I am Enough from Brené Brown

I am Enough from Brené Brown

A note from Tracey: Ever since the very first post here at the Collaborative, I’ve been asked a lot of questions; a number of which I don’t feel qualified to answer. But I am happy to be introducing someone to you who is very qualified and is a well-spring of knowledge on worthiness and enoughness. She is not only an incredible human being, she’s a dear friend. A special thank you to Brené Brown fo sharing her insights with us.


If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the past decade, it’s that love and belonging are essential to the human experience. In The Gifts of Imperfection, I write,

“A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all women, men, and children. 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. There are certainly other causes of illness, numbing, and hurt, but the absence of love and belonging will always lead to suffering.”

As I conducted my research, I realized that only one thing separated the men and women who felt a deep sense of love and belonging from the people who seem to be struggling for it. That one thing is the belief in their worthiness.

It’s as simple and complicated as this: If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging.

When we can let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness—the feeling that we are enough just as we are and that we are worthy of love and belonging. When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don’t fit with who we think we’re supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving.

Our sense of worthiness—that critically important piece that gives us access to love and belonging—lives inside of our story. For me it all comes down to this:

My story matters because I matter.  I am absolutely enough.


About Brené Brown

Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW is a researcher, writer, and professor. To read more about Brené and her work, visit her website or check out her Ordinary Courage blog. Bio photo courtesy of Andrea Scher.

Extra Special Treat:

To celebrate our I AM ENOUGHNESS, we’re giving away two copies of Brené’s DVD: The Hustle for Worthiness: Exploring the Power of Love, Belonging, and Being Enough.

Leave your name in the comments section along with this one simple statement “I am enough!” this week to be entered in the random drawing for the goods!


Thank you all so much for your comments. The winner of the DVD is SLY (or sheena). Congrats!! And the 2nd DVD goes to Maegan! Yay you!

  • Kathy
    Posted at 10:35h, 25 May Reply

    When I was in my 20s I did alot of soul searching and thankfully realized that if I was ever going to find fulfillment I needed to start with exactly what Brene is talking about: believing I am worthy of love and belonging. Now in my 40s I feel I’ve lost my way but not because I’ve lost my sense of worthiness but I seem to have surrounded myself with others who don’t have this sense of worthiness. Slowly over the last 10 years, I feel my sense of self that I worked so hard to build has very slowly crumbled in the emptiness that surrounds me. These are not relationships that can be broken so I hve to find a way to hold tight to my worthiness. I know I can’t change how others feel about themselves(believing I could is probably how I got into this mess in the first place) but if I can remember that this is the core of the struggle and negativity around me then I can stay true to the path I’ve found. For me this path is paved with faith. over the years the time and attention I gave to strengthening my faith has been pushed out by family life but I’m realizing I need it now more than ever. Thanks for introducing Brene, can’t wait to take a look at her blog and would love a copy of the DVD. One for me and one for someone close as well!

  • meredith winn
    Posted at 11:51h, 25 May Reply

    yes, absolutely. thank you brene for sharing these words! i know i will come back to them again and again.

  • Maura
    Posted at 12:40h, 25 May Reply

    I am enough.

  • Paula
    Posted at 12:57h, 25 May Reply

    Thank you so much for this. Having a hard time on the worthiness/enoughness front.

    I would love to view the DVD and am looking forward to your book coming out. Just recommended I Thought It Was Just Me to someone.

  • Lee
    Posted at 12:58h, 25 May Reply

    Still working on my enough-ness. I’m more a work in progress 🙂

  • Deb
    Posted at 13:00h, 25 May Reply

    I am enough. I AM ENOUGH!!!!

  • Kristina
    Posted at 13:05h, 25 May Reply

    My son is now 13mos old. During his pregnancy I made myself a promise. I did not want him to be standing at the threshold of life and feel like he did not belong, that he was lacking or insignificant or not worthy. These were feelings that I did battle with my entire life. Since then a world has opened up to me. Though making this promise, I learned to love and trust myself along with those who loved and trusted me. I learned that I am valuable, worthy of love and have many things to contribute and pass on. Your bit about authenticity is the back ground on my laptop. I read it every day and think, this is how I want to be. I don’t want to be perfect, I want embrace and understand and love my imperfections, the true me, and I want to give that to others.

