Your friend Cindy tells you of a recent dream to sell her house and move to India for a year. She says she needs to step out of her comfort zone. After she goes on and on about what her new life will look like, she turns to you for advice. Do you respond with counsel to help control her fear or encouragement to feed her excitement?
Whether it's you or Cindy initiating this conversation, here is how to consider the differences in personal edges. Your inner dialogue may look like this:
"Wow, does she really wants to push her edges in such an extreme way? If she wants adventure can't she go to the amusement park? Gosh, why don't I push myself in this way? Have I settled for the easy road? What if I wanted to do the same thing as Cindy?"
Pushing our edges serves us in three distinct ways.
We learn who we are and who we are not.
Cindy finds no benefit living a 9 to 5 life in the suburbs. Her edges lie in living in foreign lands, spending less money on stuff and exposing herself to new cultures. On the other hand, you push edges in a relationship gone stale or looking for different work after 20 years with the same company.
We are forced to see another way.
Cindy is a seeker. She craves the idea of placing herself in radically different settings. She wants to test her threshold for survival and make room for new understandings. For you, pushing edges means stepping away from the habit of judging yourself and instead smiling in the mirror. There is no order of difficulty here, but rather a simple need to look for a lighter perspective.
We find freedom.
Sometimes our edges are harsh limits we place on ourselves and others. Clients often tell me they've lived in a box for years. It could be a box someone put them in or one they chose for themselves. And one day, the box starts to feel small and confining. For sure, it's now time to push up and out for fresh air and sun.
Edges help us determine how to better listen to our own inner voice for unbiased direction. We seek clarity, not fear or a promise that everything will be perfect to illuminate the path ahead. When we reflect on old and new edges, hope is revived that our potential is evolving and it will fuel us to continue to improve and evolve.