Book Review: Lean Inside By Jay Pryor

Note before we begin: This is a review for Jay Pryor’s book Lean Inside. I’m not affiliated with him, nor am I a client (I wish). I wanted to share this book with you because the book has had a huge impact, not just on my personal life, but the way I think about my business. I hope you enjoy the review, and if this is something you’re interested in seeing more of (book reviews that is) please let me know in the comments.

This is a review for Jay Pryor’s book Lean Inside. I’m not affiliated with him, nor am I a client (I wish). I wanted to share this book with you because the book has had a huge impact, not just on my personal life, but the way I think about my business. I hope you enjoy the review, and if this is something you’re interested in seeing more of (book reviews that is) please let me know in the comments.

Before I give you the review of Lean Inside, I want to share a little bit of a personal story as to why I purchased the book in the first place.

I’ve written before about the funk that ate my life, but I want to make sure that I’m clear on what I mean by that. I was depressed. Clinically depressed. And it was for about two years. I wasn’t taking care of myself on pretty much every level, from basic grooming like showering, to not maintaining my relationships with my husband, friends, and family. I was shutting down a little further every day. All I wanted to do was lay on my couch, not cry, and veg on Netflix. And that’s pretty much what I was doing by the time I finally got some help.

To sum up, it got really, really bad.

When I finally got help, I threw myself into making myself better. I sought help from my doctor, a therapist, and every self help resource I could get my hands on. I read blogs, listened to podcasts, and read books. I decided when I got help that it was more important to get better faster because it would mean that I could start to really take the time and care that it requires to come out of something like that.

Lean Inside was one of the last “self help” books I read and wish that it had been the first. I wanted to share this with you today for two reasons.

First, Jay has written something truly amazing. It’s digestible, moving, and relatable. Second, mental health, for some odd reason, is still taboo. People have the misconception that people who need help making themselves shower or take care of themselves in basic ways are somehow broken. And if sharing my depression, or the funk that ate my life, helps to diminish that, then I’m more than happy to share.

Overview of Lean Inside

In his book, Jay Pryor speaks to the seven step process that creates a more fulfilling and stable life. In the introduction, Jay takes the reader through his personal journey as a transgender man and his journey to finding his path as a coach. His story is a relatable one, leading the reader through the highs and lows and eventually presenting itself through the seven steps that he emphasizes as the steps to transforming your life.

Without giving too much away, the sub title of “7 Steps to Personal Power” is not a let down. Jay takes the time to go through each step of the process in the book and explain why it’s important, how to perform it, and what the end result can be.

Just as a note, this book, like all books in the broad spectrum of self help, is all about what you put into it. Much like a business, the more you give, the more you get.

Major Takeaways For Me (It’s Personal Y’all)

  1. Asking for what you want. I don’t know about you, but I fall into the be everything to everyone trap quite often. I put other people first and when directly asked, couldn’t answer the simple question, “What do you want?” This was initially a world shaking realization. I couldn’t tell you what I wanted, but I could rattle off the hopes and dreams of my loved ones like they were my own. The hardest part about this was simply asking for it. Once I got clear on what I wanted, asking for the help I needed (if it required help) was really effing hard.
  2. Understanding what my belief system (or BS) was. I always thought this had more to do with religion, but a BS can be anything. And in my case, it was holding me back. By following Jay’s advice in the book about being aware of the conversations I was having with other and internally, I was finally able to understand how those beliefs were impacting my life on a literal day to day basis.
  3. Avoiding setting my BS meter off. As I shared earlier, I was in pretty rough shape by the time I picked up this book and it opened my eyes to why the other books I had read, why the affirmations I was trying on the advice of my doctor, why nothing seemed to be shifting my mindset. I didn’t buy what I was saying. Which leds directly into my second favorite thing.
  4. Baby stepping the eff out of everything. I am typically a big picture person when I’m well. I can close my eyes, see the road that I have to take and decide how best to get to my goal destination (in fact it looks a whole lot like the yellow brick road to Oz.) But when I’m not well, looking two steps ahead is enough to shove me back into my “nope” mindset. Jay’s advice to baby step the shit out of everything is incredibly impactful.
  5. Progress, not perfection. Can I get an “Amen!” I never understood why I couldn’t move forward when I was trying so damn hard and still falling short. And Lean Inside helped me realize that while I can forgive a lot (and I mean a lot) from the people I love or the people in my life, I find it damn near impossible to forgive myself. I’m not great at it yet, and I’m not sure if the progress I’m making could be what’s considered “good” but it’s mine and I love it.

More From Jay Pryor

Whether you suffer from “run of the mill” fraudy feelings to actual clinical depression, I recommend reading this book. If you want to check out Jay, you can do that at the following:

Lean Inside: 7 Steps to Personal Power

Doing the Work with Jay and Becca (podcast)

The Being Boss episode that started it all for me


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