    Thank you for your work. I know it cannot have been easy, but I bet is was a great ride and adventure.

  • Sarah
    Posted at 13:21h, 25 May Reply

    i am enough.

  • Rena
    Posted at 13:29h, 25 May Reply

    I am enough. Why can’t I remember that for more than five minutes at a time?

  • Cheryl
    Posted at 13:34h, 25 May Reply

    I am enough!

  • lissa
    Posted at 13:37h, 25 May Reply

    i am enough!!!

  • Katie @ cakes, tea and dreams
    Posted at 13:53h, 25 May Reply

    I love Brene’s work – thanks for posting this. I am enough!

  • Tamela Otto
    Posted at 14:28h, 25 May Reply


  • Jo Hassan
    Posted at 15:10h, 25 May Reply

    I am enough! I AM enough!

  • Michelle
    Posted at 15:52h, 25 May Reply

    I look forward to these posts. I am enough.

  • Cameron
    Posted at 16:07h, 25 May Reply

    I *am* enough.

  • SLY
    Posted at 16:07h, 25 May Reply

    I am enough. (Every time I say this I am almost brought to tears and I don’t know why)

  • Jodi
    Posted at 16:22h, 25 May Reply


  • Yuliana Medina
    Posted at 17:42h, 25 May Reply

    Yes, I am enough

  • JennyD
    Posted at 17:43h, 25 May Reply

    I am enough!

  • gargi
    Posted at 17:45h, 25 May Reply

    i am enough. i matter.

  • Jenna/The Word Cellar
    Posted at 18:30h, 25 May Reply

    I am enough.

  • Annette
    Posted at 18:39h, 25 May Reply

    I am enough…

  • Milena
    Posted at 18:44h, 25 May Reply

    I work daily on understanding the divine knowledge that I am enough!

  • Courtney
    Posted at 18:59h, 25 May Reply

    I am shouting it from the rooftops until I believe from the core of my being: I AM ENOUGH!

  • Beth H
    Posted at 19:14h, 25 May Reply

    I am enough.

  • Kylie
    Posted at 20:05h, 25 May Reply

    I am enough!

  • Sea
    Posted at 20:15h, 25 May Reply

    Am I a good enough daughter? A good enough mother? A good enough wife? A good enough friend? Sometimes I falter when I encounter the judgments of others. I can’t be whatever it is they think they want. I am myself.
    I am enough.

    Thank you, Brene.

  • AnnGeeDee
    Posted at 20:49h, 25 May Reply

    I am enough.

  • Renae C
    Posted at 21:02h, 25 May Reply
  • Myrna
    Posted at 21:25h, 25 May Reply

    I AM ENOUGH (yes, sometimes you do have to yell to hear it!)

  • Monica L.H.
    Posted at 22:30h, 25 May Reply

    I am enough!
    Thank you for this!

  • stef
    Posted at 00:51h, 26 May Reply


  • Sandra
    Posted at 02:08h, 26 May Reply

    I am enough. enough for what, i’m not sure. but whole and enough in some essential way.

  • Bev
    Posted at 03:32h, 26 May Reply

    i. am. enough.

  • Amy R.
    Posted at 03:48h, 26 May Reply

    I forget very easily that I am enough. Thank you, Brené , for the reminder 🙂

  • Heather
    Posted at 03:48h, 26 May Reply

    I am enough.

  • Bree
    Posted at 07:20h, 26 May Reply

    I am enough.

  • Victoria
    Posted at 10:01h, 26 May Reply

    I am ENOUGH!

  • melissa
    Posted at 13:13h, 26 May Reply

    thank you, brene and tracey. my gratitude to you both is deep and wide. and i am enough.

  • Elaine
    Posted at 13:14h, 26 May Reply

    I am enough

  • Parisbeetlegirl
    Posted at 15:49h, 26 May Reply

    I am enough! I recently discovered Brené Brown’s work. I have purchsed her book and started on my own worthiness journey.

  • Deirdre
    Posted at 15:57h, 26 May Reply

    I am enough.

  • jane
    Posted at 21:17h, 26 May Reply

    i cry too when i think about the possibility that i am enough

  • mindy
    Posted at 23:48h, 26 May Reply

    i can see that i must listen to my own story, and then accept myself as i am now. because it’s unlikely that i will suddenly wake up thin with all the attributes that i think i need to have to be happy. i am who i am. i am what i am. and i am enough.

