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Published on March 3, 2021

7 Ways To Expand Your Horizon And Push For New Frontiers

7 Ways To Expand Your Horizon And Push For New Frontiers
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Do you ever have the desire to step out of your comfort zone and seek new experiences? This longing to diversify our life can happen at times when we feel especially stuck, whether it’s our career, daily routine, or relationships. We often want to look beyond our current situation and strive for new goals. It might feel intimidating to branch out, so here are seven ways to expand your horizon and push for new frontiers.

1. Pinpoint Where You Are Complacent in Life

The first step to expanding your horizon is to assess where you have become stagnant in life. This can happen when you find yourself just going through the motions without truly being present. It can feel much like when you’re doing the same workout every day—eventually, your muscles get used to it. The routine is no longer as rewarding or impactful.

In life, perhaps you have become complacent with your job, and your workdays always look the same. Consider shaking things up to expand your horizon. If you are employed from home, instead of always working in the same room, try changing locations. New scenery can bring a different energy and even inspiration.

Maybe you have become complacent with your health and lifestyle. Joining a new social circle—like a tennis club or art class—could open your world. It may be beyond what you are accustomed to, but you might find that this new frontier is really rewarding.

Start small by switching up what you do on your days off from work. Instead of always going to the same restaurant or taking your routine walk, try a new cuisine or go for a hike. You will find that experimenting with fresh activities can broaden your perspective.

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2. Understand What Is Holding You Back

Sometimes, you find yourself not attempting something new because you are afraid of failure. Perhaps, in your past, you made a mistake, and your heart and mind remember this feeling and prevents you from trying again. This can lead to being stuck in a safe zone where you aren’t reaching for new horizons: we fear making changes.

The key is to understand what is holding you back. If the thought of taking a risk makes you nervous, ask yourself where that feeling is stemming from. Were you scolded as a child for messing up, which in turn has now made you doubt your full potential? Or maybe you grew up rarely experiencing disappointment, which makes it difficult to feel prepared in unknown situations.

Once you figure out what is boxing you in, you can work to push beyond it. Before embarking on a new project, tell yourself positive affirmations that will empower you. You can also write down any fears you might have about expanding your horizons, then crumple the paper up and throw it away. This is a cathartic feeling that will allow you to release any pent-up emotions. Expanding your horizon will be much easier after you get over the hurdle of self-doubt.

3. Pursue Opportunities Through Passion

Another way to expand your horizon and push for new frontiers is to chase opportunities that align with what you are passionate about. Life is short, so, ideally, everything we do should excite us or bring us joy.

If you are feeling trapped or disappointed in your job, remind yourself of why you entered that industry in the first place. If it still sparks passion within you, then make a plan for how you can pursue new opportunities. You can consider people you might interview for advice, or go online to find a list of different jobs in a specific business area. Exploring what is available can bring you to new frontiers.

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The same goes for hobbies or learning new skills. If you’re taking a cooking class simply because your friends decided to but you really don’t love it, then find a new activity. Embark on something you do feel passionate about. Maybe you have always wanted to learn Spanish or how to play the piano. Take the first step by finding an instructor and committing to a lesson once a week. Whatever your interests may be, now is the time to pursue them to expand your horizons.

4. Consider Time and Money

It’s important to keep in mind the time and money that goes into expanding your horizon. We all only have 24 hours in a day, so how we choose to spend each moment is important.

When you consider the new experiences you are seeking, ask yourself what the payoff or benefit will be. If you start taking singing lessons, consider if it will end up advancing your life. Is the time that it will take to practice or commute worthwhile because you get to socialize or release stress? Understanding if the time required for expanding your horizon is beneficial will allow you to commit more fully to the process.

Money is the second key factor when it comes to pushing for new frontiers. You do not want to jump into an endeavor and be financially unprepared. If you are looking to change your career, consider researching if there is additional schooling you might have to pay. If you are starting your own business, be sure to create a budget and put a business plan in place. When it comes to expanding your horizons, money, if spent wisely, is an element that will allow you to accomplish many new ventures.

5. Build Relationships That Will Elevate You

Part of expanding your horizon is widening your knowledge and mindset, which can come from developing uplifting relationships. Every person you meet will have unique opinions and outlooks on life. Finding those people who elevate you is vital for living a fulfilling life.

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Having a friend or significant other who cheers you on when you are stepping out of your comfort zone can make the process less daunting. It is also important to find someone who will challenge you to be the best version of yourself. This person can hold you accountable for sticking to your goals or changing your habits. A diverse array of supporters will allow you to expand your horizon with more confidence.

