I read a blog a few weeks ago from someone who was going through a big change. In her post, she mentioned the “Edge Figure” and it stuck with me.
Now, sadly, try as I might, I cannot find the blog or the post to give credit where credit is due, so if you do recognise the term or post, please let me know and I’ll be glad to link to it.
But anyway, in that post, the author was going through a big change, and was experiencing (as we all tend to feel through big changes) doubt and fear. And she identified the doubt and fear, the voice that pops up when you get to close to the edge of your comfort zone, as the “Edge Figure”.
This persona protects the boundaries of your comfort zone, and can range from a gentle voice of warning, “Are you sure? It could be dangerous,” to downright mean and stinging, “How dare you, you selfish cow?”
And boy oh boy am I hearing this voice right now!
Loud, stinging, brutal – the things this voice tell me are frightening and mean:
You are going to screw this up and everyone will know you’re a big fake! Go back to doing what you know how to do! How dare you leave your team in this way? What right do you have to want something more? Why do you think you’re so special? And you know you’re just going to let everyone down! You won’t live up to it, you won’t make it, and you’ll be kicked to the curb. Your friends will laugh at you. You will be humiliated when you fail.
And on and on it goes.
And I can even picture this Figure, in the dark recesses, silhouetted and sinister…
Holy smokes, Edge Figure, give it a rest for a minute, will ya!?
Clearly I have touched a nerve and I am truly pressing on the boundaries of my comfort zone in a big way, because the Edge Figure is pushing back HARD!!
Yes, there is a chance I am not going to do well, and that it is all going to be too much.
But there is also every chance that I have made the right choice. That the five people in that room who believed in me have also made the right choice. And that I am going to prove myself to them (and to myself) and be just fine!!
Edge Figure, I know you’re trying to protect me, you’re trying to do the right thing, but it’s time to stretch, to take a risk, and to stop being just plain old safe and comfortable. Since you’re a part of me, you’re going to have to come with me on this trip, so you may as well just accept it and stop all this fear mongering crap!
Have you been aware of your Edge Figure before? How do you deal with it when it rears its ugly little head?