What’s all the fuss about leaning in?

In my quest for enrichment, growth and all things inspirational, I keep coming across this idea of “leaning into” life.

Life coaches are talking about it. Professional recruiters are urging job seekers to lean in to their dream career. Tara Brach, psychotherapist and Buddhist meditation teacher talks about it in her book Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha. Heck, even Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, told this year’s graduating class at Barnard College to lean in.

So, what’s all the fuss about leaning in? It’s a pretty simple concept. Leaning in is the practice of accepting what you have tried to avoid, resist, or struggle against. Forget about leaning back and letting the world control your destiny; have faith and follow your gut. It’s part decision-making, part trust and sometimes a giant leap off a scary cliff. It’s putting your wishes, dreams and energy out there and letting things flow back to you in whatever form they take.

When I think about leaning in of course I reflect on my own life but, as a marketer I also can’t resist thinking about how companies can lean in to what they desire as well.

Can you lean into your brand? Absolutely. It’s all about getting outside your own head or as a client of mine once famously said, “stop sucking our own exhaust.” It’s defining your brand in simple terms. Boiling it down to its essence. It’s back to basics. Forget where you’ve been and just be in the present. Probably not the easiest thing for most companies to do. But, if you rely on experts who don’t live with your brand day after day and add in a dash of research with your customers, you can gain perspective. You can lean in to what it truly means to experience your brand – in the process, you’ll learn why your raving fans love you and what’s been holding you back.

So lean in. Take the leap. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what flows back.