Why it’s better to lean in.
What does that even mean?
What is the “lean in” meaning?
While it sounds like the latest pop culture buzz word nonsense, leaning in has always been a method of growth for me.
Just like the hand you’re dealt in poker, you gotta decide: Are you all-in (lean in)? Or are you all-out (lean out)?
When a player is all-in, they can not perform another action because they don’t have any chips left.
It’s do or die, baby.
Gutsy or stupid? That’s what you have to decide.
Leaning into your life, to your business, to your personality, to your whatever, means you’re all-in.
Being all-in is leaning in; accepting that you’re going to slide ALL YOUR CHIPS into the pot and you’re willing to take the risk that it presents.
It means you’re jumping in faith, you’re stopping the nonsense of lesser actions that have less risk and smaller payoffs.
Do or die, baby.
Leaning in can be the most courageous thing you’ll ever do.
Courageous, when you aren’t sure of the outcome?
Courageous, when you can’t see where you might land?
Courageous, when you ~a million reasons not to go all-in here~
A thousand times, yes.
- You’re defying odds. COURAGEOUS!
- You’re shutting out the noise of those who insist you shouldn’t – you mustn’t – you can’t. COURAGEOUS!
- You’re taking a risk of the lionhearted: DO! STAND! LEAN IN! COURAGEOUS!
- Your stomach gets squinchy just reading the words, because you know the cost of leaning in. COURAGEOUS!
- Have an EXTRA! personality and folks don’t get you? (um, HELLO!) COURAGEOUS!
- You are traveling your path. This path is the best…for you! COURAGEOUS!
- You are listening to your heart. You only have one heart – listen to it! COURAGEOUS!
I’m hoping you see the pattern here. It takes courage to lean in. Write that on your heart for all times.
Leaning in is glorious and exhausting.
I know there have been many times you simply wanted to go along to get along – meaning you leaned out.
You didn’t embrace you. You took the easier path. No judgement, just example.
Ever made a decision in your life that evokes unsolicited opinions of why exactly you’re a dumbass? (yes – speaking from experience)
Folks love telling other folks how their decisions are boneheaded. And I get if those voices were more than you could handle.
The stress of leaning in is not for the gentle, go with the flow, manatees of this world. (ooo, now I wanna go swimming with a roly poly manatee)
Leaning in is betting on yourself. Pushing all the chips in, for you.
Ever have an idea that’s before its time and you excitedly told others about it, and they looked at you, like, well, like you have too much time on your hands, and HOOBOY!, that imagination?
Stand tall. Take a deep breath. Summon your bravery and push those chips in!
If you don’t, if you don’t lean in to the gloriousness that is you and your uniquely amazing self, you may spend the rest of your life kicking yourself in the pants, you know, if you could literally do such a thing.
Personal example: over 30 years ago, after ruining Boy’s 1000th diaper because I had attached it too tight/loose the first time, I had a true lightbulb moment – re-attachable tabs! no more waste!
As everyone knows, someone else had that same BRILLIANT idea and acted on it.
Re-attachable diapers are no longer ruined because someone leaned in.
There is a simple truth I want to share with you, one that may change the course of your life: find the voice within and listen to it.
Listen with every part of you: that voice is your intuition and it leans in…for you.
Your inner voice is your figurative lean to.
What’s a lean to?
Per Websters: a wing or extension of a building having a lean-to roof.
Your inner voice is your lean to shelter. It’s an extension of who you are, who you can become, where you want to go.
The voice knows all and wishes you’d take a hot second to have a sit-down.
It also knows it’s not easy (if it were easy…).
It knows there are days where you’d rather not lean in.
Lean out, then?
Leaning out has its own drawbacks, worse than leaning in could ever hurt.
When I find myself leaning out, fear has taken over my thought processes.
- I’m scared and have a knee jerk reaction to that fear.
- I’m scared to correct course because fear is reminding me why I might fail.
- I’m scared others will be on to me. (Imposter Syndrome)
- I’m scared of being embarrassed.
- I’m scared that my fears are right and my bravery is wrong.
- I’m scared to push against the popular view of the day (it’s exhausting being a woman of strong opinion).
- Mostly, though, when I lean out, I’m scared of the unknown ahead.
Leaning out is the easier short-term option because we understand what leaning in means: hard work.
So then the question is: how bad do you want it?
Either way, only you can decide whether to lean in or lean out.
Life is f’in’ hard. Pop culture will insist you ride with the herd. Be the same. Talk the same. Dress the same. Think the same.
If that is your leaning in – BRAVO.
If it isn’t, stop leaning out.
There’s no payoff in that torture.
Be uniquely you.
Learning to read at an early age, then devouring every book written by Dr Seuss, drilled a lean-in mentality into my head with his captivating childhood rhymes.
Dr Seuss leaned in:
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
The good doc was on to something.
I’d like to think Seuss would tell you why it’s better to lean in.
Lean in. Always lean in. That’s where the magic hides.