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What is Being on the Edge?

It reminds me of carrying a tray of over filled coffee cups and watching the liquid slosh over the sides. While my intense concentration on each step was not the sole reason for this less than stellar presentation, it made the experience unnecessarily nerve wracking. So concerned was I with how I looked that my self-judgments just underscored my nervousness. Only when my arms relaxed and my focus was forward was I able to reduce or eliminate the spillage.

Many times I have been on the edge and many times I have sat on the ledge. Sitting for the short term, like the downhill skier briefly resting, provides that space in which to regain one’s composure or gain a new perspective before continuing. Think of it as the scenic view, designed for a quick stop rather than a long term lease.

• What’s behind door #1 or #2 or #3? • What if you had access to the answer keys in advance? Would you use it? • What if you always knew the right/best decision to make? • What is the impact? How colorful or in fact, colorless would your life be?

Dream BIG and focus small and if you fail, do it BIG and FAST.  We get so caught up in the questions that we forget the joy and possibility that may just be around the corner. It’s a confidence builder to just get going.

  1. Is there an inherent fear in having big dreams?

  2. What if you were to fail in an astonishingly BIG way?

  3. What is most unnerving, having the dream or imagining it is unattainable and therefore not possible.

Being on the edge means being uncomfortable. It means not knowing that you will attain your goals/dreams with any certainty. Risk is not always easy to manage but with practice, it comes to feel less terrifying.

Not every edge overlooks The Grand Canyon, or the triple black diamond ski trail or view from atop The Empire State Building. Remember, in some cases there are safety rails and in others you will not have a life jacket. However, rest assured; you are not trying out for a spot with Ringling Brothers. Rather, your contract is with yourself to dig down and examine your most deeply held beliefs about change and what you are capable of doing.

I vividly recall my 50th birthday and its significance. The image that came to me was of walking towards a large swimming pool with a diving board that seemed to be 1000 stories high. The choice was to enter the pool from the side, either in a shallow dive or a less dramatic slide in, or climb that stairway to heaven and jump off the board. Fiftieth birthdays are nothing to brush aside so how did I want to celebrate it? In a perfect world, I would love to tell you that I executed brilliant form, entering the pool with nary a splash of water. The truth is I came to 50 somewhat sloppily but thrilled to have gotten there in one piece. Yes, make some waves and ruffle some feathers, do not worry about being perfect.

© 2016MWeisner

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