Book Talk: Rising Strong by Brené Brown

Book Talk: Rising Strong by Brené BrownRising Strong by Brené Brown
Narrator: Brené Brown
Length: 8 hrs, 51 mins
Published by Random House Audio on August 25, 2015
Genres: Nonfiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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The physics of vulnerability is simple: If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall. The author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection tells us what it takes to get back up, and how owning our stories of disappointment, failure, and heartbreak gives us the power to write a daring new ending. Struggle, Brené Brown writes, can be our greatest call to courage, and rising strong our clearest path to deeper meaning, wisdom, and hope.

Even a couple of years ago, there’s no way I would have picked up a book by Brené Brown. I avoided anything with the self-help label like the plague. It’s not that I didn’t know I needed help or to improve myself, but I feel on the whole about self-help books the way I feel about fad diets. The concepts are either obvious or actually unhealthy. However, I stumbled across Brené Brown when a Facebook friend shared one of her Ted Talks at just the right moment, and it re-affirmed the changes I’ve been working on myself and in therapy. I proceeded to binge through all of her long talks on YouTube, and they’ve had a huge impact on me, even my past self would judge the hell out of me for it. 😉

Rising Strong happened to be available from my library and also narrated by Brown, who has a very engaging storytelling style. A lot of her other books are narrated by other people, which is why I started with this one. All of Brown’s work focuses on shame, vulnerability, trust, and being courageous. The focus of Rising Strong specifically is finding the strength to learn from struggle and come through it a better person. Times of hardship are inevitable, and her research shows that, either you “rumble” with the feelings and figure out the true source or you will not grow. There are numerous examples throughout the book of this basic process.

Though I did prefer the videos for their brevity and decreased focus on spirituality (not really my personal jam), Rising Strong made some great points, and I know I’ll be rumbling with the concepts for quite a while. At one point, she talks about how there were two basic camps of people in response to the idea “everyone is doing the best that they can at any given time”: those who agree and those who don’t. Those who agree are much happier, kinder, and more able to love and be loved. I, of course, fall into the latter camp. It’s something I’ve really been wrestling with, because I do get the idea, but I really, truly don’t feel like everyone is trying to do their best. It’s something I’ll have to keep thinking about for a long time, I expect.

Brown’s works have come into my life at a time when I really needed them. There’s a talk she did for Opera about The Anatomy of Trust that has been instrumental for me in thinking about a friendship currently on the rocks. I’ve been re-evaluating my own behavior too. I am by nature a very private person, and I never liked to share anything that might make someone not like me or respect me, but ultimately by not sharing your true self, you’re preventing true intimacy. It sounds a bit hokey for sure, but it’s true. I’ve been working on opening up, and I’ve seen that borne out.

Agree with everything or not, Brené Brown’s research is fascinating and worth some thought. I know I’ll be reading more of her books, even though I do love her talks a bit more.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

One response to “Book Talk: Rising Strong by Brené Brown”

  1. I LOVE THIS BOOK. I listened to it on audio too. Brene Brown has such a way of talking about compassion and failure, it’s something that really speaks to me. This book really helped me to think about processing some things that had happened to me.

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