University of Houston research professor Brene Brown has over the past few years rocketed in popularity because of her groundbreaking work in the areas of vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Brene is the author of three New York Times No. 1 bestselling books, and she makes numerous speaking appearances each year.

Brene has a way with words, and she is an inspiration to millions of people around the world. Here are 17 particularly inspiring Brene Brown quotes that will inspire you to success and happiness, followed by her illuminating TED talk on the power of vulnerability.

1. "Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen."

2. "What we know matters, but who we are matters more."

3. "Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness."

4. "Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect."

5. "Everyone wants to know why customer service has gone to hell in a handbasket. I want to know why customer behavior has gone to hell in a handbasket."

6. "To love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly."

7. "Nothing has transformed my life more than realizing that it's a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands."

8. "Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light."

9. "We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary."

10. "DIG deep--get deliberate, inspired, and going."

11. "What would you be glad you did--even if you failed?"

12. "Talk about your failures without apologizing."

13. "It's not about 'what can I accomplish?' but 'what do I want to accomplish?' Paradigm shift."

14. "Connection is why we're here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives."

15. "To me, a leader is someone who holds her- or himself accountable for finding potential in people and processes."

16. "Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day."

17. "I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness--it's right in front of me if I'm paying attention and practicing gratitude."