Brown at the Texas Conference for Women (2012)
November 18, 1965 |
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
|Spouse||Steve Alley (m. 1994)|
Brené Brown (born November 18, 1965) is an American scholar, author, and public speaker, who is currently a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Over the last twelve years she has been involved in research on a range of topics, including vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. She is the author of two #1 New York Times Bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection (2010) and Daring Greatly (2012). She and her work have been featured on PBS, NPR, TED, and CNN.
Early life and education
Brown was born in San Antonio, Texas. She completed her Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) at University of Texas at Austin, followed by a Master of Social Work (MSW) and Ph.D. from the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston.
Brown began her career as a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Her research focuses on authentic leadership and wholeheartedness in families, schools, and organizations. She presented a 2012 TED talk and two 2010 TEDx talks.
Brown is the author of I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power (Penguin/Gotham, 2007), The Gifts of Imperfection: Letting Go of Who We Think We Should Be and Embracing Who We Are (Hazelden, 2010), and Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown (Gotham, 2012). Her articles have appeared in many national newspapers.
In March 2013, she appeared on Super Soul Sunday talking with Oprah Winfrey about her new book, Daring Greatly. The title of the book comes from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech “Citizenship in a Republic”, which is also referred as "The Man in the Arena" speech, given at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, on April 23, 1910.
Brown is the CEO and Chief Learning Officer for The Daring Way, a training and certification program for helping professionals who want to facilitate her work on vulnerability, courage and worthiness.
Courage to be Vulnerable
Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness but it is also the birthplace of joy and creativity, of belonging, and of love. Brown asserts that we learned to protect ourselves from vulnerability-from being hurt, diminished, or disappointed-by putting on emotional armor and acting invulnerable when we were children. Brown finds three main “vulnerability shields.”
Foreboding instead of joy. When individuals start to feel joy, we wait for the other shoe to drop. We believe that when things are going well, disaster must be right around the corner. Practicing gratitude, joy is an invitation to acknowledge how truly grateful we are. Research participants consistently linked joy with gratitude, and saw gratitude as a spiritual practice that is associated to human connectedness and a greater power. Perfectionism, as Brown describes as the two hundred pound shield, is a self-destructive and addictive belief system. We think that if we are perfect, we can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame. Numbing is another shield, as in numbing ourselves emotionally. The need for numbing comes from the intolerable feelings of shame, anxiety, and disconnection. The reason for individual’s intolerance for vulnerability is scarcity, because of the “never enough” culture she claims people live in.
Defining vulnerability “as exposure, uncertainty, and emotional risk,” Brown maintains that this feeling is the crux of most of individuals meaningful experiences. Ultimately, she writes, it is not a weakness; everyone is vulnerable, everyone needs support from friends and family. Trust and vulnerability go hand in hand. Brown believes it is essential to expose oneself to a wide range of feelings in order to combat shame, break down the walls of perfectionism and stop the act of disengagement that separates many from themselves and others. Gaining a sense of courage and learn how to create meaningful connection. “Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgment and advice,” (Brown) she writes, “we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly.” (Brown)
Honors and awards
Houston Woman Magazine voted Brown one of the most influential women of 2009. Her 2010 Ted Talk is one of the most watched talks on the Ted.com website. She has received numerous teaching awards including the Graduate College of Social Work's Outstanding Faculty Award.
- Brown, B. (2012): Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. New York City, NY: Gotham
- Brown, B. (2010): The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Center City, MN: Hazelden.
- Brown, B. (2009): Connections: A 12-Session Psychoeducational Shame-Resilience Curriculum. Center City, MN: Hazelden.
- Brown, B. (2007): I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power. New York:Penguin/Gotham.
- Brown, B. (2007): Feminist Standpoint Theory. In S.P.Robbins, P.Chatterjee & E.R.Canda (Eds.), Contemporary human behavior theory: A critical perspective for social work (Rev. ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
- Brown, B. (2007): Shame Resilience Theory. In S.P.Robbins, P.Chatterjee & E.R.Canda (Eds.), Contemporary human behavior theory: A critical perspective for social work (Rev. ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
- University of Houston profile
- PBS, NPR
- "Brene Brown Story". University of Houston. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- "Tiptoeing Out of One’s Comfort Zone (and of Course, Back In)". Interview with Brown, New York Times February 11, 2011.
- TEDx Houston speaker descriptions including Brené Brown
- TEDx talk: The Power of Vulnerability - Brené Brown, June 2010
- TEDx Kansas City Aug 12 2010 - Brené Brown
- TED description of speaker Brené Brown
- TED talk "Listening to shame" - Brené Brown. March 2012
- Brené Brown's Biography
- Brown, B. (2010). The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Center City, MN: Hazelden.
- "Coming Up Sunday: Dr. Brené Brown on Daring Greatly". OWN. 03/11/2013. Check date values in:
- Schawbel, Dan (2013-04-21). "Brene Brown: How Vulnerability Can Make Our Lives Better". Forbes. Retrieved 2013-09-16.
- Schawbel, Dan (April 21, 2013). "Brene Brown: How Vulnerability Can Make Our Lives Better". Forbes. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- "Brene Brown". Hazeldon. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- Brown, B. (2008). Profile
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Brené Brown|
- Brené Brown biography on her official website
- Brené Brown blog
- "Brené Brown, Faculty Profile". University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.
- Brown at the “You Are the Pride” Campaign, University of Houston
- Living Smart with Patricia Gras[dead link]
- Brené Brown at TED
- TEDxHouston 2010: "The Power of Vulnerability", June 2010
- TEDxKC 2010: "The Price of Invulnerability", August 2010
- TED2012: "Listening to Shame", March 2012
- Speaker, The UP Experience, Unique Perspectives from Unique People (2009)
- "The Power of Vulnerability" — Brown's talk at the Royal Society of Arts (2013)