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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

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.

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

More by this author

Nancy Solari

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

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Published on May 11, 2021

20 Best Books on Personal Development

20 Best Books on Personal Development

Let’s face it—transformation isn’t always easy. Getting from where you are to where you want to be in life requires a lot of personal growth and development. It can require everything from letting go of old beliefs to speaking up for yourself and setting boundaries to even recognizing your own unmet needs. These aren’t exactly skills we’re taught in school, so it can be incredibly overwhelming to even know where to start.

A few decades ago, most personal development information was locked behind thousand-dollar seminars and coaching programs. Fortunately, the industry has absolutely exploded in the last decade, and a large part of that is driven by books. For under $15 or with a library card, we now have access to priceless wisdom from some of the most brilliant minds and best books on personal development.

By reading the words of experts in the field, we literally can think their thoughts and benefit from decades of experience to improve our own lives. So, how do you get started?

Here are the 20 best books on personal development that can completely transform your life.

(Links are listed for accessibility, but remember to check your local library to see if these books are available for free. And don’t forget to support your local bookstore, if possible.)

1. The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

    Celebrated by everyone from Martin Scorsese to Elizabeth Gilbert, The Artist’s Way has been one of the most important books for artists and non-artists alike for decades. It guides you through a 12-week process of morning journaling and self-dates to unlock all of your blocks to creativity and intuition and live a life that feels like you.

    Whether you are an artist or not, this is an insightful book that will bring so much clarity to what you really want out of life and why you’ve been holding yourself back.

    Get the book here!

    2. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown

      Researcher and storyteller Brené Brown has been a leader in studying vulnerability. In The Gifts of Imperfection, she shares research and encouragement that helps you release the definition of who you think you’re supposed to be to become who you actually already are.

      Brené encourages you to let go of shame, open up to vulnerability, and live a more authentic life. This is an inspiring and important book for anyone struggling with the shame of being radically yourself.

      Get the book here!

      3. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

        In Start with Why, author and TED speaker Simon Sinek shares the secret that united Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers—they all started with “why.” They realized that people won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the “why” behind it.

        While this book is primarily focused on work or business, Start with Why makes a compelling case for the power behind a strong motivation that people can get behind and how it can inspire more innovation and support.

        Get the book here!

        4. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

          For decades, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has famously studied the concept of “flow”—the highly-focused psychological state that Olympic athletes, great artists, and brilliant scientists all find themselves in at moments of groundbreaking success.

          By breaking down decades of research into bite-sized actions, Flow reveals the process to create this state for yourself and get “in the zone” to achieve your optimal potential.

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          Get the book here!

          5. The HeartMath Solution: The Institute of HeartMath’s Revolutionary Program for Engaging the Power of the Heart’s Intelligence by Doc Lew Childre and Howard Martin

            Touted by Deepak Chopra as the book that “saves you years of therapy,” The HeartMath Solution pulls together decades of Institute of HeartMath research on how to be less stressed and make better decisions, making it one of the best books on personal development.

            This practical, easy read will change the way you view the relationship between your head and heart. The techniques in the book are incredibly simple and can help you calm down from some of the stressful moments in a matter of seconds to tap back into your best decision-making.

            Get the book here!

            6. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller

              If you’re overwhelmed by too many things to do and never seem to accomplish the stuff that really matters to you, then this is an invaluable book. The ONE Thing argues that until your most important task is completed, everything else is a distraction that diffuses your energy and makes you frantic.

              This book helps you focus on what you really care about and want to accomplish and then, organize your life around accomplishing the “one thing” before moving on to something else. This is one of the best books for personal development, especially for anyone who’s struggling with overwhelm and productivity.

              Get the book here!

              7. Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie

                Codependent No More has been an international bestseller for more than 30 years, and the reason is that we all struggle with codependency somewhere in our lives.

                Whether it looks like addiction, people-pleasing, taking care of everyone around you, or just not giving yourself enough self-care, this book unpacks the roots of codependency and helps you break free once-and-for-all.

                This is an important book for anyone having challenges in friendships or relationships or struggling with people-pleasing or addiction.

                Get the book here!

                8. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday

                  Presenting ancient Stoic wisdom to a modern audience, The Obstacle Is the Way shows you how to turn your obstacles and challenges into massive opportunities.

                  Ryan Holiday draws from the same ancient philosophy that empowered John D. Rockefeller, Amelia Earhart, and Steve Jobs to succeed and breaks down the essential formula for not running away from obstacles but actually running toward them.

                  This is a really empowering book for anyone struggling with obstacles to get what they want.

                  Get the book here!

                  9. Real Help: An Honest Guide to Self-Improvement by Ayodeji Awosika

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                    Real Help isn’t your usual self-help book. Wildly popular Medium writer Ayodeji Awosika takes a no-BS, tough-love approach to developing mental toughness, finding clarity, and taking action to transform your life.

                    This is a great book if you’ve read dozens of self-help or personal development books but haven’t taken action to change your life. Real Help gets right to the point and gives you actionable steps to start implementing change right away.

                    Get the book here!

                    10. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

                      Year of Yes is a deeply personal and honest account of how the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal Shonda Rhimes started saying yes to everything that scared her.

                      This inspiring and raw memoir makes you reflect on what you’ve been avoiding or making excuses for out of fear and what would really happen if you started saying yes to all the stuff that terrifies you. It’s a relatable, casual, easy read, and is great for anyone who needs a little inspiration to start saying yes to life.

                      Get the book here!

