Stepping Into Your Edge

One topic I hear mentioned often in my coaching is fear.  Fear of changing careers.  Fear of not making enough money.  Fear of what others might think.  Fear of what my choices might lead to in the future.  These are all legitimate fears and concerns.  I know because I too face them every day.  Our opportunity to breakthrough in our lives comes from harnessing fear.  I like to look at it from the lens of where our fears and our excitement overlap.  Where we’re scared, anxious, have butterflies…yet also have an excitement and feeling of being alive.  Where these two come together is what is referred to as The Edge.  This is what pushes us out of our comfort zone and into an area of growth.
ReeseOverEdgeThis past weekend I took my daughter Reese climbing in the mountains.  At 9, she has been climbing for a few years, but has never rappelled (descending down the rope off a cliff).  She said she wanted to try.  After I got her rigged up in her harness and rope, I instructed her on what to do…keep her right hand on the rope, slowly move back toward the edge, lean back over the cliff, and begin walking down it.  She paused at the cliff edge, and for a minute I wasn’t sure she’d go.  Then she took the next step and before we knew it, she was rappelling down!  At the bottom she was ecstatic and screamed “I wanna do that again!”  Before the end of the day she was “free rappelling” down overhangs without her feet on the rock, shouting to her little brother “Jack, you’ve got to try this!”reese_rappelling

So what does this have to do with business, relationships, and all the stuff we normally focus on?  I suggest everything.  Just imagine the new confidence Reese has as she moves into middle school in a year or so.  Think of how it will serve her as she encounters new barriers and scary challenges in her life.  By stepping into her edge this weekend, she has more confidence and experience than before.  She can now tap into that as she continues to push her comfort zone and trusts herself more fully.
Each of us has this same opportunity.  For each commitment you make, goal you set, or challenge you want to overcome, ask yourself:
What would this look like if I stepped into my edge?
How can I push the envelope a little more and get out of my comfort zone and into my growth zone?
There is a great article on fear from this month’s Outside magazine.  While it focuses on extreme athletes, see how you can identify with the concepts they share and what you can adopt to your mental toolkit as you take courageous next steps in your life.  Then go find a way to push yourself – mentally, physically, emotionally – and step into your edge.