July 25, 2024



By Carmen Greger

Courage & Vulnerability are two words that are often seen as polar opposites, but Brene’ Brown reminds us that in reality, they are deeply intertwined. In fact, vulnerability requires courage, and showing courage requires vulnerability. These two concepts are essential to personal growth, resilience, creativity, and success, and are deeply rooted in our ability to show up authentically in the world.

The intersection of, and symbiotic relationship between, Courage & Vulnerability is the inspired, potent and vital backbone of Brene’ Brown’s unique, extensive and empowering teachings.

Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston and a renowned speaker on the topics of vulnerability, courage, and shame, has extensively researched the topic of vulnerability and its relationship with courage.

Her Call to Courage talk, a must-watch available on Netflix, HBOmax, and YouTube, is a testament to the power of vulnerability and courage, and their equal importance in achieving our goals and living our best lives.

According to Brown, “Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our most accurate measure of courage.” Her powerful statement challenges the ‘norm’ and highlights the fact that vulnerability is not about being weak or submissive. It’s about being authentic and honest, even when it’s uncomfortable. It’s about allowing ourselves to be seen and heard, and embracing the discomfort and uncertainty that comes with it.

Brene’ emphasizes the importance of leaning into vulnerability, even when it feels scary or uncertain. She reminds us that vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change, and that it’s essential to personal and professional growth.

She encourages us to show up authentically in the world, and to be true to ourselves and our values, even when it means taking risks or facing criticism.

“I believe you have to walk through vulnerability to get to courage”- Brene’ Brown

Of course, vulnerability is not easy. It takes courage to be vulnerable, to share our stories, and to be open to feedback and criticism. It takes courage to take risks, to step into the unknown, and to embrace uncertainty. But, as Brown reminds us, courage is not the absence of fear. It’s the willingness to show up and be seen, even when we are afraid.

According to Brown, “The willingness to show up changes us. It makes us a little braver each time.” This statement highlights the fact that vulnerability and courage are not just one-time events. They are ongoing processes that require practice and perseverance. Each time we choose vulnerability and courage, we become a little stronger, a little more resilient, and a little more authentic.

In her talk, Brown shares a powerful story about her own experience with vulnerability and courage. Early in her career, she was asked to give a talk on vulnerability, but felt scared and unsure of herself. Rather than backing down, she chose to embrace vulnerability and show courage by sharing her own story of shame and self-doubt. This act of vulnerability and courage helped her connect with her audience on a much deeper, supremely authentic level, and ultimately led to her success as a speaker and world renowned researcher on courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy.

Brown’s story is a powerful reminder that vulnerability and courage are not only important for personal growth, but also for professional success. When we are willing to be vulnerable and show courage in the workplace, we are more likely to build strong relationships, foster innovation and creativity, and achieve our goals.

“Courage over Comfort”- Brene’ Brown

In addition to being essential for personal and professional growth, vulnerability and courage have many other benefits. They help us to connect with others on a deeper level, to empathize with their struggles, and to build strong and meaningful relationships. They also help us to be more resilient in the face of adversity, to bounce back from failure and setbacks, and to learn from our mistakes.

On page 233 of her book “Daring Greatly”, Brenee’ offers a beautiful and important reminder of how we as adults must lead by example so that our youth will comprehend their own sense of worthiness and unconditional belonging; Here is the inspiring excerpt:

“If we want to cultivate worthiness in our children, we need to make sure they know that the belong and that their belonging is unconditional. What makes that such a challenge is that most of us struggle to feel a sense of belonging- to know that we’re a part of something, not despite our vulnerabilities, but because of them. We can’t give our children what we don’t have, which means we have to work to cultivate a sense of belonging alongside our children”.  

Ultimately, vulnerability and courage are essential to living our best lives and becoming our most actualized selves. When we are willing to be vulnerable and show courage, we open ourselves up to new experiences, new ideas, and new opportunities that can help us learn and grow.

We become more authentic, more compassionate, and more resilient, and we are better able to live in alignment with our values and purpose. We also become more capable of facing challenges and adversity with grace and determination.

One of the most important benefits of vulnerability and courage is that they help us to break free from limiting beliefs and patterns that hold us back from becoming our best selves.

As Brown reminds us, “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.”

By allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and show courage, we give ourselves permission to step into our authenticity and highest version of ourselves. We become more aligned with our values, and more capable of living our lives with purpose and intention. We also become more compassionate and empathetic towards others, and better able to create positive change in the world.

Courage and vulnerability are two of the most important concepts in the field of personal growth and development. They are deeply intertwined, and essential to personal and professional success.

By embracing vulnerability and showing courage, we become more authentic, more resilient, and more capable of achieving our goals and living our best lives. As Brown reminds us, “There is no innovation and creativity without vulnerability. Period.”

So, if you’re ready to step into your authenticity and become your most actualized self, embrace vulnerability and show courage (and be sure to check Brene’s Call to Courage talk!). Allow yourself to be seen and heard, and trust that you have the strength and resilience to handle whatever comes your way. Remember that vulnerability is not weakness, but a measure of, and a doorway to, courage, and that showing up fully, consistently, authentically and wholeheartedly in the world can lead to profound personal and professional growth.