You've probably heard some variation of the words, expanding your horizons. It's a phrase used to encourage people to build on their knowledge, and experiences in life.
It's about getting out of your safe zone of comfort and exploring the unknown. Through diving into something new, you increase the possibility of growing into a better person and having a happier life. Here are 4 ways you can start expanding your horizons.
How to broaden your horizons
1. Open your mind to thinking bigger
Our thoughts can limit us at time. We think that we can't have more than what we have, or do greater things than what we've done. It's important to first believe you can go beyond your current boundaries.
Choose to think that it's possible for you to reach a higher level of success than you've ever achieved. You have the ability to impact the world in a positive way that makes it better place.
2. Try new things
One of the most obvious ways you can broaden your horizons is to try new things. Often in life, we get caught up into the same routines.
We go to school, work, other obligations, sleep, and then wake up and do it all over again. Every now and then we get a feeling of complacency and have a need to switch things up.
We do one new thing for a little while, and then we pretty much get back into the routine. You don't have to wait until those feelings of complacency come again.
You can decide to do something new every week to keep life fresh and interesting for you. If you're someone who doesn't try new things very often, you're not alone.
There's also a likely reason you probably don't do new things more in life. Psychology Today noted a study that found that people fear an outcome that's unknown more than an outcome that they know will be bad.
In other words, we get into the habit of the "what-ifs". What if this goes wrong? What if that goes wrong? Will I make a fool of myself? etc.
It's okay to be cautious and careful in the decisions we make occasionally, but you can't let the fear of things going wrong stop you from trying something new. No matter what you do in life, there's always going to be a risk of something bad happening.
As long as you thoroughly review a choice you want to make and prepare yourself however you need to, the new situation will generally turn out fine. I've done a lot of new things I wasn't necessarily the most comfortable with.
I've attended groups where I barely knew anyone, I went to a rave even though I'm not much of dancer, and I've made other risky choices in life I probably wouldn't do again.
Nonetheless, everything turned out fine, and I have a few stories in my life I can look back on with fondness and laughter. Psychologist Rich Walker reviewed 500 diaries that were filled with 30000 experiences.
He found that people who had a lot of different experiences in life were more likely to have more positive emotions and less negative ones. Speaking for myself, with all the different experiences I've had, I generally do have positive emotions.
Broaden your horizons by trying new things. See how it impacts your emotions
3. Visit new places
There's a whole world out there to explore. We often limit ourselves to the same town, the same restaurants, and the same places in general.
You'd be surprised to learn that you could gain many benefits from traveling to new places. Vacations have been proven to make people feel less stressed and anxious afterward.
Beyond these benefits though, from my own first-hand experience, I've really enjoyed being able to visit and see new places in recent years. My last girlfriend and I traveled to a couple of cities together.
I enjoyed getting to see new things and experience a different culture of people. I really wasn't in to travel that much when I was younger. Now having traveled more now, I've found it to be really enjoyable to get out of my typical space and experience a new place.
Try to broaden your horizons by traveling more. You might find it brings you more joy than you ever thought could.
4. Meet new people
I've learned many things from the different types of people I've encountered in life. I've learned to be more grateful for the life I have given the circumstances some people go through.
It's taught me to really be my own person to meet with people who are unapologetically who they are. I've gotten different ideas on how to live life and what should matter in life.
When you just talk to the same people, who think the same things and do the same things, you don't grow. You stay stuck in the same ways that might not be making you the happiest in life right now.
Extend your horizons by meeting new people. If you're an adult, that can definitely be a challenge sometimes.
You're no longer in high school or college where there are a lot of people around you who are the same age. You have to actually go look for them somewhere, which isn't always easy.
Nonetheless, it's possible to find local groups of people out there who share some of your interests. Look for them on websites like Meetup, or just do a simple Google search.
Most adults haven't made a new friend in 5 years, and would you believe half the friends you have might actually not like you? If you feel a little lonely in life, it might not be a bad idea to try to make some new friends.
We're social creatures at heart. Even us more introverted people need a little quality human interaction from time to time.
I probably don't have to cite a study to tell you that friends reduce our stress in life and bring us more joy. Don't be afraid to go out and meet some new people. It can change you in ways you couldn't have expected.