A few months ago I read Brene Brown’s Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. Last year I read her Daring Greatly as well as The Gifts of Imperfection and they were excellent, making my top book list in 2016.
Rising Strong is an application of a lot of the same research and ideas to the realm of failure and resilience in life. Daring Greatly was more about risk-taking generally and courage for the sake of more in the face of shame and fear. Rising Strong is a much deeper dive into identity and vulnerability in the context of pain, loss, rejection, and failure.
There’s a lot in the book, but there are great sections related to emotions and failure, storytelling, the psychology of failure and trauma, and identity. I appreciated the diverse applications ranging from family to work to relationships and life overall. The core idea of the book is that failure often dictates identity to us. It sets the stage for an identity conflict and how we respond and the process that we filter the experience of risk and failure dictates our identity and self-concept. Meaning that if allow failure to speak failure into our identity with all the shame and condemnation that comes with it, it will become a part of us. We surrender to the failure in ways. However, if we see failure as part of a risk-taking, courageous life and can lean into the pain with vulnerability towards a higher calling then failure loses its power and even becomes a tool towards growth and strength.
Personally, this is a great resource for self-awareness and personal development in a variety of areas. As I’m studying conflict in multi-ethnic contexts, I find this to be a great resource to explore the connections between identity, emotions, and redemptive risk-taking.
If you want an in-depth summary to get a deeper chapter by chapter sense of the book, here’s a good one: http://www.meaningfulhq.com/rising-strong.html