Friday, November 20, 2009

8 Ways to Breakdown Barriers and Reach Your Potential

by Deanne Earl
What is it that's blocking you from reaching your potential?

Business is expanding in-line with or ahead of plan. Customers pay on time and suppliers deliver exceptional quality consistently while remaining open to constructive feedback for continuous improvement. Employees are motivated, empowered, and fully immersed in a culture that embraces change and responds to challenges as part of business as usual resulting in process improvement and elimination of waste. Revenue is high and costs are low because of the collaborative and adaptive approach to doing business, communicating objectives and people development. Career choices and self-motivation have enabled a personal life that's stimulating and satisfying both financially and emotionally. Everything and everyone is striving for and achieving beyond their potential - they're flying!

These outcomes are not fanciful. Read on and discover 8 ways to identify and breakdown the barriers that are blocking you from reaching your potential and fly in a way you've never known before.
  • Current state - Where are you now?

    Know your starting point. As this is the first layer peel it's no easy task - it takes an objective, uncluttered and honest analysis along with an absolute commitment to making things different. What's good, bad and downright ugly about this current state? The type of things that trigger thoughts similar to 'why won't this work?', 'what a mess!' or 'how come everyone else seems to get ahead and I don't?' are the most likely barriers blocking growth. Writing down and getting clear about these blockages is the first step to reaching your potential.

  • Future state - Where do you want to be?

    Know where you're going. A few more layers in and the same exercise can be repeated this time considering goals and the desired future state. Daydreaming and fantasising is imperative for all those wants and desires to come to the surface. Whenever the 'that's not possible', 'don't be ridiculous' or 'no way would that ever happen' barriers pop up move past them with the 'who said?' counter argument. Be careful what you ask for as you may just get it!

  • Look inside

    Ever noticed when someone physically points a finger there's 1 pointing out and always 3 pointing back towards them. This suggests an externalisation of something that's not being acknowledged or taken responsibility for internally. While external influences may be out of our control we do have full control over our reaction to them. Identifying these reactions along with our self-imposed limitations helps expose them for what they are - a bunch of words to which we've added meaning. To get closer to realising your potential, ask just one simple question - is that really true? Bet you it's not...

  • Everything's possible

    Yup, absolutely everything and anything is possible! Just look at the Para-Olympians, what an example they are to every human and organisation on the planet. No-one in their right mind could say those athletes have not overcome challenges and barriers to reach and exceed their potential. In business as in life there is always a way. Can't is only a word for a skill or process that hasn't yet been attempted, learned or mastered. Should is a value judgement that leaves someone to decide whether they're going to do it or not. Adjusting both words and attitude immediately breaks down barriers previously deemed Himalayan in stature.

  • The Black Hole - What's on the other side?

    Who knows, it's a mystery. If we knew it'd be a bit boring. Like exploring a new restaurant or country going there to find out is part of the excitement. Not everything will live up to expectations but if you're clear about what you want and focus on how to get there the disappointments will hold less significance. At the same time you'll discover new capabilities and increase your potential for anything and everything that crosses your path.

  • Taking that first step

    As with toddlers the first step is the most difficult and the more steps a toddler takes the more skilled they become eventually mastering the task and then running all over the place causing complete havoc. Humans naturally find it internally confronting when asked to leave their comfort zone. It's natural and easier to complain about being hard done by or that life has dealt them a cruel hand. Others who totally commit to having things different take that first tentative step and soon realising they should have done it long ago. What's it going to take for you?

  • Support

    Whether the journey is professional or personal support is critical. The difference between a good and a great manager is that one delivers what is required with good results, while the other openly encourages and provides challenging situations for their team and themselves to continuously extend beyond their potential therefore delivering more than expected with great results. Being clear about where you're going and what assistance you need to get there makes your network more able to provide the necessary support.

  • Flying
    It's been quite a journey and is still going however...


Business is expanding. Customers pay on time and suppliers deliver exceptional quality. Continuous improvement is sub-conscious. Employees are motivated, empowered, and fully immersed in a culture of change. Revenue is high and costs are low. Personally life is stimulating and satisfying both financially and emotionally. Everything and everyone is striving for and achieving beyond their potential - they're flying!