Brené Brown is an American professor, podcaster, and bestselling author of numerous non-fiction self-help books.
The Texan native is a research professor at the University of Houston, where she specializes in the study of shame, vulnerability, courage, and empathy.
Brené’s work has influenced millions of people around the globe for more than two decades. Her iconic TED talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the most widely shared TED talks in history. She’s written six number-one New York Times best-sellers to date.
Brené Brown’s mantra is “courage over comfort,” and she’s a firm believer in embracing the challenges that life brings, no matter how scary they might feel.
So, if you’re looking for inspiration to help you live your best life in 2023 and beyond, you won’t miss Brené’s valuable words of wisdom.
Brené Brown’s Books in Order
Brené Brown has published twelve non-fiction self-help titles to date, and she has plenty more work up her sleeve to come.
Below, I’ll give you a full rundown of each of her books, along with a short description of each one, to help you decide where to begin your reading journey.
|Sr. No.||Title||Publication Date||Print Length||Publisher||Where to Buy|
|1||Men, Women, and Worthiness||November 30, 2012||2 pages||Sounds True||Amazon|
|2||I Thought It Was Just Me||January 23, 2007||336 pages||Gotham||Amazon|
|3||Daring Greatly||September 11, 2012||304 pages||Avery||Amazon|
|4||The Power of Vulnerability||November 15, 2012||1 page||Sounds True||Amazon|
|5||The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting||May 1, 2013||2 pages||Sounds True||Amazon|
|6||Rising Strong||August 25, 2015||336 pages||Random House||Amazon|
|7||Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice||June 1, 2017||Sounds True||Amazon|
|8||Braving the Wilderness||September 12, 2017||208 pages||Random House||Amazon|
|9||The Gifts of Imperfection||September 8, 2020||208 pages||Random House||Amazon|
|10||Dare to Lead||July 23, 2019||400 pages||Random House Large Print||Amazon|
1. Men, Women, and Worthiness (2004)
In her debut title, Brown delves into how women and men experience shame.
After more than twelve years of extensive research, she’s discovered that the main obstacle most people face when it comes to finding a healthy sense of worth is shame.
And so, she invites us all to trace the origins of our individual feelings of shame to understand ourselves better and build up what she calls ‘shame resilience.’
“Shame is the barrier,” she writes, “and building shame resilience is how we overcome it.”
Healing begins with identifying our triggers and pinpointing the events in our lives which have generated feelings of shame.
Next, Brown encourages readers to practice critical awareness by noticing negative feelings as they arise and questioning their legitimacy.
And once we’ve mastered the process and learned to deal with our feelings, Brown encourages us to share our stories with others and take the shame out of speaking about shame.
2. I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) (2007)
I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) is Brené Brown’s antidote to an all-too-common problem many faces today. Everywhere we turn, we’re met with messages telling us we’re not enough. And so, we create a carefully edited version of our true selves to hide our perceived imperfections from the rest of the world.
But Brown is determined to shed light on a long-forgotten truth; that it’s our imperfections that make us so beautifully human. They allow us to connect with others deeper, and when we share our vulnerabilities, we share our true selves.
And so, this book is a battle cry to ditch the picture-perfect veneer and be more real to get the most out of life.
3. Daring Greatly (2012)
Letting ourselves be seen in all our vulnerability is one of the most terrifying and uncomfortable challenges we can face.
Putting ourselves out there is risky, even dangerous, and fear of criticism and rejection holds many people back.
But Brené Brown argues that standing on the sidelines and never daring to join the arena is much riskier. It is a more destructive path than having the courage to let ourselves truly be seen.
And so, this book inspires readers to ‘dare greatly’ and step outside of their comfort zones, embrace vulnerability, and take charge of their lives without fear.
For many people, vulnerability is a weakness, something to be hidden from view, a guilty secret that strips us of our power.
Often, we hide vulnerability under a heavy coat of armor, away from the view of even our closest loved ones.
But Brené Brown believes that sharing vulnerability is the most accurate gauge of courage. After all, it takes guts to admit weakness, but when we do, we invite true meaning into our lives. We cultivate deeper connections with others and become more empowered versions of ourselves.
5. The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting (2013)
There’s no such thing as a perfect parent, but that doesn’t stop us from comparing ourselves to others and beating ourselves up when we fail to meet society’s expectations.
