In the two years since I was first introduced to Brene´ Brown in a Ted Talk, I have read three of her books, Daring Greatly, The Gifts of Imperfection and now Rising Strong, all of which have helped me tremendously in my turnaround process.
The idea of acknowledging the role of vulnerability and shame in your life, so that one can venture forth, daring bravely is pretty life changing stuff. After reading her first books, I set forth on my path to live a wholehearted life, daring bravely and then what happened? Life…day to day messiness…less than perfect decision making…and sometimes even full on face down failure.
On the cover of her latest book, Rising Strong, it reads, “If we are brave enough, often enough, we will fall. This book is about what it takes to get back up.”
Even though I know in my heart leaving my job was the best thing for me, there are feelings of failure associated with it; if I had just tried harder I could have made it work, thoughts like that gnaw at me. Someone I worked with, as we were commiserating about the situation said, “I would quit too, but I don’t like giving up”. Jeez louise…is that what I did? I wallowed for a bit in my failure story. Nevermind the fact our lives are at totally different stages and what makes sense for her, doesn’t make sense for me…failure, guilt, fear creeped into my bones.
In Rising Strong, Brene Brown acknowledges these stories we have created in our minds and challenges us to reckon with them, to rumble with them, in order to come out the other side so that we can dare bravely once again.
She gives us this exercise to help us work through our stories once we have written them down:
- What more do I need to learn and understand about the situation? What do I know objectively? What assumptions am I making?
- What more do I need to learn an understand about the other people in the story? What additional information do I need? What questions or clarifications might help?
- What more do I need to learn and understand about myself? What’s underneath my response? What am I really feeling? What part did I play?
She says, “The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness – even our wholeheartedness – actually depends on the integration of all our experiences, including the falls.”
I for one want to own my story, regardless of how scary I have made it, and dare bravely again! Here’s to you rising strong as well!