Learn to Dance Outside Your Comfort Zone


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On January 1st I officially became the 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 successful people devote significant amounts of their time and money to charitable organizations within their community.

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 gets paid, car payments are made the the utilities don’t turn off the electricity. It’s a noble mission.

Every year, we put on a big fundraiser called the Butterfly Ball. With each Ball we try to do something different. This year it’s a  two minute dance contest between four people. The twist is that each dancer must be a novice.

At one of our committee 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. But they persisted and I caved.

At my first dance practice, it took me two hours to master just 30 seconds of the two minute dance routine. My routine is Ice Ice Baby, by Vanilla Ice, which, as you can see here, is embarrassingly bad.

When I got home, I sat on the couch wondering how on earth I was going to pull this off. And 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 I was bad. 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 in all this 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 overcome that fear.

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. It’s a huge confidence booster.

Those who never achieve much in life are never able to overcome their fear of the uncomfortable. They simply refuse to take a risk to try and master something new. Conversely, as my Rich Habits research shows, self-made millionaires make a habit of stepping outside their comfort zone. They train themselves to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Dancing will not make you successful. But the habit of stepping outside your comfort zone will. 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. So, 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.



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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. Good for you! I’m a terrible dancer too and probably would have tried to bribe my way out of it with a large donation. 🙂

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