Social work research professor Brené Brown is not your run-of-the-mill academic. Eschewing the ivory tower, Brown puts her research—enhanced by her personal story and the stories of others—out into the world for all to see (catch her TED talk on vulnerability—millions have!). She’s ready to rumble with the tough stuff of life, including failure, imperfection, vulnerability, shame and courage.
This outspoken, “lock-and-load” Texan and best-selling author categorizes her previous two books as a “call to arms,” exhorting readers in The Gifts of Imperfection to “be you” and, in Daring Greatly, to “be all in.” Her latest book, Rising Strong, completes this triumvirate with an inspiring message: “Fall. Get up. Try again.”
Brown’s motivation for her research and writing is “to start a global conversation about vulnerability and shame.” This, she avows, is a step toward the authentic, wholehearted life we all yearn for.
There are three phases in Brown’s rising strong theory (“the reckoning, the rumble, the revolution”), which is predicated on the power of leaning in to our hurt, of not denying our stories. These tales are what we must “reckon” with, employing self-acceptance and curiosity to see essential truths about our lives. The second phase is to “rumble” with those truths, owning them and deciding how the story will play out. The third phase is nothing short of a “revolution” that signifies a life transformed and aligned with courage.
“Revolution,” says Brown, “might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance.” ¡Viva la revolución!