There is no such thing as black and white besides the things we define ourselves. If you want to broaden your horizons, then challenge everything!
Okay, today class, we are going to talk about how to broaden your horizons. No, seriously, if you want to be happy, then sometimes you have to broaden your horizons by doing things that you wouldn’t typically do, see things from another person’s perspective, and stop thinking that there is such a thing as black and white with no grey in between. In this world, there are all different shades of color.
How to broaden your horizons – 7 behaviors to help you change
If you’re wondering how to broaden your horizons, it is as simple as thinking about how you normally do things and do the opposite, or in a tangent. There are times in our lives when we can get stuck in a rut, or feel like we have hit a brick wall. The truth is that the only thing that can ever limit someone is themselves. There are always options; you just have to open your eyes to see them.
Here are some ways to broaden your horizons.
#1 Stop self-limiting. Many times we keep ourselves stuck by believing in false barriers. Whether you believe something from experience or because someone told you the “truth,” self-limiting notions can keep you from living life to the fullest and trying things that you normally wouldn’t.
For example, if you believe that you can’t possibly climb a mountain, then guess what? You probably will never climb a mountain. You have limited what you can do with the belief that you can’t.
If you want to broaden your horizons, then you have to stop limiting yourself to those things that you have ingrained in your head from society or from yourself, and believe that you can. It really is that easy.
#2 Push yourself. If you want to broaden your horizons, it isn’t easy. We do things in a certain way because they are predictable, we know the outcome so they aren’t scary, and they are easier than going the road less traveled.
If you want to broaden your horizons, then you have to put in the extra effort, push yourself to work harder, and be willing to put the time in and to go the extra mile. I promise you that if you do, the rewards are so much better than just a pat on the back for the same job well done. [Read: 12 steps to change your life and find your happiness]
#3 Go outside of your comfort zone. The reason we don’t do things in life is that they aren’t “comfortable.” That means they make you feel uneasy, or they aren’t within your control. If you want to broaden your horizons, then you are going to have to be okay with not feeling safe, knowing how the ending goes, and instead just throw caution to the wind.
Those are all things that are adverse to what human beings are programmed for. Because we were made to survive, going outside of what we find comfortable makes us, well, uncomfortable.
That doesn’t mean putting yourself in harm’s way or not being safe, but it does mean putting yourself into positions that feel weird, or awkward, and persevering. You would be surprised at how quickly the human being can adapt to make uncomfortable things feel comfortable. That is what broadening your horizons is all about.
#4 Shut your mouth and listen. Most of the time we are so busy telling everyone how things are that we never stop to listen. If you want to broaden your horizons, then it is okay to challenge what someone is saying, but it won’t work if you aren’t willing to listen and to challenge your own beliefs.
If you are too busy always trying to convince other people that you are right, you never stop to consider the fact that you might not be. To broaden your horizons, sometimes you just have to shut your mouth and let someone else do the talking. You can ask questions later, but shouting them down or refusing to hear their side is keeping you stuck. [Read: 25 memorable life lessons to perfect your life]
#5 Ask yourself why? The older I get, the more I realize that everything that I think I know I might not know. It might just be that someone told me something, and I accepted it as fact. Throughout my lifetime, I have gone from a Democrat to a Republican and back again several times.
If you believe in a religion or political group, or even a cause, to broaden your horizons, you might have to step back and ask yourself why you believe what you do, and if it is a fact or just something that you have accepted as such without having any merit behind it.
The moment you stop asking yourself why and challenging your belief system is the moment that you stop growing as a human being. To constantly broaden your horizons, you have to stop yourself when you have something you take as fact, and question whether it is or not. [Read: 19 life quotes to motivate you to live a better life]
#6 Do the opposite. If you want to broaden your horizons, it might be as simple as doing the exact opposite of what you would normally do or think. When you see an exchange between two people, take the devil’s advocate position and go with it.
If you would normally go right, go left. You would be surprised at all the life experiences you can have and how much you are missing if you just do the opposite of what comes naturally. For just once, be the “anti-you,” and you will open yourself up to another whole world.
#7 Try walking in someone else’s shoes. As a white privileged girl, I have no idea what it feels like to be African-American, a man, or even someone who lives paycheck to paycheck… truly. If you want to broaden your horizons, it takes the ability to look around, like really look around, and see what you have and what others don’t.
Often, we are so concerned with convincing people that we earn what we have, or that we deserve it, that we don’t stop to see that others are just as deserving. And this limits the life we live and the way that we conduct ourselves. [Read: How to emotionally connect with anyone and feel closer]
If you want to broaden your horizons, then it is all about living a day in someone else’s shoes, which is more difficult than you think. Take your blinders off, go for a ride on the bad side of town, or volunteer at a hospital. You would be surprised at how privileged you actually are when you see those who aren’t.
Having a closed mind doesn’t allow you to experience all the miracles and wonderful things around you. Only seeing things in black and white takes all the color out of the world. If you want to broaden your horizons, it is going to take some stepping out of your comfort zone, shutting your mouth, and empathy on your part.
The rewards of broadening your horizons are like taking a breath of fresh air. It allows you to see all the things you have and be grateful for them. Stop limiting your mind and set it free to imagine the unimaginable and to live life to its fullest.
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