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Break Barriers and Comfort Zones to Grow

By Elaine Cercado, POWERinU Director, Senior Consultant, Trainer and Executive Coach

The South

In the South of the N.E.W.S. Compass©️, we ask “What is limiting the organization or team?” and “How can we overcome these limitations and stoppers?”

The South is where we discover and process the limiting beliefs, comfort zones, fears, barriers and all the aspects that suggest “WHY NOT” to move forward.

When we are able to reflect, process, open our mind, perceive, expand and consider another possibility, approach, mindset, reality, then we are able to break through and go beyond our comfort zone.

This can then lead to viable alternatives and tangible actions that can help achieve the vision (the north) and the culture (the east) desired.

Recall the pre-pandemic times when the comfort zone for most was working in the office.  Then the covid pandemic happened, which forced organisations to change their ways of working. Change-ready and agile organizations responded to the crisis well, and  led their organizations and teams to go beyond their comfort zones. These organizations quickly set-up and deployed safety measures for their employees and enabled them with the new ways of working.

Today, many organizations have adapted and embraced the hybrid and remote working conditions, and have aligned all their systems and  processes accordingly.

We hopefully don’t need another crisis situation to open our minds to possibilities, break our limiting beliefs and go outside our comfort zones.

At the personal level, if we want to go towards the north direction, we can certainly do it. Why not challenge ourselves to open and practice a learner and growth mindset? Once we perceive more possibilities and perspectives, we begin our baby steps to successfully go beyond our comfort zone.  We can certainly do it because I did this a few times both at work and personal life.

One was when I moved beyond my comfort zone, from managing a small team in Manila, to leading a diverse South East Asian team based in Kuala Lumpur.  At the time, I was only 27 years old, the youngest and the only woman expatriate in a country business unit management position in KL and South East Asia team. Against all odds, my husband and I relocated with our one-year old son.

Another time that I moved beyond my comfort zone was when I left the corporate world after 20 years and embarked into a new career in consulting, training and subsequently, coaching. As a GenX, this took a lot to overcome my limiting beliefs, security comforts and fears. 16 years after – I’m battled, wounded, stretched – yet victorious and continuously growing to fulfil the north.

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