Come to The Edge, Welcome to The Edge

The EdgeIn my four decades as an entrepreneur, including two recessions, I’ve been brought to The Edge many times. I’ve been on The Edge as recently as a week ago, and then the fear abated.

Today I have two very close colleagues on The Edge. Both have supported me while I’ve been out there, on my own, now it’s their turn.

Logic doesn’t help (much) when you are on The Edge. Whilst being aware that you are, to some extent being a Drama Queen, you are also sucked into the vortex of negativity and you seem to have very little control over your thoughts and emotions no matter how hard you try, especially in the fearful dark in the middle of the night. I have lost countless good nights’ sleep to The Edge.

It helps to talk, as I’ve done to both of them in the last twenty four hours. Well, listen really. That’s what I was doing. Repaying the countless hours they’ve listened to me when I was in fear and lack.

It goes with the territory and it’s not exclusive to the self-employed either, I’m sure.

We’ve tried to re-frame The Edge:

  • The view is better from here!
  • Soon we’ll be flying!
  • We’re on The Edge of Glory, thanks to Lady Gaga

And we can, mostly, still laugh, at least in the daylight. But it can be very frightening indeed, the nameless dreads. Even the dreads to which you can put a name.

What helps?

I try to draw on all of my personal development tricks, skills and habits. Tapping (EFT). Meditation. Exercise. Singing. Watching the 24 Hours of Happy movie. Changing my state (NLP). Attempting to take my mind off it. Futile, that last one. What you resist persists.

Always, in the morning, it doesn’t seem too bad and – again – most what we fear never comes to pass. So why are we so fearful?

These can be frightening times to be a grown-up, even if you manage to avoid the news. If you are in business, the threats of being sued for something you have done or haven’t done or having to sue someone else for something they’ve done or haven’t done, well they are time-consuming and expensive and you put your life on hold for the duration. Meanwhile your health goes out the window.

Right now I know someone who is very poorly indeed from bearing such stresses for a number of years. And at times I too confess to having had some very dark thoughts, something I thought would never happen to me. Living on The Edge, living under duress and stress of any description robs all the joy out of life.

And yet. And yet. There is so much to be happy and grateful and upbeat about. It starts with the small things. Gratitude for a roof over my head, central heating, a comfy bed, friends, laughter, kindness, Mitsy, unexpected gifts…a beautiful silk scarf arrived today from Thailand from a generous client, in just the perfect shade of ****-off pink in which I glory, for example. And clients and thank you letters and invitations to work with exciting new people, just this week enquiries from a handful of men, lovely-sounding men, when of late my niche has moved very definitely towards women. Go figure.

Life is a dangerous sport or nothing at all. In recent years it has become on the slightly too dangerous side as far as I am concerned. I don’t know why this is. Perhaps in one’s middle-aged years one becomes more fearful. Perhaps if I were still in my late twenties I’d be happier to take the rough with the smooth. Maybe I’d feel invincible. I think I can remember feeling invincible and immortal.

Perhaps I am just more aware of the litigious and threatening direction in which life and business appear to move sometimes. Awareness, is that it?

I don’t know. I wish I had the answers. The more I know, the less I know.

Welcome to The Edge. There’s a whole gang of us out here from time to time. The party is fluid. If you’re on The Edge, reach out to one of us for help and, for goodness’ sake, HOLD ON! It could just be the ride of your life.

***

“Come to the edge, he said.
We are afraid, they said.
Come to the edge, he said.
They came to the edge,
He pushed them and they flew.
Come to the edge, Life said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge, Life said.
They came. It pushed them…
And they flew.”

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