But the pressure to be perfect has a negative influence on both parents and children. Often, we’re so focused on portraying the illusion of the ‘perfect family’ that we miss the real moments of joy right under our noses.
Brown believes that “it’s our ability to embrace imperfection that will help us teach our children to have the courage to be authentic, the compassion to love themselves and others, and the sense of connection that gives true purpose and meaning to life.”
And so, she invites us to shed the illusion of what we think family life should be and embrace what she calls a “wholehearted” family approach.
6. Rising Strong (2015)
Many of us bury our pain to escape life’s struggles. But in Rising Strong, Brené Brown encourages us to run straight toward our hurt to regain our inner strength and the courage to live fuller, bolder lives.
No matter how big or small the challenges we face, each hurdle offers wisdom and growth, but only we are brave enough to uncover it.
And so, in this book, Brown walks us step by step through the process of facing our struggles head-on and finding the hidden lessons within.
7. Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice (2017)
In her earlier work, Brené Brown delves into the power and courage that true vulnerability can bring. But embracing vulnerability is no easy feat. In this book, Brown explores how we can tap into spirituality to become stronger and more able to face the challenges that life brings.
After years of research on human behavior, Brown has found that “without exception, the concept of spirituality emerged from the data as a critical component of resilience and overcoming struggle.”
And so, she invites the reader to explore their own spirituality in their own unique way. For some people, spirituality is a dirty word. But having a spiritual practice doesn’t always have to mean subscribing to religion or dogma. For many, it’s a simple belief in the interconnectedness of all things and a loving force that is more powerful than anything we can perceive with our eyes and ears alone.
By cultivating our approach to spirituality, we’re simultaneously cultivating a stronger, more resilient mindset, which will see us through the toughest of times.
8. Braving the Wilderness (2017)
In Braving the Wilderness, Brené Brown explores standing in our truth. She argues that “true belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.”
But in our increasingly polarized societies, standing alone in our truth can often feel lonely.
So many of us are disconnected from our true selves, blindly riding the waves of social expectations while pushing our truth down. Yet in this book, Brown challenges us to stand in integrity and authenticity and bravely step into ‘the wilderness.’ And it’s in this ‘wilderness’ that we can find a deeper meaning in our lives.
9. The Gifts of Imperfection (2018)
Most of us are masters of make-believe. We pretend that everything is ok, perfect even, yet underneath it all, we often struggle to stay afloat.
But in The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown invites us to join a revolution of freedom; freedom from make-believe and freedom to be who we are.
In her own words, she reminds us that “choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance.” We owe it to ourselves and our children to stand up and make our true voices heard.
10. Dare to Lead (2018)
Some people are natural-born leaders, and others aren’t cut out for the job. At least, that’s what society tells us.
But what if we all have the power to become strong, capable, humble leaders if only we could find the courage to step into our truth?
In Dare to Lead, Brené Brown argues that we can all become leaders in our lives; we just need to develop the right skills and mindset. After all, a good leader doesn’t have all the answers. Instead, they simply ask the right questions.
11. You Are Your Best Thing (2021)
In 2021, Brené Brown joined forces with Tarana Burke to create this fascinating anthology. It explores the horrors of white supremacy and the fullness and potential of Black life, Black possibility, and Black humanity.
The result is a captivating collection of essays by and for black women on vulnerability. Each author shares their own valuable, hard-earned lessons about shame and resilience in an all too often unforgiving world.
12. Atlas of the Heart (2021)
Brené Brown’s latest release explores a new framework for creating meaningful connections with ourselves and others.
To show up with truth and authenticity and cultivate deep and lasting relationships, we need the language to speak our truth and the confidence to share it.
And so, in Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven universal human emotions and experiences while providing us with a roadmap to sharing those experiences with others.
Brené Brown is one of the world’s leading researchers in the self-improvement field.
Her fascinating books explore the concepts of vulnerability and courage and remind us that you can’t have one without the other.
So, if you’re ready to kick start your 2023 by becoming the very best version of yourself, Brené Brown’s work could provide just the kind of inspiration you’ve been looking for.
Are you already a fan of Brené Brown’s work? If so, I’d love to hear about your favorite books and why you love them. Could you drop me a comment in the box below?