Broadening your horizons without fear


Photo courtesy of Sean MacEntee (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Sean MacEntee (Creative Commons)

I love the experience of growing and broadening my horizons. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut and routine, doing the same things, with the same people, and becoming stagnant in my ideas, viewpoints and experiences.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not about constant change with nothing familiar, but I do love the feeling of learning something I had no idea about before, meeting new people, and trying things I would have never expected to enjoy.

Part of expanding horizons also involves fighting fear. After all, fear likes it when you feel confined, immobile, and quiet. Even if you just start talking about doing something different, fear gets wind of it and starts telling you all the reasons you shouldn’t try that.

Think about the last thing you did that was outside your comfort zone – remember all those doubts that flooded your mind, and I bet you even told others the reasons why you weren’t sure about doing that thing. That was fear talking.

Just one example from my life is my recent decision to attend a leadership event. It was to be held at a place I had never been early one morning before work. Fear started in right away telling me I might get lost, I would feel funny going in by myself, I wouldn’t know anybody, I might be late for work – fear was relentless.

Making the decision to attend and purchasing the ticket just made fear talk louder and faster – nearly yelling at me and making me doubt my decision. I almost backed out. I almost listened to that screaming voice of fear.

As usual, I was glad I didn’t listen to fear. I went to the event anyway. And as it always happens when I fight fear – absolutely always – I benefited by ignoring all those things fear told me. I met great people, learned things that make me a better person and better leader, and came away filled up and ready to tackle new challenges. Had I listened to fear and not attended, I would have missed out on some great advice and experiences, and felt beat down and empty.

The same is true no matter what the new experience involves – a new challenge at work, a new relationship, or even a trip or move to a new place. There is such value in stepping out of your comfort zone in bravery. The growth potential is huge, don’t you agree?

How do you need to fight fear and broaden your horizons?