Thoughts on the Meaning of Pushing the Envelope


We’re always told to push the envelope. Try things you haven’t tried before, go outside your comfort zone. It’s an often used term, but in my opinion it’s often misused as well. So….

What’s the Meaning of Pushing the Envelope

Let’s start by defining the envelope. In my opinion, “the envelope” is defined by fear. Our comfort zone is where we feel safe, which means it IS the envelope. Trying new things, things that might scare us, pushes at our envelope and helps us grow.

However, my challenge comes with the things you’re NOT afraid of. Is there a point where you can honestly say you’re not doing something because it doesn’t interest you?

I was faced with that recently. I was offered a chance to participate in something that I *thought* I should want to do. But, when I sat down and really thought about it, it was ONLY something I thought I should want, and not something I actually wanted to do.

As odd as it sounds, this was actually a bit of an epiphany for me. As I get a better understanding of who I am (and it’s a moving target as I keep growing and changing) then I get a better fit for what I want to do.

Personally, I believe that if you’re honest with yourself, and you can acknowledge your own fear when it exists, you can define what you don’t want to do. Without ever having done so, I feel comfortable saying I don’t want to hurt people, eat excrement, drink my urine, or any number of other similar things, and I have never tried any of them. Meanwhile the idea of learning how to stunt drive scares the heck out of me and excites me all at the same time.

So, I feel that you can honour the idea of pushing the envelope even a the same time you define your own envelope.

Don’t let other people tell you that you’re afraid of something, and don’t feel pressured to try things you never liked.

However, you should never stop growing, and sometimes growth hurts a bit, so don’t hide away in your envelope either!

One thought on “Thoughts on the Meaning of Pushing the Envelope

  1. Veronica @ Pelican on Money

    I hope I’m understanding it right, but I may be in a similar “situation”. For years now I’ve been trying to “make it” online and have had a rough ride all along. I would probably just have a much easier life pursuing a career. There are skills I’m very good at which I could easily turn into a promising career if I just focus on it, but what I SHOULD do and what I WANT to do are quite different things. That lifestyle doesn’t interest me. Am I wrong for pursuing something that may not work out? I don’t know… but it’s hard to drop it all for something I SHOULD be doing.
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