The Power of Vulnerability

I have been listening to Renè Brown’s audiobook, The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection, and Courage (which is three of her books in one teaching).

Maybe you’ve heard some buzz about this book. Maybe you’ve heard about one of her TED talks that have 20 million views. Maybe you’ve heard someone you admire recommend it (Seth Godin, for me). The book is better than you’ve heard.

This is the best teaching on how to live that I have heard.

Here are some notes/quotes:

She says everyone has story that will break your heart. And if you listen long enough everyone has a story that will bring you to your knees. No one rides for free.

Love and belonging are the two greatest human needs. Ironically, trying to fit in keeps a person from experiencing true belonging.

A deficiency world-view vs a surplus world-view. Being asked to do more with less is deficiency. Most people wake up in the morning, and their first thought is: I didn’t get enough sleep. And their last thought at night is: I didn’t get enough done. This mindset that there is never enough. That I am not enough.

How-to doesn’t work. If how to worked, we wouldn’t be the the most overweight, depressed, medicated, fearful culture on the planet.

Only truth works. Only kindness saves.

Knowing self is important. How we treat ourselves is more important.

(Guess what? I do most of the things wholehearted people do!)

Shame vs guilt. Shame is terrible. It is trauma. Guilt can be good. Shame is: “I am a mistake.” Guilt is: “I made a mistake.”

There is no area where we are judged more than our parenting.

Exhaustion is not a badge of honor in being overwork is not self-esteem.

When your child walks into the room you light up or do you become the instant critic?

There can be no access to empathy without vulnerability.

Vulnerability is the pathway to everything good love creativity empathy belonging etc.

Empathy. (My thoughts!)

Midlife: when the Universe grabs your shoulders and tells you “I’m not f-ing around, use the gifts you were given.”

Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.

When we lose our ability to be vulnerable, we lose joy. Joy is replaced with foreboding.


Find joy in small places.

The other shoe will drop (Is that true?). Our tolerance for vulnerability.

Some people never go all in. They hold back. Don’t get excited. It is easier to live disappointed than be disappointed. 

Here’s her vulnerability TED talk:



  1. I found myself shaking my head, “yes,” and saying, “Wow,” every step of the way. Thank you so much for your comments and quotes and common sense. They were all excellent… this quote especially will stay with me: “She says everyone has story that will break your heart. And if you listen long enough everyone has a story that will bring you to your knees. No one rides for free.” So true in many ways 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s