We can not rise strong when we are on the run.
In Rising Strong, Brené Brown shares great insights on how acceptance of our struggles make us more whole in the long run than hiding them. The “Rising Strong” process requires courage, reckoning with our emotions, rumbling with our stories, and living the process, which is revolutionary and leads to wholeheartedness in our lives.
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.
Here are my favourite take aways from reading Rising Strong by Brené Brown:
Brené Brown Books:
- The Gifts of Imperfection—Be you.
- Daring Greatly—Be all in.
- Rising Strong—Fall. Get up. Try again.
- If we’re going to put ourselves out there and love with our whole hearts, we’re going to experience heartbreak. If we’re going to try new, innovative things, we’re going to fail. If we’re going to risk caring and engaging, we’re going to experience disappointment. It doesn’t matter if our hurt is caused by a painful breakup or we’re struggling with something smaller, like an offhand comment by a colleague or an argument with an in-law. If we can learn how to feel our way through these experiences and own our stories of struggle, we can write our own brave endings. When we own our stories, we avoid being trapped as characters in stories someone else is telling.
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.
- Our “facedown” moments can be big ones like getting fired or finding out about an affair, or they can be small ones like learning a child has lied about her report card or experiencing a disappointment at work. Arenas always conjure up grandeur, but an arena is any moment when or place where we have risked showing up and being seen. Risking being awkward and goofy at a new exercise class is an arena. Leading a team at work is an arena. A tough parenting moment puts us in the arena. Being in love is definitely an arena.
Gold-plate grit /badassery deficit.
Our Lack of honest conversation about the hard work that takes us from lying facedown in the arena to rising strong has led to two dangerous outcomes: the propensity to gold-plate grit and a badassery deficit.
We’ve all fallen, and we have the skinned knees and bruised hearts to prove it. But scars are easier to talk about than they are to show, with all the remembered feelings laid bare. And rarely do we see wounds that are in the process of healing. I’m not sure if it’s because we feel too much shame to let anyone see a process as intimate as overcoming hurt, or if it’s because even when we muster the courage to share our still-incomplete healing, people reflexively look away. We much prefer stories about falling and rising to be inspirational and sanitized. Our culture is rife with these tales.
THE BADASSERY DEFICIT
There are too many people today who instead of feeling hurt are acting out their hurt; instead of acknowledging pain, they’re inflicting pain on others. Rather than risking feeling disappointed, they’re choosing to live disappointed. Emotional stoicism is not badassery. Blustery posturing is not badassery. Swagger is not badassery. Perfection is about the furthest thing in the world from badassery.
The real badass is the person who says, “Our family is really hurting. We could use your support.” And the man who tells his son, “It’s okay to be sad. We all get sad. We just need to talk about it.” And the woman who says, “Our team dropped the ball. We need to stop blaming each other and have some tough conversations about what happened so we can fix it and move forward.” People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses.
The truth is that falling hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up.
The Rising Strong Process
The goal of the process is to rise from our falls, overcome our mistakes, and face hurt in a way that brings more wisdom and wholeheartedness into our lives.
THE RECKONING: WALKING INTO OUR STORY
- Recognize emotion, and get curious about our feelings and how they connect with the way we think and behave.
A map does not just chart, it unlocks and formulates meaning; it forms bridges between here and there, between disparate ideas that we did not know were previously connected. —Reif Larsen
Recognizing emotion means developing awareness about how our thinking, feeling (including our physiology), and behavior are connected.
THE RUMBLE: OWNING OUR STORY
- Get honest about the stories we’re making up about our struggle, then challenge these confabulations and assumptions to determine what’s truth, what’s self-protection, and what needs to change if we want to lead more wholehearted lives.
- Write a new ending to our story based on the key learnings from our rumble and use this new, braver story to change how we engage with the world and to ultimately transform the way we live, love, parent, and lead.
According to Brené Brown, there are seven elements of trust, as regards trusting others and trusting ourselves. She came up with the acronym: BRAVING as a model of trust.
- Boundaries—You respect my boundaries, and when you’re not clear about what’s okay and not okay, you ask. You’re willing to say no.
- Reliability—You do what you say you’ll do. At work, this means staying aware of your competencies and limitations so you don’t overpromise and are able to deliver on commitments and balance competing priorities.
- Accountability—You own your mistakes, apologize, and make amends.
- Vault—You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share. I need to know that my confidences are kept, and that you’re not sharing with me any information about other people that should be confidential.
- Integrity—You choose courage over comfort. You choose what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy. And you choose to practice your values rather than simply professing them.
- Nonjudgment—I can ask for what I need, and you can ask for what you need. We can talk about how we feel without judgment.
- Generosity—You extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words, and actions of others.
Story is our way home. Truth is our song. We are the brave and brokenhearted. We are rising strong.
The Rising Strong MANIFESTO OF THE BRAVE AND BROKENHEARTED
- There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers Than those of us who are willing to fall Because we have learned how to rise With skinned knees and bruised hearts; We choose owning our stories of struggle, Over hiding, over hustling, over pretending. When we deny our stories, they define us. When we run from struggle, we are never free. So we turn toward truth and look it in the eye. We will not be characters in our stories.
- Not villains, not victims, not even heroes. We are the authors of our lives. We write our own daring endings. We craft love from heartbreak, Compassion from shame, Grace from disappointment, Courage from failure. Showing up is our power. Story is our way home. Truth is our song. We are the brave and brokenhearted. We are rising strong.
AdmittingFailure.com, a kind of online failure report where anyone can submit stories of failure and learning.
All the Best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: live with Passion.