Whether I introduce Brené Brown as a cherished and trusted friend (of which she most certainly is) or as an incredibly insightful and authentic author, researcher, and public speaker (all of which are equally true) I would say the exact same thing; that her work and message is really really important.
It seems I’m not the only one who thinks so. If you are already acquainted with Brené then I am not telling you anything you don’t already know. If you have yet discover what she is sharing, then today is your lucky day. Not only is Brené’s message available in her books and DVD but she can also be found on YouTube of all cool things. I invite you to listen in to one of her TED talks. Yes, I said TED talks. I told you I’m not the only one who thinks she’s amazing! She spoke in both Houston and Kansas City on vulnerability and WOW!
Just listen to what Brené says about vulnerability:

“In our culture, vulnerability has become synonymous with weakness and imperfect now means inadequate. We associate vulnerability and imperfection with emotions like fear, shame, and scarcity; emotions that we don’t want to discuss, even when they profoundly affect every aspect of our lives.

To reduce our feelings of vulnerability, we wake up every morning, put on our game face, and rarely take it off – even at home. We use invulnerability as a shield to protect us from uncomfortable emotions and struggles with anxiety and self-doubt. But invulnerability has a price.

Vulnerability is indeed at the core of difficult emotions, but it is also the birthplace of  authenticity, courage, joy, love, belonging, accountability, innovation, inspiration, creativity, and spirituality. When we avoid or shut down vulnerability, we lose access to the experiences that give purpose and meaning to our lives.

  If we want to change the way we live, love, parent, teach, lead organizations, and build communities, we have to start with a conversation about vulnerability and imperfection – this is where our story begins.”

– Brené Brown

With our celebration of imperfection this month, we are courageously telling our authentic stories. I’m so proud of us.

Today, lets share our vulnerable sides. We would love to see your images of tenderness, imperfection, and the poetry of vulnerability.

We are delighted to be giving away 2 two book/dvd sets (including the new book The Gifts of Imperfection, another gem, I thought It Was Just Me, and the awesome Hustle for Worthiness DVD) all from the amazing Brené Brown. All you have to do is leave a comment here between now and Saturday midnight EST to be included in the random drawing.


Congrats to Jet and GwynnieB ; winners of this fab giveaway from Brene Brown!!


  1. says

    wow, that sounds amazing!
    vulnerability is indeed a scary place when you first go there… I don't like it much, myself! but I know I need to embrace it.

  2. says

    Great! I'll be in.
    If you know your vulnerability, you can reduce it and you can feel more power inside, i think.
    ehm yes…you need to work hard for this.

  3. nic says

    wow.. thanks for sharing this and posting a link in there.. I really really enjoyed watching the talk and also felt much better after hearing this ..

  4. says

    Although I am just beginning a personal journey to finding myself, I do find myself very vulnerable in the little I have shared, and yes, it is a bit scary for me too. I have recently purchased Brene's new book, and am looking forward to reading it.

  5. marina says

    thank you, Tracey, for this beautiful post and all the incredibly inspiring links!
    I love how the photo you have chosen illustrates vulnerability, how it celebrates how delicate the petals are and how they open up to light, to life, despite, or better, while being delicate and vulnerable.
    here's a link to a photo which makes me think of how I sometimes react when I feel vulnerable:

    thank you also for the chance to participate in this great giveaway!!!

  6. says

    My motto has been "Flawed is the new Perfect" for some time now. It works for me to let go of the "conquer all or else" approach. Thanks for introducing Brene Brown to me.

  7. says

    Wonderful quotation. Reminds me of an image consultant I went to once. She made a lot of "putting on your armour" each morning before you go out into the world. The advice was always to wear some sort of choker necklace to "protect your throat"! I think I'm more inclined to go with Rene's inspirational idea that vulnerability, like many other emotions, is part of our makeup and constantly trying to control or suppress these emotions is actually suppressing the authentic "Youness" your post yesterday referred to.

  8. says

    I learned to embrace vulnerability from my dog, Sadie. When she rolls over on her back, showing her belly, her vulnerability makes me involuntarily move closer to her…and I wondered if it was the same with me. So now, I "show my underbelly" so to speak, and I find that people react in such a way that enables them to get closer and more protective of you then if you "put on your armour" each morning as referenced by Angie above.

