Rising Strong: Summary Review

This is a summary review of Rising Strong containing key details about the book.

What is Rising Strong About?

The physics of vulnerability is simple: If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall. This is a book about 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 can be our greatest call to courage and Rising Strong, our clearest path to deeper meaning, wisdom and hope.

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Who is the author of Rising Strong?

Casandra Brené Brown is an American research professor, lecturer, author, and podcast host. Brown is known in particular for her research on shame, vulnerability, and leadership.

Rising Strong Summary Notes

Summary Note: Embracing Vulnerability and Failure: The Key to Rising Strong

The main theme of this book summary is the importance of vulnerability and failure in the process of personal growth and development. Taking risks and learning from mistakes is essential, even though it can be uncomfortable and leave us feeling vulnerable. The concept of rising strong is introduced as a multi-step process that can help individuals recover from failure and emerge with greater confidence.

To begin the journey of rising strong, one must first accept the possibility of failure and commit to giving their best effort regardless. It is also important to remember that everyone experiences failure, and seeking advice and support from peers can be helpful. By embracing vulnerability and learning from our mistakes, we not only benefit ourselves but can also inspire and impact those around us.

While the book doesn't provide a strict formula for rising strong, it offers principles that can be adapted to individual situations. The key takeaway is that vulnerability and failure are not weaknesses to be avoided, but rather opportunities for growth and learning. By accepting these experiences and taking steps to rise strong, individuals can become more resilient and better equipped to handle challenges in all aspects of their lives.

Summary Note: The Three Steps of Rising Strong

Rising strong is a process of recovering from failure by embracing vulnerability and learning from it. To help individuals navigate this process, the book Rising Strong outlines three steps: reckoning, rumbling, and revolution.

The first step, reckoning, involves recognizing and acknowledging the emotional shifts that occur during a challenging situation. By taking an interest in the connection between their emotions, thoughts, and actions, individuals can gain insight into their behaviors and reactions.

The second step, rumbling, involves critically examining the stories and narratives individuals tell themselves about their struggles and weaknesses. By revisiting and challenging these stories, individuals can uncover deeper truths about themselves and their experiences. This involves confronting difficult emotions such as shame, guilt, heartbreak, and forgiveness.

The third step, revolution, occurs when individuals take the insights gained from reckoning and rumbling and use them to make positive changes in their lives. Unlike evolutionary change, which happens gradually, revolution involves a sweeping, radical shift in the way individuals live, love, lead, parent, and participate in society.

While the rising strong process is not a one-size-fits-all solution, these three steps provide a framework for individuals to navigate difficult situations and learn from them. By embracing vulnerability and being willing to fail, individuals can rise strong and create positive change in their lives.

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Summary Note: Reckoning with Emotions: The Key to Rising Strong

In life, we all face setbacks and challenges that can leave us feeling overwhelmed and defeated. However, those who are able to bounce back and rise strong have one crucial trait in common: the ability to reckon with their emotions. This means both acknowledging and investigating their feelings, rather than trying to suppress or ignore them.

The first step to reckoning with emotions is recognizing them, which can be difficult as we often try to bury negative emotions with distractions or rational thoughts. However, denying our emotions can lead to a build-up of tension, which can later explode in unhealthy ways. To avoid this, we must give ourselves permission to feel and accept our emotions, even if they are uncomfortable.

The second step to reckoning with emotions is getting curious about them. This involves asking ourselves questions like "What's really bothering me?" and "Why am I reacting this way?" By investigating our emotions, we gain insight into the root causes of our struggles and can begin to develop effective solutions.

By mastering the art of reckoning with emotions, we can become more resilient and better equipped to navigate life's challenges. This involves a willingness to be vulnerable, to acknowledge and accept our feelings, and to approach them with curiosity and compassion. Ultimately, by taking ownership of our emotions and using them as a tool for growth, we can cultivate greater emotional intelligence, build stronger relationships, and lead more fulfilling lives.

Summary Note: Question Your Stories to Learn About Yourself

We all have stories we tell ourselves to make sense of our experiences, but sometimes these stories can hold us back. In Rising Strong, the author suggests that we should question the stories we tell about ourselves and our struggles in order to learn more about ourselves and grow.

When we experience pain, anger, or frustration, we often try to make sense of it by telling ourselves a story. However, this can lead to a narrative that tells us we've been suffering our whole life and that we will continue to suffer. By rumbling with our stories and being honest with ourselves, we can shake up these narratives and learn more about ourselves.

One way to do this is by writing out a "shitty first draft" of our story. This is an uncensored and emotionally-driven account of the way we see our struggle, which can take the form of a fill-in-the-blank style list. By putting our story on paper, we gain some distance from it and can reflect on it from a different perspective. This can help us become more aware of the traps we've set for ourselves and avoid falling into them.

Questioning our stories and being honest with ourselves can be uncomfortable, but it's an important step in personal growth. By learning more about ourselves and the narratives we tell ourselves, we can break free from the traps that hold us back and live a more fulfilling life.

Summary Note: Learning from Personal Experience: Insights on Boundaries, Integrity, and Generosity in Rising Strong

In this main idea from Rising Strong, the author shares her personal experience of rumbling with boundaries, integrity, and generosity. The story begins with the author agreeing to share a hotel room with another speaker at a conference, despite feeling uncomfortable with the arrangement. The roommate's behavior during the conference led the author to feel punished for complying with the organizers' demands.

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After returning home, the author rummaged with her emotions and wrote a shitty first draft to understand her feelings. This exercise led her to realize that she needed to maintain her boundaries and take responsibility for her well-being, even under pressure from others.

