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Brené Brown: Why Your Critics Aren’t The Ones Who Count

About this talk

There is nothing more frightening than the moment we expose our ideas to the world. Author and vulnerability researcher Brené Brown shows us how to deal with the critics and our own self-doubt by refusing to “armor up” and shut ourselves off. “Not caring what people think,” she says, “is its own kind of hustle.”

Instead we must “reserve a seat” for the critics and our own self-doubt. “Tell them, I see you, I hear you, but I’m going to do this anyway.”  


Brené Brown, Author & Vulnerability Researcher

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past twelve years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Her groundbreaking research has been featured on PBS, NPR, CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

Dr. Brown is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the way we Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Gotham, 2012). In Daring Greatly Brené dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage. Fast Company Magazine recently named Daring Greatly one of the best business books of 2012. Brené’s 2010 TEDx Houston talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the top ten most viewed TED talks on, with over 6 million viewers.

Dr. Brown is also the author of The Gifts of Imperfection (2010), I Thought It Was Just Me (2007), and Connections (2009). She lives in Houston with her husband, Steve, and their two children, Ellen and Charlie.

Comments (33)
  • growthguided

    I love the question you posed

    “What would you try if knew people would never say this about you… what would this be?”

    Keep up the powerful work you are doing Brene!

  • Srinivas Rao

    Loved this. Best thing I’ve watched today.

    • Paul Jarvis

      Ha, of course we both love this 🙂

  • Lucy Caney

    As always Brene you put yourself out there and you ‘show up’. You walk your talk lady, thank you.

    Your last section in the speech about orphaning parts of ourselves that don’t fit with our ideal, particularly resonated with me as I am at a new beginning in my own creative life, which is at the same time thrilling yet I feel very vulnerable and anxious.

    Thanks for giving clarity to this very real part of the process of creating and being true to ourselves.

    P.S. You were looking great!

  • Fiona Hall

    Brene, I love want you have to say.Thanks for opening up the dialogue on these HIDDEN subjects. You have given me courage to pursue a lot of my dreams

  • Lisa Porter

    I absolutely love this! Thank you, your message was right on time for me.

  • suzieuda

    This is just what I needed to hear. I am about to leave my first job of 12 years in the media to join a multinational technology company. I’m beyond terrified — worried sick that I will suck and having to prove myself all over again. But I know that I have to “show up and go into the arena” because sucking at my new job initially until I get better at it, will be much better than spending the rest of my life wondering “what if I had showed up?”.

  • Brooke Semple

    A wonderful talk. As creatives we put our ideas on the line every day. I think people in the design/media industry can forget just how much willingness to be vulnerable that actually takes. It’s such a great reminder. The only way we will ever make great work is by taking great risks. Move away from fear and only listen to people’s opinions if you respect them and the work that they put out into the world. Its so important.

  • Didi

    you’re gorgeous!

  • Stephen Lee

    Great talk. I needed that. It is pretty scary to place yourself on the chopping block.

  • Leah lollipop

    wow, such a positive message, magical, wonderful and extremely insightful, I have learnt twice as much about life in 10 mins thna I ever did at school. I thank you for helping me believe in myself a little more than I did before I watched your video. bless you.

  • adcl,am,a.dcm

  • Akua Soadwa

    one guarantee if you go into the arena – is that you WILL get your ass kicked. and if you aren’t in the arena also getting you ass kicked – i am not interested in your feedback – period. (if you have constructed feedback i want it, but if you are in the cheap seat, i am in no way interested in your feedback). HAAAA the BEST quote eva!

  • DB

    Wow, You have great diction ! 😉 Seriously, love that talk – cheers ! D.

  • Raquel Ferrer

    I´ve loved it. Thanks

  • MJH1

    OMG!!! with tears running down my cheaks. That was the best “get up and get moving” talk ever!!! Thank YOU!!! Brené. I am an Artist (with a fear of success) and you have the most strength I have ever heard… simple to understand, with no holes bared, direct and to the point, honest to a fault yet served with Love … BRILLIANT!!!
    Thanks again, Marie Jean Hamilton… Now on show!!! ;)) ;))

  • Jody

    WOW Amazing!! Thanks for such inspiration!! I recently bought 2 of your books Brene! Can’t wait to read them!!

  • olivia

    Literally was on the brink of tears – THANK YOU Brene for showing up! Really hit a nerve with me.

  • BT

    Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!

    There could not be a better role model for vulnerability. Every time she speaks, she does so with such honesty about her own vulnerabilities that you instantly connect with her and her message on so many levels. This struck a really powerful chord with me, and I am grateful for the boost of confidence this has given me!

  • Geo

    Bravo you oh Brave one researchers find what is and put it together to answer the oft unanswered quest. Thanks for putting your neck out in order to turn many heads around.

  • monica

    beautiful message…streams of tears and hope for me, world… to take that step towards my dreams…thank you!

  • Mariya

    This is really authentic talk which is giving so many people the braveness, courage and enthusiasm to go out there and show up …..

  • Mia Sherwood Landau

    As another “the higher the hair, the closer to God” Texan, I’d like to remind you that you can achieve the same prominence with hats! Your talks (hey, someday you should watch them because you are going to love yourself even more that day)are a precious voice of reality and reason for millions of people, Brene. Take a deep breath and know that you are AWESOME! This talk is particularly valuable for all of us who still think that shutting out our critics is worth our valuable time. Now I intend to welcome them, too! It’s so Texan, isn’t it?

  • Ashley

    You are so inspiring, you have changed my life. Thank you!

  • Joel Pilger

    Thank you, Brené. Your bravery and authenticity inspires the same in me. Your work means so much to me. Keep it up!

  • pamela

    Is there a transcript?

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