The act of embracing something, or a situation, by using it to empower yourself. To “lean into” something is to own it, to cast off disparagement. You move forward and deal with it with unhindered confidence, casting off concerns and cares. ~Urban Dictionary
I’ve found myself using the phrase “lean into it” a lot lately. Most recently, over the last 12 weeks of teaching my Professional Practices and Portfolio I class, I’ve used the term to explain how often we, as creative professionals, need to embrace things we don’t understand and move forward in the face of fear and uncertainty if we are to grow.
This phrase has also popped up quite a bit in our internal studio/client meetings lately as a way of describing a path or way forward when an outcome is uncertain. It connotes a determination to solve a problem even though an answer is not present at that moment.
Lean into it is new for me. I’ve heard it many times before, but I really can’t remember using that term a lot in the past. It struck me, though, today just how fitting a description it is for 2020, given the sad state of things over the past year. I’ve had to do a lot of leaning into things this year, as have we all. But leaning into it comes from a position of strength—it represents our ability to rise above uncertainty, trust that there is a larger picture, and understand that we need to move forward even when we can’t see the way.
While lean into it seems to have magically appeared in our daily lexicon, it makes me laugh at how timely the subconscious mind can be.