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Rising Strong
Cover of Rising Strong
Rising Strong
How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
#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-
    • Chapter 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 brave. We...

    About the Author-
    • Dr. Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation-Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.

      She has spent the past sixteen years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers – The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, and Rising Strong. Her latest book, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and The Courage to Stand Alone, will be released Fall 2017.

      Brené's TED talk, "The Power of Vulnerability," is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 30 million views.

      In addition to her research and writing, Brené is the Founder and CEO of BRAVE LEADERS INC - an organization that brings evidence-based courage building programs to teams, leaders, entrepreneurs, change makers, and culture shifters. Brené lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Steve, and their children, Ellen and Charlie.
    Reviews-
    • Publisher's Weekly

      July 20, 2015
      Brown (Daring Greatly) wrestles with that moment when we fall—and, as she argues, the brave person attempting to live wholeheartedly will always fall. Encouraging readers to be curious about their emotions, Brown guides them through the process of accepting vulnerability and emerging from the shadow of shame and fear. With a fresh perspective that marries research and humor, Brown offers compassion while delivering thought-provoking ideas about relationships—with others and with oneself. Her writing is down-to-earth and entertaining, and it is easy to recognize one's own self in Brown's stories, examples of which include a tension-filled almost-argument between Brown and her husband that blessedly turned into a moment of understanding, dealings with a sloppy and demeaning hotel roommate that moved Brown to self-scrutiny, and a botched work project where taking responsibility for failure created a space for respect and teamwork. This book is about owning your story and choosing how to actively engage with the world. With Brown's excellent guidance, it's easy for readers to become as invested in her story as they are in their own, and, more importantly, to move beyond preconceived stories about themselves.

    • Library Journal

      October 1, 2014

      A research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, Brown studies issues of vulnerability and shame--which leads her directly to this book's subject, bravery, both what it is and how we can find it in ourselves. Since she's author of the No. 1 New York Times best sellers Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection and has had nearly 16 million views of her 2010 TED talk, this book is a sure bet for many social science collections.

      Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
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