Rising Strong (Book Review with Quotes)

Rising Strong (Book Review with Quotes)

Rising Strong Book review with quotes

We read this for a recent book group, and had a great discussion about it, but did not like it as well as the previous one we read in 2019 by this author, Daring Greatly. Because she repeats some of the same stories, and the text needed some serious editing for readability, I initially wasn’t even sure I’d review this one. But there are some real precious jewels buried in here– that I’ve dug out for you and which we’ll be leveraging to our benefit– so this title crept back up to a 4 star book in my mind.

Check out these revelatory bits:

  • “When we own our own stories, we avoid being trapped as characters in stories someone else is telling.”
  • “I crafted this definition of spirituality based on the data I’ve collected over the past decade: Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to one another by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in  love and belonging. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives.”
  • “Grace will take you places hustling can’t.”
  •  “In one of my favorite studies described in The Storytelling Animal, a team of psychologists asked shoppers to choose a pair of sock among seven pairs and then to give their reasons for choosing that particular pair. Every shopper explained their choice based on subtle differences in color, texture, and stitching. No shopper said, ‘I don’t know why I picked that one.’ All of them had a story that explained their decision. But here’s the kicker: all of the socks were identical. Gottschall explains that all of the shoppers told stories that made their decisions seem rational. But they really weren’t.  He writes, ‘The stories were confabulations– lies, honestly told.'”
  • “The most dangerous stories we make up are the narratives that diminish our inherent worthiness. We must reclaim the truth about our lovability, divinity, and creativity.”
  • “My life is better when I assume people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgement and lets me focus on what is, and not what could be.”
  • “How can we expect people to put value on our work when we don’t value ourselves enough to set and hold uncomfortable boundaries?”
  • “The trick to staying out of resentment is maintaining better boundaries–blaming others less and holding myself more accountable for asking for what I need and want.”
  • “Self righteousness is just the armor of self-loathing.”
  • “What boundaries need to be in place so that you can stay in your integrity and make generous assumptions about this person’s motivation, intentions, or behaviors?”
  • “I now recognize that people learn how to treat us based on how they see us treating ourselves.”

Our take-aways from Rising Strong are to be more aware of and choose more wisely the stories we tell ourselves and others, as well as the boundaries we set. It also highlighted the importance of operating on the assumption that everyone is doing the best that they can in the moment, under the circumstances, with the tools they have. Do these things well and it can change your life for the better, and what’s not to like about that?

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Sue Krevitt 2 years ago

    Listening to Brene Brown’s wonderful book, Rising Strong, on Audible
    enhances the experience for me. Her voice and personality are a huge part
    of it! Good points in your review. I will listen to Daring Greatly next.
    Thanks, Polly.

  2. Kami Evarts 2 years ago

    I am glad I read this one even though some of it revisited earlier ground. I felt like there were more tips that could be used immediately, like you mentioned above. The stories we tell ourselves are powerful, and realizing we can change them is huge. Thanks for this great summary.

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