  9. Jill F says

    Every single day when I come here, I either learn something or leave with something to think about all day. Thanks for that.

  10. says

    yes! i'm knee deep in brene's words right now. they are so powerful and true. this quote of hers couldn't be more true and applicable to my everyday life right now. "When we avoid or shut down vulnerability, we lose access to the experiences that give purpose and meaning to our lives."

    i recently wrote about her word choice, wholehearted, with a photograph of mine depicting vulnerability.

  11. pam says

    I love near KC, wish I had been able to attend. Its gratifying to hear reasons and answers for some of our everyday struggles.

  12. Barbi says

    Love all your posts but this one has me really thinking. As one who wears her heart on her sleeve and usually told not to and feeling not so "right", it hit me recently that my game face is on way too much and needs to be put away. I will be checking out all the links and the authors books. Thanks!

  13. Katherine says

    The moment I became a mother I have been struggling to find be me – so that my beautiful daughters can grow up to say that they really knew their mother – no secrets, no lies, just truth. I think that is the only real way to be truly happy. Thank you for sharing and letting me share! xo

  14. says

    Here's to a sea change in our culture, and a return to vulnerability and imperfectness and real, honest-to-goodness LIVING. I work hard every day to teach my daughter that not only is it okay to be imperfect, it's actually preferred. The messiness of a life well-lived and truly experienced…what could be better?

  15. says

    after two weeks of beautiful creative collaborations and honest, courageous storytelling, i am deep in vulnerability hangover. thank you for this exquisite offering, immensely timely for me personally. tracey and brené together makes me wild with gratitude…gracias.

  16. says

    I've been trying to channel my inner Brené this week, when dealing with my sweet 10 year old daughter — who is already dealing with body image & societies expectations & perceived imperfections. *sigh* I need to learn to embrace my own imperfections better . . . and help my daughter realize that she's perfect "As Is". It feels like a battle of epic proportions, and has me feeling extremely vulnerable and tender at the moment.

  17. Jennifer says

    Two weeks ago yesterday, my 76-year-old mother-in-law fell and broke her femur. Even in her pain, she managed to call 911 and called me to come over and stay with her while paramedics arrived. I had to bring my two-year-old son, who adores his granny, with me, and he heard her cries of agony as they put her on the stretcher. The situation has been heartbreaking, to say the least.

    Though they were vulnerable, they found comfort in each other:

  18. says

    Well I'm a little perplexed about the vulnerability part because in order to be vunerable you have to be thinking about what everybody else is thinking and Frankly My Dear…I don't Give A Damn 😉 And I don't mean that in a frank, mean way…but all my life I have been different from my friends and family…because I REALLY don't care others think about ME. Don't get me wrong…I care loads about others and if they are happy, etc. But I have never made my decesions based on what others think…just don't. My husband often asks where this came from and I don't know what to tell him. I have never been afraid of going places, doing new things and/or meeting new people. While others in my familly live in fear of driving to new places, being late because people may look at them as they arrive, etc. Then they get irritated with me cause I'm like…who cares…let them look at me all they want. Kinda like the old saying…take a picture, it lasts longers. And if people want to gossip about me…have at it…I'm like…they'll talk about me today and someone else tomorrow…so glad I could oblige them and give them some entertainment. Life is just too darn short for me to give my power to others. I'm like the girl it Friend Green Tomatoes…Towanda 😉

  19. Corinna says

    Aaaahhh… Vulnerability. I have embarked, in the past 10 days, on an experiment in feeling vulnerable and not running from it by launching my own photoblog for the first time. The emotions raised by just putting it out there and allowing some of my own thoughts and dreams to be exposed are almost as interesting to me as the process of taking the photos or doing the writing. But even though it's scary as hell, it's also thrilling in a I'm-in-a-roller-coaster-about-to-crest-the-top-of-a-hill-and-take-the-plunge kind of way. I feel more alive because of it.

  20. Marcela says

    I want it , I want it … I think that's my vulnerability…. impatience : (

    It could lead you to miss pretty moments.

