Lean In or Lean Out?

 In Writer in Residence

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Anontropolis


When someone says “lean in” my natural reaction is to lean out. Why? “Leaning in” feels like accepting something immediately. I can’t do that! I have to pause. I have questions. I become nauseous. I feel overwhelmed and just like that I lean out.

Leaning out keeps me in my safe space. I am happy here. I am free to do as I please. I am in my own peaceful world. The problem arises, because it is nice to be around others and participate. Why can’t I lean in and join the circle?

I was recently asked to join the front row in my dance class. I don’t like the front row, people watch you, you are expected to know the dances and to help the instructor. That is too much pressure, I like the peace and freedom that comes with the back row. Well when the instructor motioned me forward I panicked.

I took a deep breath, the instructor needed me. There was nothing to be afraid of I helped choreography the song. I knew what I was doing. My second deep breath and I leaned in. The dance was fabulous. These ladies don’t care how I dance. We are all here for the purpose of having fun and to move our bodies.

After the song a fellow dancer said I was made for the front row. I thanked her and made my quick exit. The back row was calling me. It is fun to “lean in” every once in awhile, my adrenaline gets pumping and I get to help others.

I find there are gifts in the times I “lean in” and when I “lean out.”


Inspiration Challenge:

Tell me about a time you step out of your comfort zone.


Write On Ladies, Write On 



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