacity for vulnerability.”

“A brave leader is someone who says I see you. I hear you. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m going to keep listening and asking questions.”

Can’t get enough of Brené Brown on leadership? We suggest checking out her book Dare To Lead for endless amazing Brené Brown quotes about leadership, no matter what career path you’re in. Her Dare To Lead podcast is pretty awesome, too.

Brene Brown on Vulnerability

“Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.”

“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.”

For more Brené Brown vulnerability quotes and wisdom about vulnerability, check out her life-changing TED Talk about the power of vulnerability.

Brene Brown on Trust

“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.”

“We need to trust to be vulnerable, and we need to be vulnerable in order to build trust.”

“Trust is a product of vulnerability that grows over time and requires work, attention, and full engagement. Trust isn’t a grand gesture—it’s a growing marble collection.”

For more Brené Brown quotes about trust, check out her Super Souls Sessions: The Anatomy of Trust.

Brené Brown on Boundaries

“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.”

“Living a connected life ultimately is about setting boundaries, spending less time and energy hustling and winning over people who don’t matter, and seeing the value of working on cultivating a connection with family and close friends.”

“I assumed that people weren’t doing their best so I judged them and constantly fought being disappointed, which was easier than setting boundaries. Boundaries are hard when you want to be liked and when you are a pleaser hellbent on being easy, fun, and flexible.”

“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.”

Brené Brown on Courage

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”

“Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

“Courage is not staying quiet about things that make us uncomfortable.”

For more Brené Brown quotes on courage, check out her Netflix special, Brené Brown: The Call to Courage.


Feeling inspired by these Brené Brown quotes? Want to make even more positive changes in your life and continue to work on self-improvement? Try taking our ultimate 21-day challenge to get your life on track. The 21 steps will help you reset your life and better yourself physically and mentally. You can also check out our master class to rebuild your life from the inside out, and last but not least, use our app to help you build healthy habits every day.

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