Photo from Listening to Shame Ted talk 2012

Brené Brown’s Braving Theory: A Thought-Provoking Framework for Courage

Brené Brown’s Braving Theory is a powerful framework for understanding and cultivating courage in our lives. It is based on four key elements: vulnerability, uncertainty, courage, and wholeheartedness.


Vulnerability: The Key to Courage

Vulnerability is the willingness to open ourselves up to uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. It is often seen as a weakness, but Brown argues that it is actually essential for courage.

When we are vulnerable, we are taking a risk. We are putting ourselves out there, even though we don’t know what will happen. We are being honest and authentic, even though we may be judged or rejected.

But it is in this vulnerability that we find true courage. When we are willing to be vulnerable, we are opening ourselves up to the possibility of connection, intimacy, and growth.


Uncertainty: The Crucible of Courage

Uncertainty is the ability to tolerate ambiguity, discomfort, and the unknown. It is the opposite of certainty, which is the need to know everything before we act.

In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with information and choices. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and uncertain. But Brown argues that uncertainty is a necessary part of life. It is how we learn and grow.

And it is in the midst of uncertainty that we have the opportunity to show our true courage. When we are faced with an uncertain situation, we have the choice to either avoid it or face it head-on. If we choose to face it, we are demonstrating courage.


Courage: The Act of Choosing Bravery over Fear

Courage is the willingness to act even when we are afraid or uncertain. It is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to act in spite of it.

Brown argues that courage is not a one-time thing. It is a muscle that we need to exercise regularly. The more courageous we are, the easier it becomes to be courageous in the future.

We can practice courage in every aspect of our lives. From speaking up in a meeting to asking someone out on a date, there are countless opportunities to show our courage each day.


Wholeheartedness: The Foundation of Courage

Wholeheartedness is the practice of embracing our authenticity and living a life that is true to ourselves. It is about accepting ourselves for who we are, flaws and all.

When we are wholehearted, we are more likely to be courageous. We are not afraid to be ourselves, even if we are different from others. We are also more likely to take risks and pursue our dreams.

Living a wholehearted life is not always easy. It requires vulnerability, courage, and self-acceptance. But it is the only way to live a truly fulfilling life.


Thought-Provoking Aspects of Braving Theory

Braving Theory is a thought-provoking framework for courage because it challenges many of our traditional notions about what it means to be brave.

For example, Braving Theory suggests that vulnerability is essential for courage. This is in contrast to the traditional view of courage as strength and fearlessness.

Braving Theory also suggests that courage is not a one-time thing. It is a muscle that we need to exercise regularly. This means that there is no such thing as a perfect hero. We all have the capacity to be courageous, even if we make mistakes along the way.

Finally, Braving Theory suggests that courage is not just about overcoming obstacles or facing our fears. It is also about living a wholehearted life. This means embracing our authenticity and living true to ourselves, even if it means being different from others.


How to Apply Braving Theory to Your Life

Here are a few tips on how to apply Braving Theory to your own life:

  • Identify your vulnerabilities. What are the things that make you feel afraid, ashamed, or insecure? Once you know what your vulnerabilities are, you can start to work on embracing them and accepting yourself as you are.
  • Be willing to be uncomfortable.Courage is not about avoiding discomfort or pain. It is about being willing to face these things head-on. When you find yourself in a situation that makes you uncomfortable, ask yourself what you need to do to be brave in that moment.
  • Connect with others. Vulnerability is essential for building meaningful relationships. Be willing to share your true self with others, even if it feels scary.
  • Live authentically. What are your values and what do you want to stand for? Once you know what is important to you, start living your life accordingly.


Braving Theory can be a powerful tool for cultivating courage in our lives. By embracing our vulnerabilities, tolerating uncertainty, acting even when we are afraid, and living wholehearted lives, we can become more courageous and fulfil our full potential.