Book Review: Lean In


What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

That’s the question Sheryl Sandberg poses in her much-talked-about book Lean In.


You may have heard a thing or two about Sandberg’s book – after all, there is a pretty big corner of the internet filled with nearly everyone’s opinions about it. But whether you want to be (or already are) a CEO, a news anchor, a stay-at-home mother, a teacher, an engineer, or any combination of titles, I believe Sandberg’s book has something valuable for you right now.

It’s no secret that men outnumber women in many of the senior positions in business and government. According to Sandberg, “this means that when it comes to making the decisions that most affect our world, women’s voices are not heard equally.”[1]

All of us are familiar with some of the external barriers that may contribute to keeping women from leadership positions: less pay for the same work, lacking maternity leave and childcare options, sexism or sexual harassment in the workplace, to name a few.

But Sandberg brushes past these and focuses instead on the internal barriers that keep women from fearlessly pursuing their dreams.  Do any of these sound familiar to you?

–          Lacking self-confidence

–          Not raising our hands

–          Internalizing negative messages  – the messages that say it’s wrong to be outspoken, aggressive, or powerful

–          Lowering our own expectations of what we can achieve[2]

I don’t know about you, but I constantly fight the urge to stay silent instead of speak up. If you’re anything like me, you know it’s a daily battle to not relive each failure but remember that in God all things are possible. And if you’ve ever looked ahead and felt totally unprepared and incompetent, you know how wild it is to dream about what you would do if you weren’t afraid.

Sandberg kicks of Lean In by identifying these challenges that each of us face and then spends the rest of the book laying out things we can do to overcome these internal barriers. Come back later this week to learn what they are!

In the meantime, let’s dream a little. What would you do if you weren’t afraid?


[1] Page 6

[2] Page 8


Caroline is a wonderful part of the  CapCityChurch community.  She and her husband Brian lead the children’s ministry at the CapCity Kingstowne location.  Caroline works on Capital Hill and lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and their adorable dog Ellie.  For more from Caroline you can find her writing regularly on her blog, A Different Story.

Author: beautifulyou

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  1. Love this, Caroline. Yes, I, too, have had those “daily battles”- thankful that with God, all things are possible!

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  2. I loved reading this book with you and our “book club!” Very insightful and it produced some great discussion. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Caroline!

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  1. Book Review: Lean In, Part 2 | BY Movement - […] Part 1 of this post can be found here. […]

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