Book Review: Rising Strong by Brene Brown

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A year or so ago, I wrote about my role models. That list holds strong and true. But if I rewrote it today, Dr. Brené Brown would be at the top. I’m going to Houston next month (her home base), and I checked her website to see if she was teaching a seminar or making a local appearance that weekend – anything where I could, even briefly, sit at her feet and under her tutelage. Sadly, she’ll be on a national tour with Oprah (NBD), but in any case I was forced to accept it: I’ve become a full-blown Brené Disciple.

Most people know Dr. Brown from her 2012 breakthrough Daring Greatly. The centerpiece of that book, and much of her work and research, is Theodore Roosevelt’s famous “Man In The Arena” speech. After marinating in and living out the Daring Greatly message for several years, she needed to hone in on that first part about failure, the falling down marred with sweat and blood. Because when we’re living bravely, we will fall down again and again. How do we keep getting up, and going back into the arena? This was the inspiration for her new book, Rising Strong.

Dr. Brown identifies three guideposts for rising strong: reckoning (identifying and owning our emotions after a fall); rumbling (digging through shame and fear to get to the truth); and revolution (what happens as this routine becomes ingrained in our lives). Taking a cue from Anne Lamott, she encourages creating “shitty first drafts” to help us express how we’re really perceiving a painful situation. This process takes courage, but could eliminate so much unnecessary stress in relationships and even within organizations.

Rising Strong could not have been more timely for me. Over the last few years, I’ve been working hard at daring greatly. It hasn’t happened by accident, and it’ll be a lifelong process. I’m more comfortable taking a variety of risks big and small. I care a little less about what other people think, or doing what’s expected. I’m committed to being real about my struggles even if it makes others think less of me. But I’m also experiencing some significant hurt, shame, and fear that I could have avoided by not stepping out. I’m learning what it feels like to have the ground taken out from under me repeatedly because I choose to keep entering the arena. To keep trying, hoping, and loving. I’ve seriously looked over at Daring Greatly in my bookcase and thought things like, “Well, now I’m beaten-down and tired and I don’t know how many more times I can get back up. What am I supposed to do with that?!?” Thankfully, my guru Brené was already on the case.

Rising Strong will be released on August 25. I plan to get a physical copy that I can mark up to my heart’s content. I suggest you do the same!

Recommended for: EVERYONE IN THE WORLD.

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

About Brenda W.

Christian. Memphian. Reader. Writer. True blue Tiger fan. Lover of shoes, the ocean, adventure, and McAlister's iced tea. View all posts by Brenda W. →
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