Family & Wellness Links


Beyond the comfort zone

How testing your limits brings growth.

By Anna Gamboa Gan

APRIL 2013

Stuck in a rut and need to break out—but you’re not sure how? Well, that realization usually comes with knowing you have to go beyond your comfort zone.

“Change mode”

If you need to challenge yourself, getting professional help may be an option. Writer-editor Em Guevara, a life coach trained and certified by the Fowler Wainwright International Institute of Professional Coaching (, advises “If they have access and are willing to spend some, getting a professional life coach is an option. They can zero in on the particular aspect of their life they want to achieve a particular goal with, like professional, financial, relationship, emotional, spiritual and wellness [or] fitness.”

Like an athletic coach, a life coach gives you the necessary push in the right direction. Guevara points out that “coaching can get people out of their comfort zone because it presupposes, it actually requires, that people who seek it are in a ‘change mode,’ that they are dissatisfied with their situation and want to move forward.” If you’ve been thinking of pursuing an entrepreneurial dream, been struggling with weight or relationship issues—the coach can help you assess your resources, strengths and limitations. But this requires self-awareness and the openness to change and moving forward, says Guevara. “One has to take stock of his present circumstances ... before he can take a leap of any kind.”

She has a caveat, however, for those expecting miracles from their coaches: “I want to emphasize that a coach is not a counselor or someone who would tell a client what to do. A coach's role is to get the client to come up with a plan of action to attain a specific goal, and to help him achieve those goals, but the solutions [or] action plans should come from the person himself. The coach will be an objective person to help a person uncover his blocks before and during the pursuit of his goal.”

The sounding board

What’s her advice for people who want to move forward, but don’t know where to start? Guevara emphasizes that openness is important—to new ideas, ways of doing things, and so on. “Because self-awareness is something he can work on. But if a person is closed, then there’s no chance of moving forward. Recognize that you are stuck. And seek help. ”

For those who can’t afford to hire a coach, talking to a friend or a trusted confidant may help gain the focus in moving forward. But Guevara warns, “[T]here is a big chance that a sounding board may not be enough to push them out of their comfort zone, for various reasons. ... A friend [or] sounding board will not necessarily know how to bring this about. A friend might very well just go along with the ‘excuses’ and [or alternatively] feed the very blocks that a person has in getting out of his comfort zone.”

On the other hand, if you’ve got a friend who keeps asking for advice about his situation, and never seems to follow it, he may not be open to change. “[I]t might be hard for most to get to that state of self-awareness and openness on their own,” Guevara observes. “[G]enerally, the person has to figure out what his blocks are ... or what’s keeping him from going ahead with his goal.”

Need a life coach? Check out the resources below. For more information about breaking out of your comfort zone, grab a copy of the April issue of

Life coaches:

Maricel Laraya
Telephone: (02) 964 6416

Visions and Breakthroughs
Telephone: (02) 655 4767 or 638 3349

Care & Counsel
Telephone: (02) 386 6531 or 775 3398

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