“Rising Strong” by @BreneBrown

December 15, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

I have read all three of Brené Brown’s books. She starts with “The Gifts of Imperfection“. Her second one is “Daring Greatly”. The one I am reading is “Rising Strong”.  Brené Brown does the research to understand why we act the way we do.  Brown in book describes “The Gifts of Imperfection” – Be You; “Daring Greatly” – Be All In; and “Rising Strong”- Fall. Get Up. Try Again.

“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.”  Brown’s rules of engagement for rising strong are: 1)if we are brave enough often enough, we will fall; this is the physics of vulnerability; 2) once we fall in the service of being brave, we can never go back; 3) this journey belongs to no one but you; however, no one successfully goes it alone; 4) we’re wired for story; 5)creativity embeds knowledge so that it can become practice. We move what we’re learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands; 6) rising strong is the same process whether you’r navigating personal or professional struggles; 7) comparative suffering is a function of fear and scarcity; 8)you can’t engineer an emotional, vulnerable, and courageous process into a one-size-fits-all formula; 9) courage is contagious; 10) rising strong is a spiritual practice.

Most of our vulnerability comes from not thinking that we are enough.  For women, it is usually around appearance and body image, for men is around strength and courage. The “Rising Strong” process has a reckoning where we recognize emotion, get curious about our feelings and connect with the way we think and behave. Then we go into the rumble where we 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. Then we enter the revolution where we write our new ending 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.  Brown uses the Maya Angelou quote: “you many not control all that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

During the “Reckoning” chapter, Brown explains the box breathing method of Breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds and hold for four seconds.   Many high-stress workers use this in military, fire fighting, police, and teachers.  Typically when something happens, we create a story that is driven by our emotions.  Brown suggests that you ask these questions: 1)What more do I need to learn and understand about the situation? 2) What more do I need to learn and understand about the other people in the story?3) What more do I need to learn and understand about myself?

Brown discusses in the “Rumble” chapter that  “in the absence of data, we will always make up stories.” Some of these are confabulations – stories we make up that we think are true but are honestly told.  Anne Lamott uses the idea that we should write our own SFD – shitty first draft (or stormy for younger ages). This helps us foster awareness about our stories. Brown suggests that you write something down to get them out in the open by using these six sentence starters: 1) the story I’m making up…. 2) my emotions…3) my body…. 4) my thinking…. 5) my beliefs… and 6) my actions….  “Self-righteousness starts with the belief that I’m better than other people” leading to the thought that “I’m not good enough.”

If you go through life thinking that everyone around you is not doing your best, it is very easy to get frustrated.  If you go through life thinking that everyone around you is doing their best, you have more empathy, understanding, and compassion.  Brown also remind the reader that “Disappointment is unmet expectations, and the more significant the expectations, the more significant the disappointment.” Brown also states “offering help is courageous and compassionate, but so is asking for help.”

Trust is hard to do but you need to use the acronym “BRAVING” to remember to 1) set Boundries, 2) be Reliable, 3) have Accountability, 4) be a Vault for secretes, 5) choose Integrity, 6) act with  Nonjudgment, 7) extend Generosity.  You can also use this acronym to ask yourself questions about our own self-trust.

“Failure can become nourishment if we are willing to get curious, show up vulnerable and human, and put rising strong into practice.” Remember to ask “What are the stories that we are making up?”

The 5 Rs for how Rising Strong Works:

  • Respect for self, for others, for story for the process
  • Rumble on ideas, on strategies, on decisions, on creativity, on falls, on conflicts, on misunderstandings, on disappointments, on hurt feelings, on failures
  • Rally together to own our decisions, own our successes, own our falls, own and integrate our key learnings into our culture and strategies, and practice gratitude
  • Recover with family, friends, rest, and play
  • Reach out to each other and the community with empathy, compassion, and love.

Ten Guideposts for Wholehearted Living:

  1. Cultivating authenticity: letting go of what people think
  2. Cultivating self-compassion: letting go of perfectionism
  3. Cultivating a resilient spirit: letting go of numbing and powerlessness
  4. Cultivating gratitude and joy: letting go of scarcity and the fear of the dark
  5. Cultivating intuition and trusting faith: letting go of the need for certainty
  6. Cultivating creativity: letting go of comparison
  7. Cultivating play and rest: letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth
  8. Cultivating calm and stillness: letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle
  9. Cultivating meaningful work: letting go of self-doubt and “supposed to”
  10. Cultivating laughter, song, and dance: letting go of being cool and “always in control”

Scarcity Ideas: We’re living in a culture of scarcity, a culture of “never enough.” The opposite of scarcity is enough.  We are enough.

Brown has so many tidbits in this book, it is hard to summarize.  You must read this book!

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