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Brené Brown On Shame – The Most Powerful Master Emotion

Dr. Brené Brown studies shame, courage, authenticity, and vulnerability. and is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.

Brené has authored three #1 New York Times Bestsellers: Rising Strong, Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection.

In this TEDTalk, she discusses what can happen when people confront their shame head-on.

Listening to shame | Brené Brown




  1. Practice courage and reach out during a shame attack.

  2. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.

  3. If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.

  4. Guilt is just as powerful, but its influence is positive, while shame’s is destructive. Shame erodes our courage and fuels disengagement.

  5. Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change. 

  6. Men walk this tightrope where any sign of weakness elicits shame, and so they’re afraid to make themselves vulnerable for fear of looking weak.

  7. If we share our shame story with the wrong person, they can easily become one more piece of flying debris in an already dangerous storm.

  8. Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.

  9. Acknowledging our story can be difficult but not as hard as spending our lives escaping from the issue. Accepting our vulnerabilities is dangerous but not as much as surrendering love and joy which are the events which make us most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness we will discover the power of our light.

  10. We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.

  11. Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It’s tough to do that when we’re terrified about what people might see or think.

  12. Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.

  13. When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible.

  14. People who never fit in, who are what you might call ‘different’, if you drop down deep into their work and who they are, there is a tremendous amount of self-acceptance.

  15. When someone we love is turning away from a struggle, we self-protect by also turning away. But a solution will be found if both partners have common language and a shared lens to see problems.

  16.  Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.

  17. Men and women who are living wholehearted lives really allow themselves to soften into joy and happiness because they allow themselves to experience it.

  18. We do not have to be in pursuit of unusual moments to find happiness because it is just right in front of us if we practice gratitude and pay attention.

  19. Guilt is good. Guilt helps us stay on track because it’s about our behavior. It occurs when we compare something we’ve done, or failed to do with our personal values.

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

  21. A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.

  22. When the people we love stop paying attention, trust begins to slip away and hurt starts seeping in.

  23. Vulnerability is the glue which holds relationships together.

  24. The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.

  25. Primarily, we need to be the adults we want our children to be. We should watch our own gossiping and anger. We should model the kindness we want to see.  


“Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.“…. Brené Brown


Learn the Practice of Transformational Inquiry

During this 2-Day “Truth Of Spirit And Self” Event

The development of ‘Spirit’ is an emerging part of human evolution.  It has occurred naturally and organically from our field and works in the various Human Potential methods we have been utilizing over the past ten years.  We are delighted to bring this space and opportunity forward for you now.  

Joseph Scott leads the spiritual development offering for The Coaching Room and the community and will facilitate a 2-day Retreat. Having spent the last 7-10 years in an in-depth inquiry of the ‘truth of Spirit and Self’, Joseph’s unfolding and awakening has been gradual, subtle and significant. He has now been facilitating individuals in one-on-one Spiritual Inquiry to awaken to their true nature and Self over the last 4-5 years.   He is now offering this service for larger groups.

Change Your Life Forever Through This Two Day Retreat Into Spiritual Inquiry At Kincross Mackie Chapel  CLICK HERE to find out more.


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