Sound familiar? There are events and incidents that occur in the stretch of our lives that push and enact change.
These might be instances you've enacted yourself; such as a job change, new adventure or learning a new skill. Other times, these events happen to us; such as job loss, losing a loved one, relationship break down and so on. The ultimate ethos behind 'growing edge' thinking, is that we cannot progress, grow and flourish without putting ourselves on 'the edge'.
Howard Thurman, a civil rights leader and now dean at Boston University, conceived the notion of The Growing Edge in a book under the same name. The volume comprises of a collection of Thurman's liberal and moving sermons.
So, what is 'the edge'?
The best way of thinking of your 'edge', as it were, is to consider it as the edge of your comfort zone. Just on that peak, that precipice, is where you're given the opportunity to leap forward – often into the unknown. Avid supporters of 'growing edge' theory suggest that by consistently pushing yourself towards this precipice, you continually improve your life.
What do we mean when we say, 'improve your life'? I mean, we might think that our life is pretty great! But, are you fulfilling your potential? Could you be doing more? You won't know until you put yourself on the edge.
How can I reach my growing edge?
1) Say YES
The easiest way to start pushing yourself towards the edge of your comfort zone is to simply say 'yes' to any opportunity that comes your way. You'll soon realise what's inside or outside your comfort zone – and who knows what you might end up experiencing as a result.
2) Write a bucket list
There's no 'right time' to start working on your bucket list – so why aren't you working on it now? What are you waiting for? What needs to happen to convince that your life is worth experiencing right now? Take a look at that list, prioritise and get planning!
3) Change it up
We all have constants in our lives: our job, our favourite foods, our taste in music, our hobbies. But what if you were to change one of these? Challenge yourself to experience new things. Perhaps, join a new sports team or sign up for an endurance challenge, go to an event that's totally new to you, book a trip to that place you've always wanted to visit. If you're feeling really stagnant, you can even make changes to the largest constant in your life – your job. Push for promotion, apply for a new role, ask for a pay rise, QUIT!
Why you should never stop challenging yourself
Without challenges, without struggles, how will you know how to overcome them? By purposefully placing ourselves 'on the edge', we are better equipped to cope with it when we are placed on the edge, without our consent.
For example, if you regularly put yourself out of your comfort zone in terms of travelling to new places or attending nerve-wracking events – you won't be phased when your boss turns around and requests that you attend a high-profile event on their behalf. If you regularly address people you don't know, or publicly voice your opinion on a blog etc. – you won't be bothered by public speaking at a company conference or summit.
Pushing yourself enriches you, expands your repertoire of experiences and rewards you with incredible self-worth. Every time you achieve something new, you'll feel awesome about yourself – and we've all got time for a bit of that!