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Rising Strong

Cover of Rising Strong

Rising Strong

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write the ending.
Social scientist Brené Brown has ignited a global conversation on courage, vulnerability, shame, and worthiness. Her pioneering work uncovered a profound truth: Vulnerability—the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome—is the only path to more love, belonging, creativity, and joy. But living a brave life is not always easy: We are, inevitably, going to stumble and fall.
It is the rise from falling that Brown takes as her subject in Rising Strong. As a grounded theory researcher, Brown has listened as a range of people—from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents—shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up. She asked herself, What do these people with strong and loving relationships, leaders nurturing creativity, artists pushing innovation, and clergy walking with people through faith and mystery have in common? The answer was clear: They recognize the power of emotion and they're not afraid to lean in to discomfort.
Walking into our stories of hurt can feel dangerous. But the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. Our stories of struggle can be big ones, like the loss of a job or the end of a relationship, or smaller ones, like a conflict with a friend or colleague. Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we're feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness. It's the process, Brown writes, that teaches us the most about who we are.
ONE OF GREATER GOOD'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR
Praise for Rising Strong

"[Brené Brown's] research and work have given us a new vocabulary, a way to talk with each other about the ideas and feelings and fears we've all had but haven't quite known how to articulate. . . . Brené empowers us each to be a little more courageous."—The Huffington Post
"With a fresh perspective that marries research and humor, Brown offers compassion while delivering thought-provoking ideas about relationships—with others and with oneself."Publishers Weekly

"It is inevitable—we will fall. We will fail. We will not know how to react or what to do. No matter how or when it happens, we will all have a choice—do we get up or not? Thankfully, Brené Brown is there with an outstretched arm to help us up."—Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write the ending.
Social scientist Brené Brown has ignited a global conversation on courage, vulnerability, shame, and worthiness. Her pioneering work uncovered a profound truth: Vulnerability—the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome—is the only path to more love, belonging, creativity, and joy. But living a brave life is not always easy: We are, inevitably, going to stumble and fall.
It is the rise from falling that Brown takes as her subject in Rising Strong. As a grounded theory researcher, Brown has listened as a range of people—from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents—shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up. She asked herself, What do these people with strong and loving relationships, leaders nurturing creativity, artists pushing innovation, and clergy walking with people through faith and mystery have in common? The answer was clear: They recognize the power of emotion and they're not afraid to lean in to discomfort.
Walking into our stories of hurt can feel dangerous. But the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. Our stories of struggle can be big ones, like the loss of a job or the end of a relationship, or smaller ones, like a conflict with a friend or colleague. Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we're feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness. It's the process, Brown writes, that teaches us the most about who we are.
ONE OF GREATER GOOD'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR
Praise for Rising Strong

"[Brené Brown's] research and work have given us a new vocabulary, a way to talk with each other about the ideas and feelings and fears we've all had but haven't quite known how to articulate. . . . Brené empowers us each to be a little more courageous."—The Huffington Post
"With a fresh perspective that marries research and humor, Brown offers compassion while delivering thought-provoking ideas about relationships—with others and with oneself."Publishers Weekly

"It is inevitable—we will fall. We will fail. We will not know how to react or what to do. No matter how or when it happens, we will all have a choice—do we get up or not? Thankfully, Brené Brown is there with an outstretched arm to help us up."—Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last
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Excerpts-
  • From the cover One

    The Physics of Vulnerability

    When it comes to human behavior, emotions, and thinking, the adage "The more I learn, the less I know" is right on. I've learned to give up my pursuit of netting certainty and pinning it to the wall. Some days I miss pretending that certitude is within reach. My husband, Steve, always knows I'm mourning the loss of my young-­researcher quest when I am holed up in my study listening to David Gray's song "My Oh My" on repeat. My favorite lyrics are:

    What on earth is going on in my head?

    You know I used to be so sure.

    You know I used to be so definite.

    And it's not just the lyrics; it's the way that he sings the word def.in.ite. Sometimes, it sounds to me as if he's mocking the arrogance of believing that we can ever know everything, and other times it sounds like he's pissed off that we can't. Either way, singing along makes me feel better. Music always makes me feel less alone in the mess.

    While there are really no hard-­and-­fast absolutes in my field, there are truths about shared experiences that deeply resonate with what we believe and know. For example, the Roosevelt quote that anchors my research on vulnerability and daring gave birth to three truths for me:

    I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can't have both. Not at the same time.

    Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage.

    A lot of cheap seats in the arena are filled with people who never venture onto the floor. They just hurl mean-­spirited criticisms and put-­downs from a safe distance. The problem is, when we stop caring what people think and stop feeling hurt by cruelty, we lose our ability to connect. But when we're defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable. Therefore, we need to be selective about the feedback we let into our lives. For me, if you're not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I'm not interested in your feedback.

    I don't think of these as "rules," but they have certainly become guiding principles for me. I believe there are also some basic tenets about being brave, risking vulnerability, and overcoming adversity that are useful to understand before we get started. I think of these as the basic laws of emotional physics: simple but powerful truths that help us understand why courage is both transformational and rare. These are the rules of engagement for rising strong.

    1. If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall; this is the physics of vulnerability. When we commit to showing up and risking falling, we are actually committing to falling. Daring is not saying, "I'm willing to risk failure." Daring is saying, "I know I will eventually fail and I'm still all in." Fortune may favor the bold, but so does failure.

    2. Once we fall in the service of being brave, we can never go back. We can rise up from our failures, screwups, and falls, but we can never go back to where we stood before we were brave or before we fell. Courage transforms the emotional structure of our being. This change often brings a deep sense of loss. During the process of rising, we sometimes find ourselves homesick for a place that no longer exists. We want to go back to that moment before we walked into the arena, but there's nowhere to go back to. What makes this more difficult is that now we have a new level of awareness about what it means to be...
About the Author-
  • Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection, and I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't). She is the founder and CEO of The Daring Way, an organization that brings her work on vulnerability, courage, shame, and worthiness to organizations, schools, communities, and families. Her 2010 TEDx Houston talk, "The Power of Vulnerability," is one of the top five most-viewed TED talks in the world. Brown lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two children.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Brené Brown's latest book continues her focus on growing stronger from tough life experiences. She narrates it with a steady sense of urgency that dominates the listening, even when the themes have a lighter, more optimistic tone. But these are weighty issues, especially if you're recovering from difficulties and, overall, they are served well by the drama in the author's performance. Highly personal stories and Brown's gut-wrenching honesty contribute to the intensity and work well to illustrate her step-by-step formula for rising above shame and hurt. She has a remarkably nuanced understanding of how pain makes us internalize blame, avoid personal truths, and lose our openness to life's rewards. This is an invaluable resource that sounds as close to psychotherapy as an audio can be. T.W. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine Brené Brown's latest book continues her focus on growing stronger from tough life experiences. She narrates it with a steady sense of urgency that dominates the listening, even when the themes have a lighter, more optimistic tone. But these are weighty issues, especially if you're recovering from difficulties and, overall, they are served well by the drama in the author's performance. Highly personal stories and Brown's gut-wrenching honesty contribute to the intensity and work well to illustrate her step-by-step formula for rising above shame and hurt. She has a remarkably nuanced understanding of how pain makes us internalize blame, avoid personal truths, and lose our openness to life's rewards. This is an invaluable resource that sounds as close to psychotherapy as an audio can be. T.W. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
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Rising Strong
Brené Brown
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