Find your edge. Push your edge.
I’ve been forced to explore this concept lately. I’ve been pushed beyond many of my edges with all the traveling I’ve been doing. (By the way, traveling is one of the best edge pushers out there.)
Traveling means: Easy, simple communication with other people.. you can forget it. Finding food, ordering food, just knowing what food is.. no way, ain’t happening. The act of getting from point A to point B… really confusing (and I’ve only been in developed countries so far).
I’m not blaming anyone. I'm not complaining at all. I enjoy the challenge in a way. I knew exactly what I was getting into. I’ve been pushing these edges purposefully and intentionally for years, but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t downright difficult. Just because I’m choosing to push my edges, doesn’t mean that I never breakdown, crying, and/or into fits of slightly crazed laughter. Because I do. I have. And I will.
So I've been forced (admittedly, of my volition) to explore this idea of finding and then, subsequently, pushing my edge.
So what does “pushing your edge” mean? To me, the statement depicts walking on the boundary between the comfortable and the uncomfortable. It means stepping slightly over the line of safety. You’re not way out in the dark wilderness, but you’re also not in the cozy shelter of home.
It may sound cliche, but outside the boundary of comfort is where change happens, where transformation occurs. It is where you learn, you grow, you explore, and I would argue, where real life happens. And I don't know about you, but I'm only interested in soul-shaking, painful, heart-breaking-wide-open, REAL LIFE.
When you walk just outside the parameter of perceived safety you start to get bigger, you get braver, your circle on influence grows, and you take on more and more Truth.
So I have a little exercise for you to do this week to help you push your personal edge in a practical way.
- First, you need to have something in mind that you’d really, really like to do but seems impossible because it’s so far out of your 'comfort zone'. Keep this in mind while you work through this exercise.
- Get a pencil/pen and paper
- In the center of the paper draw a little circle.
- Inside this little circle write some things that are in your comfort zone. Things like: “driving to work”, “visiting my parents in Florida”, “making dinner”, etc.
- Now draw a larger circle around the smaller circle of your comfort zone.
- In this circle write things that you could do but would be a little uncomfortable for you. E.g.(These are just some examples, everyone’s fears/discomforts are different): “public speaking”, “starting a new diet”, “having a conversation about sex with my kids”
- Now, draw an even bigger circle around the two circles you’ve already drawn.
- In this circle write the things that you would want to do (like really, really want), but, currently, seem completely impossible. E.g. (again, these are just examples, yours could be totally different): “quit my soul sucking job” “travel around the world.” “write a book” “be proud of my body in a teeny bathing suit” “give a TED talk”
- Now, we don’t want to jump head first into these seemingly impossible things, (that's a recipe for perceived failure) but when we start to “push our edge” we’ll start to move further and further out of our little circle until the things in our biggest circle are actually the things in our medium circle. See how that works?
- So your action step now is to start doing the things in your medium circle which would lead you to your seemingly impossible goals. EXAMPLE: If the ultimate, “impossible” goal is to travel the world, then think about what makes it impossible. Is it money? Then think about something you could do (this will probably be a little uncomfortable) that would start to save you money. Maybe you can give up cable TV, give up your fancy coffee habit, quit drinking (hey! it ain’t good for you AND its expensive), start building a side business (doTERRA essential oils anyone? Get a hold of me!). When you start to see the slightly uncomfortable things as normal, then the things that seem totally impossible or uncomfortable, come closer.
- Now sit down and go through this exercise again, but while intentionally thinking about your specific goals.
- What can you do now that is slightly uncomfortable, but brings you closer to the impossible? Do it.
- Push your edge.