Through this experience, the author gained valuable insights into herself and her relationships with others. She learned the importance of being honest with herself, setting boundaries, and maintaining her integrity, even when faced with difficult situations. This main idea emphasizes the significance of personal growth and learning from our own experiences in order to rise strong.

Summary Note: Rumbling with Expectations to Avoid Disappointment and Forgive

Expectations can be both energizing and exciting, but they can also lead to disappointment and resentment when they don’t match reality. In this main idea, the author emphasizes the importance of identifying and rumbling with our expectations to avoid disappointment. To do so, we must explore and discuss our expectations with the people we expect things from, making them explicit and realistic.

Moreover, expectations play a central role when it comes to rumbling with forgiveness. We need to let go of unrealistic expectations that lead to hurt and recognize individuals for who they are with their struggles and weaknesses. It’s about letting certain expectations die and embracing forgiveness to move forward with our relationships. The author suggests that rumbling with expectations can help us avoid disappointment and begin the process of forgiving others.

Summary Note: Asking for Help is a Sign of Bravery, Not Weakness

In this main idea, the author explores the common belief that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Through a personal anecdote, the author reveals how her own prejudices and privilege kept her from helping the homeless, and how this led her to realize the importance of asking for help in the rising-strong process. The author's realization is that asking for help takes courage, and is not a sign of weakness, but rather a vital part of overcoming failure and rising strong.

The author's story serves as a reminder that we all have prejudices and biases that can keep us from seeing the truth about ourselves and the world around us. It takes bravery to confront these biases, to admit our own weaknesses, and to ask for help when we need it. The rising-strong process requires us to take a hard look at ourselves and to be vulnerable, to acknowledge our struggles and shortcomings, and to seek help from others when we need it.

Asking for help can be difficult, especially for those who have been taught to believe that it is a sign of weakness. But in reality, it is a sign of strength and courage. It takes strength to admit that we don't have all the answers, and that we need help from others. By asking for help, we open ourselves up to new possibilities, new perspectives, and new ways of thinking. We also create deeper connections with others, and build a support network that can help us through difficult times.

In the end, the key takeaway from this idea is that asking for help is an essential part of the rising-strong process. It takes courage to be vulnerable, to admit our weaknesses, and to seek help from others. But by doing so, we can overcome failure, rise strong, and build deeper connections with those around us.

Summary Note: Rumbling with Accountability and Trust for Stronger Relationships

In the workplace, mistakes are bound to happen. But what sets great teams and leaders apart is their ability to rumble with accountability and trust to restore relationships after a failure. This is demonstrated in the story of Andrew, a senior leader at an advertising agency who made a big mistake that shook his team's trust in him. Andrew rose strong by admitting his mistake and taking accountability for it, which led to higher levels of trust, respect, and transparency within the team.

Accountability and trust are crucial for any strong relationship or work culture, but they require individuals to have the courage to apologize and make amends when things go wrong. Rumbling with accountability means owning up to one's mistakes and taking responsibility for them, while rumbling with trust means repairing relationships and staying true to core values. When groups use the rising-strong process to rumble with accountability and trust, they can come out stronger than ever before. This process involves acknowledging the emotions surrounding a failure, reckoning with the story being told, and revolutionizing that story by integrating the lessons learned. By doing so, teams and organizations can build stronger relationships and cultures that can weather any storm.

Summary Note: Rising Strong in Groups: The Power of Collective Vulnerability

Rising strong is not just a process for individuals but can also be applied to groups, making them more resilient and stronger when faced with challenges. When organizations make the rising-strong process part of their culture, individuals within a group can rise strong together. The Daring Way, a company founded by the author to help professionals address issues of vulnerability, courage, and worthiness in the workplace, has incorporated rumbling into their workplace culture.

Rumbling involves acknowledging conflict and vulnerability, leading to a shared understanding of the situation, and preventing conflict from escalating. By making space for shitty first drafts and encouraging open communication, team members can build trust and work towards resolving issues effectively. The author and her team found that the willingness to rumble about conflict and be open about their stories helped them prevent conflict and stick together even during a catastrophe.

The rising-strong process can have a profound impact on organizational culture, creating a safe space for vulnerability, open communication, and learning from failures. When individuals and teams are willing to rumble with their emotions and acknowledge their mistakes, they can build stronger relationships and trust, and emerge from challenges more resilient than ever. The power of collective vulnerability can be harnessed to create a culture of openness, honesty, and trust that enables organizations to thrive.

Book details

  • Print length: 336 pages
  • Genre: Nonfiction, Self Help, Psychology

What are the chapters in Rising Strong?

Chapter 1 A note on research and storytelling as methodology
Chapter 2 Truth and dare : an introduction
Chapter 3 The physics of vulnerability
Chapter 4 Civilization stops at the waterline
Chapter 5 Owning our stories
Chapter 6 The reckoning
Chapter 7 The rumble
Chapter 8 Sewer rats and scofflaws
Chapter 9 The brave and brokenhearted
Chapter 10 Easy mark
Chapter 11 Composting failure
Chapter 12 You got to dance with them that brung you
Chapter 13 The revolution

What is a good quote from Rising Strong?

Top Quote: “Compassionate people ask for what they need. They say no when they need to, and when they say yes, they mean it. They're compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment.” (Meaning) - Rising Strong Quotes, Brené Brown

What do critics say?

Here's what one of the prominent reviewers had to say about the book: "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

* The editor of this summary review made every effort to maintain information accuracy, including any published quotes, chapters, or takeaways. If you're interested in furthering your personal development, I invite you to check out my list of favorite personal development books page. On this page, you'll find a curated list of books that have personally impacted my life, each with a summary and key lessons.

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Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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