Brene Brown on Rising Strong

Dr. Joel Ying, MD

Physician, Educator, Storyteller. He hosts this website for "Living the Present Moment" as a conscious journey of Body, Mind, Emotion & Spirit. Holistic and integrative, his practice includes Tai Chi and Yoga, Craniosacral Therapy, Healing From the Core, Meditation. Always exploring his edges, he shares them in the blog, newsletter, courses, and online study group.

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Brene Brown summarizes the work of her books. (Click the links for prior blogs.)

In Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, Brene Brown tackles hard topic of failure. If we dare greatly often enough, the odds are we will face an eventual hurt and failure. How can we recover? by rising strong!

How do you meet failure?

In my own observations of people, the most revealing fact about a person is NOT how they meet success, but how they meet failure. As many others have said, those that have not failed have not tried hard enough. Failure is the inevitable risk of going after your dreams. We live in a culture that celebrates success. We list all our accomplishments on websites and resumes. The scary truth is that success is born out of failures and failed attempts. Success comes from failure. (Yes, it’s a paradox.)Those that have met failure and were supported through it  to get up and try again will develop the resilience to meet the ups and downs of life.

When failure comes later in life at a time when we are supposed to be “successful and independent,” many people have already attached their self-worth to continued success and independence. Operating under perfectionism, many of us still have areas of our life where we have not yet developed the resilience to get up, reach out, and rise up stronger … but we still can.

In this book, Brene Brown offers the Rising Strong Process with practical examples of getting through the difficult landscape of emotions that come up when we fall flat and get stuck in shame, heartache, fear, anxiety, panic, anger, guilt, and all the other possible emotions of failure.

The Rising Strong Process

  1. The Reckoning: What is the emotion that is coming up for me?
  2. The Rumble: What is the story that I’m telling myself?
  3. The Revolution: How can I rewrite my story to live more wholeheartedly?


One organization that supports what I call “failing forward” is Toastmasters, where members learn public speaking and leadership. Meetings provide a supportive community and a safe space to begin public speaking. Here’s the conversation that often goes on in my head after a “bad” speech.

  1. The Reckoning: “I feel like a failure. I totally bombed that speech. It did not go the way that I had planned. The audience totally hated it. I should never come back here. I’ll never be a good speaker.”
  2. The Rumble: “The story that I’m telling myself is that I am a failure because this small practice speech did not go well.”
  3. The Revolution: “This speech is better than the last one. With each speech I will continue to improve. I am a success because my skills are improving. I’m looking forward to the next speech.”