One of the many balls I have in the air is being President of The Ashley Lauren Foundation, or ALF for short. I started volunteering for ALF may years ago after discovering from my Rich Habits Research that many of the self-made millionaires in my Study devoted significant amounts of their time and money to charitable organizations within their community. They did this long before they became wealthy, by the way.
ALF’s mission is to help families who have a child with cancer, survive financially and emotionally. During the first few months after diagnosis, parents are in a fog. They only care about one thing – the survival of their child. As a result, they often ignore “unimportant” things such as paying their bills. ALF steps in to make sure their mortgage or rent gets paid, car payments are made and that the utilities don’t turn off the electricity. It’s a noble mission.
Every year, we put on a big Ball to raise money for the Foundation. With each Ball we try to do something different. In 2017 the unique hook was a two minute dance contest between four people.
The twist was that each dancer had to be a novice.
At one of our board meetings, the members asked me to be one of the dancers. I was immediately gripped with fear, as I did not know how to dance, and I would have to do just that in front of 600 people. My fragile ego immediately said no. But they persisted and I eventually caved.
At my first dance practice, it took me two hours to master just 30 seconds of the two minute dance routine.
When I got home, I sat on the couch wondering how on earth I was going to pull this off. I was consumed with anziety.
Then I thought back to 2008. That’s when I decided to write my first book, Rich Habits. I had never written a book before and in the early going it was so hard and uncomfortable. I felt totally outside my comfort zone.
But every day I wrote and re-wrote Rich Habits and, nineteen months later, Rich Habits was released to the world. It went on to become an international bestseller.
My point is that fear stops most of us from doing anything that is outside our comfort zone. But, as I learned from my Rich Habits Research, if you want to succeed in life you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You need to overcome the ego-driven fear of looking bad or failing.
Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable needs to become a habit. You can only grow as an individual by challenging yourself. You challenge yourself every time you do something you never did before.
When you step outside your comfort zone and survive, it’s empowering. Take it from me, it’s a huge confidence booster.
Those who never achieve much in life are never able to overcome their fear of the stepping outside their comfort zone. Their ego simply stops them from taking a risk or to try and master something new.
Conversely, self-made millionaires, particularly Entrepreneurs, make a habit of stepping outside their comfort zone. They train themselves to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
When you get comfortable with being uncomfortable, when it becomes a habit, that habit will filter into everything you do, even dancing for the first time in front of 600 people.
Take action in the face of fear. Get out there and dance, even if you don’t know how. Don’t let fear stop you from becoming the amazing person life intended you to become.
Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner and author of “Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life”, “Effort-Less Wealth”, “Change Your Habits Change Your Life”, “Rich Habits Poor Habits” and “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”