Falling Hard and Rising Strong

20-Oct-2015

Kathleen here. A lot of people ask me how Braid landed Dr. Brené Brown as a client and the answer it simple – I read her book Daring Greatly, reviewed it here on this blog, and then practiced being vulnerable and shared it with Brené herself on Twitter. From there, she started following our work and contacted us to overhaul her personal brand before her first appearance on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.

So it feels a little full circle to be writing another review of Brené’s newest book Rising Strong. In fact, I’ve been in the trenches with Brené for a few years now that I took for granted how truly brilliant her work is – Rising Strong was a really great reminder. Here’s what I learned:

THE STORY YOU’RE TELLING YOURSELF
The overarching theme and the big takeaway I got from Rising Strong is that your life is one big story you’re telling yourself… and if you’re brave enough and strong enough you can own the struggle and you can write a new ending.

YOU CAN’T SKIP OVER THE MESSY MIDDLE
In a day of perfectly composed Instagram vignettes and impeccably curated Pinterest boards it’s easy to feel like that’s what life should look like. But the truth is, living a wholehearted life means getting a little messy. Brené was giving a talk at Pixar and afterwards had lunch with the creative team. They were talking about the creative process, the art of storytelling, and of course about fear, uncertainty, and vulnerability. The Pixar team shared their traditional three-act structure of crafting a narrative:

Act 1: the protagonist is called to adventure
Act 2: the protagonist solves the problem and usually hits rock bottom
Act 3: the protagonist learns the lesson and comes out a little more enlightened.

What I learned from Rising Strong is that the messy middle, the act 2 of our story, kind of sucks but it’s 100% necessary for growth. Part of the rising strong process is getting curious and honest with your messy middle – because when we rumble with our struggle, only then can we write a transformative ending. (click to tweet)

FAILING IS ACTUALLY PAINFUL
There has been a movement, especially in the entrepreneurial circles, of practically celebrating failure. We all like to hear stories about how we’ve failed and we’re all inclined to reframe through rose-tinted glasses as a learning experience, which is often helpful, but not always totally honest. I read stories all the time from entrepreneurs who glorify their big failures and I’m asked all the time in interviews what my biggest failure was, even myself forgetting that those scars were once painful open wounds. The truth is: failing sucks and failing hurts. If Daring Greatly is all about being brave enough to get in the arena then Rising Strong shows us how to acknowledge and own our failures and get back on our feet when we’re face down in the dirt. Rising Strong is about how to be vulnerable and resilient when we’re not armored up behind perfectionism or paralyzed by the fear of failure.

Daring Greatly continues to be one of my all time favorite books for creative entrepreneurs – but if you’re ever having a face-down-in-the-dirt moment and need the courage to rumble with your struggle Rising Strong is for you. Brené writes with her unique voice that comes with being a gritty and hilarious Texan with 13 years of world rocking research under her belt.

BRENÉ BROWN ON THE BEING BOSS PODCAST
This week on The Being Boss podcast my co-host Emily and I interview Brené about creativity, vulnerability, fear, perfectionism, and what it means to dare greatly and rise strong. Take a listen here and subscribe to Being Boss on iTunes.

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