- About -
Brené Brown as a child
Brené Brown Research Storyteller icon
Researcher. Storyteller. Texan.

The official line: I’m a research professor at the University of Houston where I hold the Huffington – Brené Brown Endowed Chair. I’ve spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. I’m the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and Dare to Lead. My most recent book was released in October 2018 and is the culmination of a seven-year study on the future of leadership.

The bottom line: I believe that you have to walk through vulnerability to get to courage, therefore . . . embrace the suck. I try to be grateful every day and my motto right now is “Courage over comfort.” I do NOT believe that cussing and praying are mutually exclusive. And, I absolutely believe that the passing lane is for passing only. I’ve been married to Steve for almost 25 years and we have two amazing kids, Ellen and Charlie, and a weird Bichon named Lucy.

Brené Brown sitting on a bench smiling with cowboy boots on.

My Story

Brené born as a baby in the arms of her mom and dad.
1965
Born in San Antonio, Texas. Thought my name was French until I hitchhiked through Europe after high school and no one in France understood my name. They called me Pamela (from the show Dallas). Sigh.
Brené and Eleanor riding bikes as kids.
1970
Our first BFF is our first true love. Mine was Eleanor. Living in New Orleans!
Sibling photo as kids sitting on a gold sofa.
1974
Oldest of four. Classic over-functioner. Love my brother and sisters!
Brené high school photo
1983
Graduated from high school. 
Brené with short hair and big hoop earrings
1984
No comment.
Brené with big hair in 1986
1986
Discover Shaper spray. The higher the hair, the closer to God.
Brené and Steve when they first met in 1987
1987
Met Steve. Worked nights for AT&T taking customer service calls. In Spanish. 
Brené and Steve holding hands on their wedding day.
1994
Steve and I date off/on for 7 years and get married! 
Brené after her graduation from UT with Steve.
1995
The 12-year plan pays off! I graduate from UT Austin with my BSW. 
Closeup of Brené and Steve in 1996
1996
We move from San Antonio to Houston. I get my MSW from UH and Steve starts pediatric residency.
Ellen as a baby
1999
Ellen is born! Heart grows 2 sizes.
Brené as a professor at UH during graduation.
2002
I finish my Ph.D. and become a professor at UH. Hooding one of my favorite grad students!
Ellen making magic dressed as a fairy.
2003
Ellen keeps making magic.
Cover of Women and Shame
2004
Finish my first book on shame. Can’t get an agent or a publisher so I borrow money and self-publish.
Ellen holding Charlie as a newborn.
2005
Charlie is born! Heart grows 2 more sizes.
Steve holding Charlie as a toddler in 2006.
2006
My guys.
I Thought It Was Just Me book cover
2007
Penguin buys the self-published book, “Women and Shame” and republishes as “I Thought It Was Just Me.”
Young Charlie with a red cowboy hat on.
2008
Mama don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys. 
Brené during her Houston Ted Talk
2010
I give the TedXHouston talk on vulnerability and The Gifts of Imperfection comes out.
Group photo with Daring Greatly shirts on celebrating the books release.
2012
2012 Daring Greatly comes out. This is my amazing class of graduate social workers at UH!
Brené on stage - TED Talk
2012
We launch The Daring Way and I give the TED talk on shame.  
Group photo of the BBEARG team wearing matching Rising Strong shirts to celebrate the books Release.
2015
Rising Strong is released and COURAGEworks is launched.
Brave Leaders Inc logo
2016
I spend most of my time doing leadership development and culture change work. We pilot Brave Leaders Inc.
Braving the Wilderness manuscript on a wood table
2017
Ellen leaves for college, Charlie starts 6th grade, Braving the Wilderness launches and we open The Marble Jar. 
Dare to Lead book by Brené Brown on wood table.
2018
Dare to Lead launches along with the hub and ranks #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list, Publishers Weekly, and The Wall Street Journal. Yee. Haw.
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Welcome to the Wholehearted revolution!

Our revolution is a small, quiet, grassroots movement that starts with each of us saying, “My story matters because I matter.” A movement where we can take to the streets with our messy, imperfect, wild, stretch-marked, wonderful, heartbreaking, grace-filled, and joyful lives. A movement fueled by the freedom that comes when we stop pretending that everything is okay when it isn’t. A call that rises up from our bellies when we find the courage to celebrate those intensely joyful moments even though we’ve convinced ourselves that savoring happiness is inviting disaster.

Revolution might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance. Choosing to live and love with our whole hearts is an act of defiance. You’re going to confuse, piss-off, and terrify lots of people – including yourself.  One minute you’ll pray that the transformation ends, and the next minute you’ll pray that it never ends. You’ll also wonder how you can feel so brave and so afraid at the same time. At least that’s how I feel most of the time . . . brave, afraid, and very, very alive.

Below are some videos that will give you a sense of the work we’re doing together. Again, so glad you’re here.

 

TED Talk: The Power of Vulnerability

TED Talk: Listening to Shame

Daring Greatly to Unlock Your Creativity with Chase Jarvis

RSA Short: Empathy

RSA Short: Blame

SuperSoul Sunday: Faking It, Perfectionism, and Living Wholeheartedly

Maybe stories are just data with a soul.