Along with building positive relationships, you should also let go of connections that are not serving you. You will be unable to grow and find new experiences if you are stuck in bonds with people who are holding you back.

You can also manage how often you are around family and how much you allow them to impact your life. Your loved ones know your triggers and can occasionally fill your head with self-doubt when you are trying a new activity. On the other hand, they might be very supportive and encouraging. Sometimes creating more space between you and your relatives gives you the independence you need to expand your horizon.

6. Create a Vision Board

Chasing new goals can feel intimidating at first, but creating a vision board helps get you started and excited. If you want to expand your horizon through traveling more often, consider printing out pictures of your dream destinations and writing down a few words that motivate you towards that goal.

This vision board does not have to be an elaborate art piece, it might just be a few pictures on your fridge. The idea is to create reminders of what you’re working towards and inspire you to keep going. We are more likely to achieve our aspirations when we put them into writing and associate them with motivating images.

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A vision board does not have to be entirely visual, either. Music can be a powerful tool for expanding your horizon. Certain songs might evoke specific emotions and remind you of times when you were successful, empowered, or loved. Consider creating a playlist of songs that will energize you whenever you are participating in an activity outside of your comfort zone. This will boost your confidence and make pushing for those new frontiers seem more attainable.

7. Leverage Technology

The beauty of technology is that it gives us so much power to expand our horizons. Right from our computers and phones, we have the ability to connect with different people, research exciting opportunities, or escape from reality for a bit.

Maybe you’ve been feeling less in touch with people these days because you’re home more often. Luckily, there are still chances to build relationships from home. If you are looking for a romantic partner, consider signing up for an online dating platform and going on a date over Zoom. You never know who you’ll meet, and you might find that an online connection allows you to get to know a person in a more intimate setting.

There are also many ways to expand your horizon through networking online. Researching people in the role you aspire to have and sending them an email or asking to have a phone call can lead to a valuable resource. You might go online to watch tutorials for learning new skills or read articles on topics that interest you. Doing this will expand your expertise in different areas and allow you to discover new talents. In many ways, technology can be a useful mechanism for expanding your horizon.

Final Thoughts

The benefits of expanding your horizon and pushing for new frontiers are plentiful—particularly the personal development and joy for living that comes with it. Many people remain stuck in relationships, jobs, or habits because they believe the grass will not be greener on the other side. However, if you hold yourself back from taking that leap of faith, you will miss out on important life experiences.

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So, use these seven tips and challenge yourself to expand your horizon. You will feel pride in discovering what you are truly capable of and thrilled by how much life has to offer.

More Tips on Expanding Your Horizons

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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Nancy Solari

Nancy Solari is an accomplished CEO, life coach, and motivational speaker.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement

What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement
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If I told you that there was one activity that you could do frequently that would dramatically accelerate your rate of self-improvement, would you do it?

SWOT Analysis may very well be the solution to your problems of feeling lost, unproductive, worried about the future, and the general struggle that inevitably arises on the road to personal development. It is quick to carry out, reliable in terms of changing your perspective, and effective in getting you the results that you desire.

So what exactly is this SWOT Analysis? You will find everything you need to know about it below as well as how to do it and all of the amazing benefits that it will bring to your life.

What Is SWOT Analysis?

SWOT Analysis is a business term that has steadily made its way over into the world of personal development due to its effectiveness in getting things to improve — whether that be a company or, more recently, a person.

S.W.O.T. is an anagram that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. When assessing these four key pillars in life, it gives a very good picture of which direction you should be heading in and even highlights some of the best ways to do it.

All in all, it is a great way to reflect on past actions and to decide on the best way to move forward.

How to Do a SWOT Analysis

Carrying out a SWOT Analysis is relatively simple. The best way is to take out a pen and paper and write down four columns: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. From there, you can begin to fill out each one and apply it to whatever situation you find yourself in.

If you are considering expanding your enterprise, you might want to write down the current strengths and weaknesses of your business as well as the opportunities that you could possibly move into and the threats that you might need to minimize.

If you are an individual looking to improve yourself, you can carry out a SWOT Analysis either on the micro or macro level. A micro example would be focusing on one specific area of life. For example, you could write down your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats when it comes to dating, productivity, or changing your job.

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You can also take it to the macro level. You might simply write down your current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats across all areas of life — or simply the areas that you want to focus on for now.