                      11. The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks

                        Psychologist Gay Hendricks unpacks why we all seem to self-sabotage when we’re so close to success and what it will take to leap to a life where you’re in your “Zone of Genius.”

                        In this highly motivating book on personal development, you’ll walk step by step on how to “go beyond your internal limits, release outdated fears, and learn a whole new set of powerful skills and habits to liberate your authentic greatness.”

                        Get the book here!

                        12. Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior (5.2.1985) by David R. Hawkins

                          Hailed by Mother Teresa, Lee Iacocca, and Sam Walton, Power vs. Force combines spirituality and cutting-edge research to help you understand your emotions and level of consciousness.

                          In this seminal work, David Hawkins explains how to get a yes or no answer to any question you ask and how to understand what you’re feeling and why so that you can begin to change your life and the world around you.

                          While it’s not exactly a light beach read, this book is really eye-opening for those wanting to explore spirituality as part of their personal development.

                          Get the book here!

                          13. What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey

                            Personal development as we know it would not be the same without Oprah Winfrey. For 14 years, Oprah shared her greatest wisdom in a monthly column for O, The Oprah Magazine called “What I Know for Sure.” This book collects all of those essays—a lifetime of Oprah’s greatest experiences and lessons—into a comprehensive work.

                            What I Know for Sure is honest, thoughtful, and deeply inspiring. This is a powerful book for devout Oprah Winfrey fans and soon-to-be fans alike.

                            Get the book here!

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                            14. Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins

                              In this memoir, Navy SEAL David Goggins recounts his own life story from poverty, prejudice, and physical abuse to becoming one of the world’s top endurance athletes and military icon through pure will.

                              Can’t Hurt Me will inspire you to stretch and persevere to defy even the most improbably odds and realize that when you think you’re completely tapped out, you’ve only tapped into 40% of your capabilities—and there’s still so much more you can do.

                              It’s an inspiring, tough love book that will motivate you to take action toward your dreams.

                              Get the book here!

                              15. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

                                In The Happiness Project, writer Gretchen Rubin documents her entire year of testing out research, classical philosophy, and common wisdom to find out what makes her truly happy.

                                This casual and accessibly written book inspires you to design your own happiness project to transform each area of your life as you follow Gretchen’s journey and contemplate research on happiness.

                                If you’re looking for an inspiring structure to change every aspect of your life, The Happiness Project is an easy read that can inspire you to experiment with what makes you happy.

                                Get the book here!

                                16. Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement by Tony Robbins

                                  The name Tony Robbins has been synonymous with personal development. In Unlimited Power, he reveals the exact techniques he has used to help Olympic athletes, movie stars, and heads of state to harness their own untapped power.

                                  This book breaks down complicated neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) techniques into simple visualizations that anyone can learn in literally minutes to start to change the way your mind processes information. If you’re looking to change your thinking or step into more confidence, this is an important book to not overlook.

                                  Get the book here!

                                  17. The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor

                                    In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor flips conventional wisdom on its head. It’s not that we’ll be happy when we’re successful. It’s that we’ll actually be successful when we’re happy.

                                    Shawn presents research that shows us how to rewire our brains for positivity and optimism to be happier in our lives, our careers, and even our health. He also breaks down actionable strategies to retrain our brains, build a solid support network, and spread positive change to the people around us.

                                    If you’re looking to retrain your brain for happiness and success, this is definitely a worthwhile book to consider.

                                    Get the book here!

                                    18. Energy Leadership: Transforming Your Workplace and Your Life from the Core by Bruce D. Schneider

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                                      Renowned coach Bruce D. Schneider doesn’t just tell you what energy leadership is—he shows you. In Energy Leadership, Bruce recounts the story of how he helped a client to transform his failing business by systematically changing the energy of the business.

                                      At each new level, there are specific emotions, actions, and predictable arguments. By the end of the book, you’ll be able to identify exactly which level of energy leadership every relationship, job, and friendship in your life is at and how to begin transforming it for the better.

                                      It’s an eye-opening look at why we’re stuck where we are and how we can shift ourselves and those around us to get extraordinary results.

                                      Get the book here!

                                      19. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

                                        Bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert digs into her own creative process in Big Magic to unpack the mysterious and spiritual nature of inspiration. She discusses the habits needed to cultivate creativity, go after our deepest desires, and confront our fears.

                                        With a casual, poetic tone and lots of encouragement, Big Magic inspires you to find the magic inside—whether that’s to create art, start a new business, or bring more mindfulness and passion to our everyday lives.

                                        If you’re looking for more inspiration and creativity, this is an important book to reignite that fire within.

                                        Get the book here!

                                        20. Enough Already: Create Success on Your Own Terms by Mike Iamele

                                          I’d be remiss if I didn’t include my own book on this list.

                                          Enough Already is a battle cry for the success seekers who are fed up trying to achieve someone else’s definition of success. Broken up into 12 steps, the book follows a journey through the 12 aspects of creating success on your own terms with homework and challenges at the end of each chapter to implement the work into your life immediately.

                                          By the end of the book, you’ll have a completed strategic plan to step up into the world and go after even some of your biggest dreams knowing that you are enough already.

                                          Get the book here!

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          You only need one good idea to change your life, and there’s so much important wisdom and inspiration in the 20 best books on personal development listed above. You don’t have to read all of them. You just have to start.

                                          Personal development is about taking action to develop yourself personally. So, scan this list, find a book that resonates with you, and then start reading.

                                          You don’t need to measure the magnitude—just the direction. If you take one tiny step toward the life you want, every day for a year, you’ll be 365 times closer to your dreams a year from today. But you just have to start.

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                                          Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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