I was painfully shy as a little girl. Sick-to-my-stomach shy. I-don’t-want-to-go-to-preschool shy. I vividly remember waiting with my mom for my little yellow bus to preschool, trying to think of any reason I could to get out of going. “What happens if I have to throw up” I asked her. “Keep your mouth closed until you get home” she advised. Thanks for the pep talk mom. But, she was practicing her best tough love. She was ahead of her time with her “feel the fear, but do it anyway” parenting. Lean in. She left me no other choice.
Above: Shy, timid 3-year old me
I’m not usually the one to do something impulsive. Most, if not all of the challenges I’ve taken on are the result of a seed that was planted, watered and nurtured until I could no longer ignore it’s budding presence in my mind. In my early 20s I left the security of a studio job and took the plunge to start my own freelance graphic design gig. With zero knowledge of anatomy or physiology, I studied to become a certified personal trainer. Once I rode 115-miles on a bicycle through Arizona to raise money for cancer. I found the courage to leave an unhappy marriage, and later an abusive relationship. I enrolled in project management classes and passed a grueling 4-hour exam to earn my PMP certification. I opened my heart again and found my true love and life partner. I got off the back of the motorcycle and moved up to the front seat to ride my own. I conquered self-doubt and insecurity and started Ride Like A Girl Designs. Each one of these things intimidated me. There were moments that took me back to that little pre-school girl waiting for the bus, wanting to retreat. There were tears. Tantrums. Throwing of things. Plenty of times I questioned “wtf do you think you’re doing?”. But each time, something inside me responded, “stay the course”. The risk, along with the time and effort, would be worth it. When I was fearful, I let myself feel the fear. And then I did it anyway. I leaned in. And each time I came out the other side stronger, more confident, and excited for the next challenge.
Lean in. What does it mean? In its most literal form, lean in means to shift your body weight forward. On a motorcycle, you lean into a curve as you roll on the throttle. Metaphorically lean in means to embrace risk and challenges. It’s about accepting that a situation maybe uncomfortable, difficult or even dangerous, but the outcome so worthwhile.
Tomorrow I’m celebrating a birthday, and the concept of leaning in is on my mind. Life moves fast. Time flies. I wish there was a pause button to slow it down, or a way to pick and choose which moments to revel in. There isn’t, but we CAN make every day count. We can live a life without regrets, jam packed full of meaning, moments and accomplishments. It’s done with purpose, intention and mindset. It’s done by setting goals and staying the course. When there is fear, feel it. When there is risk, embrace it. Follow your dreams. Fall down but get back up. Lean in to your big old life, every day. It will be so worth it.
The inspiration for this bracelet was to design a physical reminder for those moments when you are feeling unsure, insecure or that you’ve lost your way. You have everything you need right there inside of you. Just lean in. SHOP NOW! Also available in copper!