SWOT Analysis is very easy to do and is excellent for the bigger picture stuff. Here is a rough template with a few questions across various areas of life that you can use for your own personal development purposes:

Strengths

What professional qualifications do I have that make me stand out from everybody else?

What do I exceed at where most people are either average or below average?

What achievements have I been awarded?

What struggles have I overcome in the past that give me hope for the future?

Weaknesses

Where do I fall short where others seem to excel?

What bad habits do I have?

What thoughts tend to hold me back?

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Opportunities

Is there any significant advancement happening or about to happen that I can take advantage of?

Is there a new position in a company that maximizes my skillset?

Is there a gap in the market that I could potentially fill?

Is there an opportunity that is low-risk (i.e. I can fail fast and decide if I want to keep pursuing it)?

Threats

What competition do I face in a certain area?

What is the most likely thing to throw me off course? Is it me?

If there was an economic downturn, would I be in a position to survive? Could I even turn it into an opportunity?

Benefits of SWOT Analysis for Self-Improvement

Now that you know what it is and how to do it, you may already start to see all of the benefits for your personal growth that can come from a SWOT Analysis. If you haven’t already started to think about how to use it in your own life, here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. It Gives You an Actionable Plan

One of the most obvious benefits of doing a SWOT Analysis is the fact that it gives you an actionable plan. It is rare for someone to actually sit down and write out their strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats they are facing, so you will be getting well ahead.

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More importantly, taking the information from all four of these areas allows you to create an effective plan for yourself going forward — whether that be doubling down on your strengths, a plan to overcome your weaknesses, or how to leap at one of the opportunities in your life.

SWOT Analysis is designed specifically to drive actions and decisions — it is not simply a discussion exercise that you put to one side once you are finished with it.[1]

2. It Allows You to Zoom Out

Far too many people are so trapped within their day-to-day activities that they forget to see the big picture. Not being able to see the forest for the trees is one of the things that hold many people back from reaching their full potential.

SWOT Analysis allows you to take a moment of reflection, see the big picture, and then to make an informed decision about what your everyday tasks and activities are going to be, rather than the other way around.

It is important to be able to zoom out from time to time to make sure that you are on track with whatever your objectives are in each area of life. SWOT Analysis is the best way to do just that.

3. It Helps You Recognize New Aspects and Patterns

One of the unique things about SWOT Analysis is that it manages to combine different areas of your life and lets you see patterns, opportunities, and much more that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen.

An example would be the combination of your strengths and your opportunities. When you look at both of these side-by-side, you get a good idea about where the crossovers are, and, as a result, you get a clear picture of what opportunities are worth pursuing based on your strengths.

Another example would be looking at your strengths and threats next to one another. When you have a decent idea about what your strengths are in a certain situation, you can start to see how those strengths might come in handy when it comes to mitigating certain threats that you might face.

The truth is, any combination across SWOT Analysis creates a unique perspective that will be extremely useful for your own self-improvement.

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4. It Minimizes Risk

Branching out from the previous point, a SWOT Analysis is carried out to help minimize risk [2]. Although this is primarily a benefit from a company’s standpoint, it can also be helpful from an individual’s perspective as well.

On a personal level, risk can come in a variety of forms. It might be an imaginary risk that feels real, like asking your crush out or asking your boss for a raise. It might be an actual risk where you are thinking of expanding your business or entering a new market where you have little experience. Either way, seeing the threats you face as well as the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities you have allows you to go down the path that minimizes risk and maximizes gain.

5. It Can Marks Stages of Your Path

An interesting way that companies use SWOT Analysis is that they carry it out every month or every quarter in order to reset and recalibrate their destination. It can be used in a similar way by you as well. Just like there are certain times when businesses use them, there are certain times when you should use them.[3]

Every month or every couple of months, take the time to do a SWOT Analysis to see how you are progressing. What strengths have been added? What weaknesses have been discovered? What opportunities have revealed themselves or been lost? What new threats are you facing and which have been removed from the picture?

Not only will carrying out a SWOT Analysis on a frequent basis accelerate your self-improvement by helping you see where you want to go with less distraction, but it is also nice to see how things change and, hopefully, get better.

It is also worth looking back at your SWOT Analysis from the start of the year when you reach the end of the year to see how far you have come.

To Wrap Up

So there you have it. SWOT Analysis might just be the tool and technique that you have been waiting for to truly take the next step in your self-improvement journey. It is practical, easy to carry out, and effective in terms of planning your next moves.

Whether you do it on a consistent basis to ensure that you are moving in the right direction or you only do it when you feel lost, SWOT Analysis will always be right there waiting to help.

Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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