runnerOn a call with my transformational growth group last week, one of the participants shared her high school running coach’s words to the team: “If you don’t pee in your pants or throw up, you’re not running fast enough.”

I immediately recalled a recent yoga class that I attended, where at the peak of the practice in a hot room I attempted—and came close to achieving—a difficult arm balance pose. I felt a wave of nausea come over me and knew I was venturing into new territory.

Then I thought about last summer at the outdoor pool, when I watched a kid on the swim team barf by the fence and then hop right back into the pool. Other images, like early contestants on The Biggest Loser losing their cookies repeatedly, also came to mind.

Similar physical reactions can result from experiencing strong emotional reactions. I have seen people vomit while doing emotional work; and I certainly know the feeling of queasiness that can come from touching deep emotional fear and pain, or from taking a risk in interpersonal communication. Sometimes simply the thought of doing something new or different for my business makes me want to throw up.

What all these triggers have in common is that they arise when people are pushing past their comfort zone—which, by definition, is not comfortable! But this doesn’t mean that the activity or work is something to be avoided. If there’s anything new you want in your life, whether a physical result or an emotional transformation, you will experience discomfort on the way to achieving it.

Is there somewhere in your life where you are jogging along, letting yourself get comfortable and staying there? What would it look like to push past your comfort zone? Are you willing to experience fear, nausea, or even peeing in your pants to get the result you want?

I’m choosing to take that feeling of nausea and/or fear as an indication that I’m pushing my life in ways I want to push it. It means I’m digging deeper.

The payoff is stronger muscles, stronger relationships, and a stronger business.

If you want to stretch more than you’re stretching in your life and work, and feel like you don’t have the tools or courage to do it, I recommend the training I’ve been taking part in for the past 2 years. See The next weekend introductory workshop is March 13-15 in Chicago and you can register for free using code TTCOMP. I will be there and would love to meet you!

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