“If you are standing with other women in a circle and there is a woman standing alone in your circle’s vicinity – the thing to do is notice her, smile at her, move over a bit and say “Hi, come join us!”
Even if she decides not to join your circle – even if she looks at you like you’re crazy, inviting her is still the thing to do. Widen your circles. All the time. Horseshoes are better than circles. Leave space. Always leave space.” – Glennon Doyle
I recently learned about the horseshoe principle from Doyle’s latest book, Untamed.
Her point in saying this is to highlight how many times women have a ‘circle’ of friends, and while that can be great, it dismisses the opportunity for other women to enter the circle. She believes instead of building circular walls, we should form horseshoes so there is always space for more to join in.
As a mother who has experienced phases of isolation and insecurities, I think this is such a beautiful notion. If we leave space for more – whether it be people, or in our career or personal lives – we will be able to experience more. This can lead to a richer, and more meaningful life, yes?
Consider networking in your ‘space for more.’ We tend to gravitate to what we know and who is familiar. What if, instead of our typical business circle, we keep that horseshoe in mind and stretch our contacts beyond the traditional. Send a message to someone you admire in a different field and introduce yourself. Smile at a someone at a conference and ask if they want to sit with you. Don’t be afraid to take the chance with a stranger because you never know where it could lead.
Maybe your ‘space for more’ means stretching your business or client to think outside the box. Businesses are often told to commit to a niche and to be loyal to branding guidelines because it’s the safe thing to do. But the fact is, calculated risks gain the most reward in business. Keeping a fluid plan that can roll with the punches and strike when the iron is hot can make a world of difference.
Perhaps you can use your ‘space for more’ to tackle personal challenges. Maybe it means taking a leap of faith and joining a local choir or volunteer group simply for self-fulfillment. Or heading to an exercise class where you don’t know a soul but are feeling brave to try something new.
Leaving that extra space can make room for growth in so many ways. Instead of focusing on building your circle this year, consider building horseshoes where opportunities are endless and there is always room for more people and ideas.
Where can you leave space for more in your life?
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