Brene Brown has to be my favourite introvert.  That’s right – Brene Brown is an introvert!

She has spent over 20 years studying courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy.  Her studies lead her to write several books that are really about what it takes to lead your life to the fullest it can be.

While she doesn’t always talk directly about joy and happiness, if you read her books and take her advice, it will lead you to a life of happiness.  Here are some of my favourite quotes from her books:

Brene Brown Quotes on Self-Acceptance

1. “The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.”

2. “Often the result of daring greatly isn’t a victory march as much as it is a quiet sense of freedom mixed with a little battle fatigue.”

3. “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.”

4. “What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think – or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?”

5. “The new cultural belief that everything should be fun, fast, and easy is inconsistent with hopeful thinking. It also sets us up for hopelessness. When we experience something that is difficult and requires significant time and effort, we are quick to think, This is supposed to be easy; it’s not worth the effort, or, This should be easier: it’s only hard and slow because I’m not good at it. Hopeful self-talk sounds more like, This is tough, but I can do it.” – from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection

6. “I am enough” – from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection

7. “Sometimes when we dare to walk into the arena the greatest critic we face is ourselves.” – from her book, Daring Greatly

8. “When you judge yourself for needing help, you judge those you are helping. When you attach value to giving help, you attach value to needing help. The danger of tying your self-worth to being a helper is feeling shame when you have to ask for help. Offering help is courageous and compassionate, but so is asking for help.” – from her book, Rising Strong

Brene Brown Quotes on Joy and Gratitude

1. “I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”

2. “There is no joy without gratitude.”

3. “We hold the key to lasting happiness in our own hands. For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”

4. “Twinkle lights are the perfect metaphor for joy. Joy is not a constant. It comes to us in moments – often ordinary moments. Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we’re too busy chasing down extraordinary moments. Other times we’re so afraid of the dark that we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light. I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, inspiration and faith.”

5. “We’re a nation hungry for more joy: Because we’re starving from a lack of gratitude.” – from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection

6. “I never talk about gratitude and joy separately, for this reason. In 12 years, I’ve never interviewed a single person who would describe their lives as joyful, who would describe themselves as joyous, who was not actively practicing gratitude.”

7. “Joy comes to us in moments—ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary. Scarcity culture may keep us afraid of living small, ordinary lives, but when you talk to people who have survived great losses, it is clear that joy is not a constant.” – from her book, Daring Greatly

Ready to start your gratitude practice? Get started today with this 62-page gratitude journal – available now in my Etsy shop. It’s designed to help you cherish the good times, learn from bad experiences and ensure that your actions are aligned with your priorities. 

Gratitude journal available in my Etsy shop "BuildingJoyHappiness"

Brene Brown Quotes on Connection

1. “Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.”

2. “Connection is why we’re here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.” – from her book, Daring Greatly

3. “When we stop caring about what people think, we lose our capacity for connection. When we become defined by what people think, we lose our willingness to be vulnerable.”

4. “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 connection with family and close friends.” – from her book, Daring Greatly

5. “When I let go of trying to be everything to everyone, I had much more time, attention, love, and connection for the important people in my life.” – from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection

6. “Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow,” – from her book, Daring Greatly

7. “If connection is the energy that surges between people, we have to remember that those surges must travel in both directions.” – from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection

Brene Brown Quotes on Vulnerability and Compassion

1. “Joy is vulnerable – that’s why we’re afraid to let ourselves feel it. Don’t squander joyful moments by waiting for the other shoe to drop. Lean in and practice gratitude.”

2. “The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.” – from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection

3. “When we feel good about the choices we’re making and when we’re engaging with the world from a place of worthiness rather than scarcity, we feel no need to judge and attack.” – from her book, Daring Greatly

4. “When we’re kind to ourselves, we create a reservoir of compassion that we can extend to others. Our children learn how to be self-compassionate by watching us, and the people around us feel free to be authentic and connected.” – from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection

5. “Compassion is not a virtue — it is a commitment. It’s not something we have or don’t have — it’s something we choose to practice.” – from her book, I Thought It Was Just Me

6. “It’s only in the last few years that I’ve learned that playing down the exciting stuff doesn’t take the pain away when it doesn’t happen. It also creates a lot of isolation. Once you’ve diminished the importance of something, your friends are not likely to call and say, “I’m sorry that didn’t work out. I know you were excited about it.” – from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection

7. “To practice courage, compassion, and connection is to look at life and the people around us, and say, “I’m all in.” – from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection

8. “Joy is probably the most vulnerable emotion we experience in our lives.” – from her book, Braving the Wilderness

Brene Brown Quotes on Finding Yourself

1. “Stay in your lane. Comparison kills creativity and joy.” – from her book, Rising Strong

2. “People may call what happens at midlife “a crisis,” but it’s not. It’s an unraveling—a time when you feel a desperate pull to live the life you want to live, not the one you’re “supposed” to live. The unraveling is a time when you are challenged by the universe to let go of who you think you are supposed to be and to embrace who you are.” – from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection

3. “If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.”

4. “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” – from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection

5. “Don’t try to win over the haters; you’re not the jackass whisperer.” – from her book, Daring Greatly

6. “What we know matters, but who we are matters more.” – from her book, Daring Greatly

7. “We don’t want to be uncomfortable. We want a quick and dirty “how-to” list for happiness. I don’t fit that bill. Never have. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to skip over the hard stuff, but it just doesn’t work. We don’t change, we don’t grow, and we don’t move forward without the work. If we really want to live a joyful, connected, and meaningful life, we must talk about things that get in the way.” – from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection

8. “We are not here to fit in, be well balanced, or provide exempla for others. We are here to be eccentric, different, perhaps strange, perhaps merely to add our small piece, our little clunky, chunky selves, to the great mosaic of being. As the gods intended, we are here to become more and more ourselves.” – from her book, Dare to Lead

Brene Brown Quotes on Perfection and Failure

1. “Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect.”

2. “What would you be glad you did–even if you failed?”

3. “Talk about your failures without apologizing.”

4. “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.” – from her book, Daring Greatly

5. “Perfectionism is self destructive simply because there’s no such thing as perfect. Perfection is an unattainable goal.” – from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection

6. “Just because we didn’t measure up to some standard of achievement doesn’t mean that we don’t possess gifts and talents that only we can bring to the world. Just because someone failed to see the value in what we can create or achieve doesn’t change its worth or ours.” – from her book, Rising Strong

7. “When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make. Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience.” – from her book, Daring Greatly

8. “The imperfect book that gets published is better than the perfect book that never leaves my computer.” – from her book, Daring Greatly

9. “Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am brave and worthy of love and belonging.” – from her book, Rising Strong

10. “Perfectionism is not a way to avoid shame. Perfectionism is a form of shame.” – from her book, Daring Greatly

What’s your favourite Brene Brown quote?

Until my next blog post, here’s wishing you lots of joy and happiness!
With love,



Hi! I'm Joanne. I’m a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA). Money management is a life skill that I passionately believe all people need to learn. As an accountant, I love helping people understand numbers and money. At BuildingJoyAndHappiness, I share my tips to money management and make understanding finances simple.

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