  • shelley
    Posted at 23:59h, 26 May Reply

    Respect your oneness and resist any pressure to be a conformist
    be the being you came here to be… Dr. Wayne Dyer
    I Am Enough… My beautiful necklace says so!!!
    Thank you tj

  • jv
    Posted at 03:09h, 27 May Reply

    i am enough.

    this is true: just tonight my seven year old twin daughters and i were talking about this very topic. one of them said with much certainty that she KNOWS she is enough. still working on the other one!
    love this collaborative (thanks!) and love Brene & her work (thanks again!)

  • Amy Lee
    Posted at 10:36h, 27 May Reply

    speaks right to my core. I am enough.

  • Kerry
    Posted at 20:07h, 27 May Reply

    these words hit so deep to the core…I am enough.

  • ocean lotus
    Posted at 12:55h, 28 May Reply

    I AM enough

  • Bostongaljm
    Posted at 14:13h, 28 May Reply

    I am fighting off some old demons from my past this week, and some new ones laid on me by my mother. I will say this to myself every morning while I brush my teeth. I am enough, I am enough, do you hear me Mom, I am enough!

  • Sharon
    Posted at 14:40h, 28 May Reply

    "… I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works [God] are wonderful, I know that full well."
    Psalm 139:13-15
    "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [Sharon], before you were born I set you apart;"
    Jeremiah 1:4-6
    "I [Sharon] can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
    Philippians 4:13

    – I am enough!

  • Laura
    Posted at 01:19h, 29 May Reply

    I AM ENOUGH!!!

  • Angie
    Posted at 16:16h, 29 May Reply

    I am learning that I AM ENOUGH!

  • maegan
    Posted at 18:50h, 29 May Reply

    I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. I am enough.

  • Shelli Owens
    Posted at 20:02h, 30 May Reply

    I am ENOUGH.

  • Tamara
    Posted at 07:50h, 31 May Reply

    I am enough. Not there in my head yet, but my heart is longing for it, and I’m getting my little self there, in spite of my years and years of practise to the contrary. I am enough. I am enough. I am enough!!

  • Jen S
    Posted at 11:10h, 31 May Reply

    I am enough!

  • Jen S
    Posted at 11:11h, 31 May Reply

    I am enough!

  • Imene
    Posted at 15:02h, 31 May Reply

    I am more than enough. I am Logum

  • Meagan Arnold
    Posted at 15:23h, 31 May Reply

    I stumbled upon your blog a while back, and when a dear friend of mine started a "Slim-Down Sundays" (http://cheeksgalore.blogspot.com/2010/05/hindsight-is-2020.html) project on her blog in order to be healthier and happier, I thought about you and what you do. My friend Sarah (http://cheeksgalore.blogspot.com/), invited all of her family, friends and followers to either join her on her project or to start their own.

    I’ve always had poor self-esteem, but lately I have really truly been cruel to myself, beating myself up at every chance…so with this HUGE inspiration from a remarkable friend (Sarah), I started my "Self-Kindness Sundays". I wanted to share both Sarah’s remarkable and original idea and my spin-off with you and your readers in hopes of inspiring others to join us on our personal development quests.

    So this is a formal invitation to join Sarah and myself on personal development projects. Create your own spin on it, follow us on our challenges, let us know your ideas and personal challenges so we can be inspired by you and follow you on your journeys.

    So here is my project plan: http://marnold13.blogspot.com/2010/05/is-20-new-magic-number.html

    and the first week: http://marnold13.blogspot.com/2010/05/self-kindness-sundays-week-1-of-20.html

    Thank you Brene and Sarah for being hugely inspiring and remarkable!

  • Meagan Arnold
    Posted at 15:38h, 31 May Reply

    AND of course THANK YOU TRACEY for being tremendously inspirational. (I’m sorry I’m such an idiot I didn’t include this in my original post!)

    You are a creative and intellectual inspiration to me, which is a remarkable thing!

  • Jody
    Posted at 18:44h, 01 June Reply

    I am enough! i AM enough! i am ENOUGH!

  • kathy cooper
    Posted at 20:52h, 21 January Reply

    Thank you for helping me understand myself and deal with it.

    Kathy Cooper

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