Rising Strong (★★★★☆)

rising strong brown

I haven’t read any other books by Brene Brown. The only reason I picked this one up is because my dermatologist, of all people, was telling me how the book Daring Greatly drastically changed the way he interacted with several of his coworkers and family members—for the better. I liked what he had to say about that book (and I do plan on reading it in the future) but when I saw that this new book by Brene Brown was available, I snatched it up.

I’m glad I did, because I really enjoyed it. Brown has a very informal, friendly tone, and she comes across as warm, earnest, and honest. She seems genuinely caring and genuinely curious. And her words resonated with me.

Rising Strong is essentially about rallying after a fall. Brown says the Rising Strong Process has three stages. First, The Reckoning, where you acknowledge that an emotional “button” has been pushed. Second, The Rumble, where you revisit, challenge, and reality-check the (most-likely negative) narrative you have created for the situation. Last, The Revolution, where you integrate what you learned from the second step into your future interactions with people, situations, life, etc.

It’s a pretty simple and straightforward process, and I did find it to be helpful. Ironically, I got into a heated disagreement with my mother-in-law while reading this book. The book actually helped me recognize my feelings and understand why I was reacting so strongly. I was able to find some peace with my emotions and then reconnect—and ultimately resolve the problem—with my mother-in-law. It was perfect timing, truth be told.

However, I do have to agree with other reviewers that big chunks of this book feel like unstructured and unfocused “affirmations by Brene!” She relies heavily on anecdotes, personal experience, and informal research—which is sometimes great, but sometimes sluggish and wandering. She offers good and helpful advice, definitely, but she also jumps around a lot. Even when I went back to review my notes—yes, I take notes sometimes LIKE A BOSS—I thought, wow, this thing is all over the place.

Regardless, I still really enjoyed Rising Strong. Brown’s advice is helpful and straightforward. Her conversational tone makes the book fly by, and though I did find certain parts to be a bit tedious, I thought it was well worth the read.

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