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Book Club: Rising Strong

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou


Brené Brown is a researcher, author, and professor at the Universty of Houston. She’s spent the past three years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame and is also the author of three #1 New York Time Bestsellers. So in short: she knows what she’s talking about.

In Rising Strong Brené shares the results of years of research on how to get up after you’ve fallen. She describes the “rising strong” process in three stages:

The Reckoning – First, recognize what you are feeling (anger, sadness, despair, etc) and then get curious about it. Why am I feeling this way? Lean into the discomfort and don’t be afraid to feel explore difficult emotions.

The Rumble – Be honest about the struggle and your perspective on the stiuation (or as Brené puts it: the stories we’ve made up) and make sure to reality-check these narratives. “The rumble is where whole-heartedness is cultivated and change begins.” Our first response is “driven by emotion and the need to self-protect, which means it’s most likely not accurate, well thought out, or even civil.”

The Revolution -“Unlike evolutionary change, which is incremental, reolutionary change fundamentally transforms our thoughts and beliefs.”


Here are a few of my favorite takeaways from the book.


Quotes from Rising Strong.
  • Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.
  • When you’re on your path, the universe will conspire to help you.
  • Choosing to write your own story means getting uncomfortable; it’s choosing courage over comfort.
  • Curiosity is an act of vulnerability and courage.
  • Feeling hurt doesn’t go away. If left unchecked it can fester and grow into behaviors that sabotage our relationships and careers.
  • Fear is in the stories we tell ourselves.
  • Just becomes someone isn’t willing or able to love us, it doesn’t mean that we are unlovable.
  • Just because someone failed to see the  value in what we can create or achieve doesn’t change its worth or ours.
  • Writing helps us focus and organize the experience. This is why I’ve kept a journal for 13 years.
  • Stop loving people for who they could be and start loving them for who they are.
  • Boundaries are a function of self-respect and self-love.
  • Heartbreak happens when love is lost. The brokenhearted are the bravest among us – they dared to love. To love is to know the loss of love.
  • To live without regret is to believe you have nothing to learn, no amends to make, and no opportunity to be braver with your life.
  • When we deny our stories, they define us. When we run from struggle, we are never free.

Visit Brené’s website to learn more about what she does and the other books she’s written, as well as download valuable resources she has like the Rising Strong Manifesto.

For more book recommendations explore this column and follow Philly Book Club on Instagram.

Share what you’re reading with the #PhillyBookClub hashtag.




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