  21. says

    Because of my troubles with trying hard to be a perfectionist, I am constantly feeling vulnerable. Growing up, I never felt like what I did was good enough. I met my fiance though and he taught me a lot about relaxing and loving who you are.

  22. says

    Without quirkiness, vulnerability, bad hair days, eccentric neighbors, or burnt popcorn, life would be boring, and oh too perfect. I embrace imperfections and that's just perfect with me!!!

  23. Brown says

    I was privileged to be part Brene Brown's webinar this past Sunday night. Her work is important both in the field of addictions but in general.

  24. Susan says

    oops, misposted but I am NOT ashamed, just vulnerable. I was privileged to be a part of Brene Brown's webinar this past Sunday night. Her work is important both in the field of addictions and in general.

  25. says

    i wouldn't miss the chance to win such an incredible gift….
    as a new member of the "i'm an empty nester, now what" club….
    this would be such an amazing, feel good, your life iis just beginning gift :)

  26. Wendy says

    I have never posted on here before, but I love all the comments-what a great group of women you all here! Here's to all of us!!!!

  27. michelle says

    Ah…yes. Vulnerability and authenticity…can't thank Brene enough for helping me embrace and fear not – all of my imperfections :) I can recognize more often now when I am feeling vulnerable and can be so much more gentle with myself because of this… Life is less scary and more of an adventure! Thank you Brene for the gifts of a lifetime (and beyond!).

  28. says

    Heard Brene speak while she was out in the SF Bay Area. It was good to hear her validate that my own winding journey to myself is worth the tough times and the befuddlement of onlookers.

  29. Becky R. says

    Vulnerability. I know that word all to well. When I was bullied in school, I put up an invisible wall. I wouldn't do anything out of the ordinary because I was to afraid of what other people thought. Now my vulnerability is shown in my photos. I won't usually show anything that is unsual, morbid, or taboo. God himself knows that I have plenty of those.

    And imperfection. I really feel that if you don't like what you see, too bad. Deal with it. However, if with photos and my strive to learn more, my imperfections can be perfect if I keep at it.
    Example: I followed a squirrel in a cemetery for that perfect shot.
    I saw the squirrel, shot it with the camera, and I wasn't happy with it.
    Then I tried again. Ok, it is cute but I'm STILL not happy with it. In my eyes, it wasn't perfect.
    So I tried another time.
    Yet another: I'm about ready to give up. Then I saw him climb up a tree and I got this:

  30. Kristi says

    This book looks amazing and inspiring and a perfect fit for my life right now. I need something that helps me embrace the imperfect perfection in me. Thanks for the opportunity to be inspired!

  31. says

    If there were such a thing as cautious vulnerability I'd take it. There isn't. Being vulnerable means taking risks. But when those risks return long-lasting friendships, life long love, beauty from ashes, and watching your adult sons succeed even in faiilture (as you stayed out of it) – it's worth the vulnerability.

    I love what's posted above. It's so beautiful. Thank youl

  32. mama_marathoner says

    I've just recently been introduced to Brene's work by a friend's random post on FB. I'm so happy I found her! So far, I've really liked what I've seen, and can't wait to get the books!

  33. Therese DeMare says

    I believe my Creator lead me to Brene Brown on u tube. I was so excited when I saw her on video that I posted it to my facebook. I am a third year student in social work and am currently taking research methods and enjoying it. I will be telling eveyone that I know about her video. I ran out yesterday and bought her book " The gift of Imperfection." I have been a perfectionaist all of my life and really am looking foreward to reading it. Thank you Brene Brown. I love you already. Terrie

  34. Expressions says

    Happened to run across "Expressive Photography" last week, couldn't stop thinking about it, so ended up ordering if from Also took advantage of their Frequently Bought Together option, which includes "The Gifts of Imperfection". Now, after reading this post, I am even more excited to receive my order! And I'm looking forward to perusing your site further. Best wishes!

  35. Selenatx says

    I recently discovered Brene's new book and loved it!!! It has really spoken to my heart and mind. She's the bomb!!!

  36. Heather Larson says

    What a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the true gifts of being honest with yourself and others – the gift if imperfection. Thank you! I love your and Brene's blogs.

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