3 Distinctions About Fear For Transformational Edgeworkers

FILTER: If transformation, evolution, and growth aren’t your thing, or if you cling to stability, sameness, and security, this article is not for you.

Devin Gleeson
8 min readOct 8, 2021


Photo by Jake Ingle on Unsplash

You believe that fear is bad, that it’s a feeling to avoid, ignore, hide, or overcome, and you’ve spent most of your life finding ways to run from it.

I know, I know, this is a pretty presumptuous way to kick off an article. I’ve generalized. It isn’t fair for me to make such statements about you, reader, who I’ve likely never met and who I may possibly never meet. And yet, if you’ve grown up in modern culture, where the only feeling that’s ok to feel is some neutered, anodyne, energy-less thing called “good,” then you’ve most likely gotten the same thoughtware around fear that we’ve all gotten. Namely, that it’s bad, gets in the way, isn’t helpful, blinds us, makes us chickens, makes us weak, etc., and that if we can avoid it, we should.

The ubiquity of this thoughtware implies that there might be something to it. If on one side we have US presidents telling us we have “nothing to fear but fear itself” and on the other side we have spiritual gurus of every stripe assuring us that fear is just the opposite of love, who are we to raise objections?

The point of this article isn’t to attempt a massive overhaul of modern culture’s relationship with fear, although I do think that’s an important topic.

Instead, this article sets its sights on the humbler aim of addressing fear as it relates to the complex processes of transformation, and is meant to act as an aid for those who seek out transformational or evolutionary paths as a way of life. In particular, this article addresses a triad of distinctions:

  1. Transformation begins at ‘the edge.’
  2. The feeling you experience at the edge is fear.
  3. No fear = no transformation.

Transformation Begins At ‘The Edge.’

When I say transformation, I’m referring to a kind of melting down and reassembly. I’m talking about experiences where you go in one way and come out another. In short, I’m speaking of…