Brene Brown’s storytelling in Rising Strong

If you have never read Brene Brown’s books, you must.  Better yet, if you have never seen the Texan speak about her years of research, find a way to listen. (Her TEDx talks are wonderful!)  Brown recently released her latest book

Brene Brown's newest book teaches us how to get up after we fall.

Brene Brown’s newest book teaches us how to get up after we fall.

Rising Strong.  I love the words on the front cover flap – “When we deny our stories, they define us.  When we own our stories, we get to write the ending.”  The book takes us through what she calls the Rising Strong Process – the steps needed to write a story ending that brings much more fulfillment and wholeheartedness to our lives.

I have admired Brown’s work for years especially as it relates to storytelling.  I was fortunate to interview her when she came to BookPeople in Austin to sign copies of Daring Greatly in October 2012, and it was one of those interviews I forgot was being recorded. We only needed to get about 15 to 30 seconds of her speaking to fill the time slot we were given in the news that night, but the interview went on for more than five and a half minutes. (That’s a lot of time in the television news world!) She has so much to tell us about what matters most in life – relationships with ourselves and others close to us.

Brown has spent years researching vulnerability, shame and courage at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She says nothing truly meaningful can exist without vulnerability. Think about it. Love. Joy. Creativity. We must make ourselves vulnerable to truly experience and appreciate them all.  I count myself extremely lucky to be able to ask her personally how we can dare to be vulnerable and how we teach vulnerability to our children. Just a few weeks later I emceed the Texas Conference for Women where she was a keynote speaker. I was able to tell her privately how HER story had influenced MINE.

Brown’s stories have inspired millions by getting to the basic core of what truly brings meaning to our lives. It’s not simple stuff. She is a researcher. She spends much of her time analyzing data from stories she collects about people, so I love that she also calls herself a storyteller. She says stories are “data with a soul.”    

I went home from my interview with Brene Brown evaluating the vulnerability factor in my life and how I should find more ways to start Daring Greatly (The book title came from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech.) We can all learn from her stories. Thank you, Brene, for daring greatly and sharing them.  Now with her new book, Rising Strong, we are reminded when we dare, we will fall, but we can get back up – with an even better ending to our story than we have ever dreamed could be possible.

Brene Brown interview—October 2012, kxan

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