“It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.”
The idea of taking a step beyond our edge of comfort means we are willing to reside in a state of physical and emotional tension; to go to our edge and work directly with where we are stuck in order to move beyond it and realize far more than we thought was possible. In order to step to our edge, we must leave the realm of thoughts and enter the experience through the heart.
Think of a difficult decision you may face at work – do you take the promotion that offers you reward but comes with more responsibility, greater creativity, longer hours and perhaps time away from family or do you stay with your current position where you feel safe and know what to expect? What emotions arise in this situation? Fear? Confusion? This is an indicator that you are at your edge. Getting touch with the emotional energy of the situation gives us the opportunity to get clear on what may be holding us back. Rather than weighing pros and cons mentally, use your emotional energy to understand if you are experiencing a habitual reaction to fear. With this understanding, you can step toward your edge rather than avoiding it.
This takes courage, but courage isn’t about becoming fearless. Courage is the willingness to experience our fears, notice our edge and step to meet it with self-compassion. Everyone feels fear in stepping beyond the illusion of comfort. Stepping to our edge also takes practice and sometimes a series of small steps is all we need to let down our guard and make the shift beyond our fears.
Your Edge is Your Path of Transformation
Where we meet our edge is actually our path forward. If we use our self-awareness to notice that we shut down or do not feel ready for the prospect of moving beyond current conditions, it’s possible to view our edge as an opportunity to work with the emotional reasons behind our limitations. We discover that our edge is the next step in personal growth on our path. When you reach beyond your boundaries is when your inner qualities start to shine. You are growing through self-discovery, where transformation and change occurs, creating new experiences beyond the edges in your life.
With an attitude of curiosity and an openness to step beyond the familiar, conditioned patterns of reacting, we open the doors to living a genuine life. Richard Branson famously said, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are too small.” Your edge lives in you and you must meet it yourself. Once you do, you’ll discover an enormous satisfaction from creating life as you desire it to be, not as a reaction to conditions. It’s about being present, not perfect.
How to Step To Your Edge
Don’t look to the future to step your edge. Let go of the future and the past; choose to find your edge in the present moment. Your attention is on purposefully and intentionally stepping toward and over the line of comfort alert and completely present. This builds up the power of being in the moment – conscious awareness – when challenges arise. Stepping to your edge is also about meeting challenges in a totally different way. You don’t react out of conditioning in the mental realm which is reacting to the present from the past. Instead, you approach your edge with the inner wisdom and truth that arises in your consciousness in the present.
Here’s an exercise for stepping to your personal edge, walking the parameter of perceived safety and comfort, and crossing onto your path of living the braver, more authentic and bigger life you are meant to have.
- Take a deep breath. Identify a challenging situation in your life and something about it that feels like an obstacle on your path. (Remember your edges show up in real life!) Take a piece of paper and draw a “T” line down the center of the page. Across the top of the “T” write down a sentence that describes the challenge, decision, choice, dilemma or situation you want to work with. Leave a couple of inches at the bottom and draw a line across the page.
- In the left-hand column write down things you could do to address the situation but would be a little uncomfortable or fearful for you. E.g. Having a conversation about it with someone; Taking on a 60-day health challenge; Getting up a half-hour earlier to meditate.
- Now, take a moment to go within and listen as you ask yourself what you would really, truly like to do from your heart-wide-open consciousness to overcome this obstacle, but perhaps they seem a bit impossible for the moment. Intentionally ask yourself: Is there another way? A more authentic way?
Write those things down in the right-hand column. E.g. Start my own business; Write a book; Take a trip; Change jobs.
- Across the line at the bottom of the page write ‘Steps”. Here is where you outline your inspired “action-steps” toward moving beyond your edge. Intentionally recall your challenge or obstacle, and your goals. What can you do now that is a bit uncomfortable but that would get you closer to your “impossible” goals? E.g. Can you set up a time and date for that uncomfortable conversation? How about going to bed a half-hour earlier so you still get your 8 hours of sleep but stay on track for meditation time in the morning?
- Do it. By doing it and the other steps you’ve outlined you’ll come closer to knowing you can do the “impossible.” Every time you reach for new heights, you’ll feel less fearful and more empowered.
- Don’t beat yourself up and if you backslide. Accept your fear. Embrace the edge as the opportunity it is to know yourself better and transform. Get in touch with your inner self and take that next step outside of your comfort zone. You’re off!
- In real life, challenges happen. Why not use them to break through to living more authentic, more present and more in alignment with the fantastic life you are here to enjoy?
Are you ready to step to your edge and discover your authentic self?