Over the years I have seen many people think about getting rich, proclaiming affirmations, visualising and meditating – yet they don’t get rich.
Let’s be realistic – to get ahead in the real world you have to take action.
Why is it that most people don’t take action?
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Sometimes it is lack of knowledge, but more frequently it comes down to fear that stops people from living their dreams.
However, successful people tend to act in spite of their fears. They’ve learned to harness their fears and use them to their advantage.
I understand that Tiger Woods keeps training, uses a coach and continues playing at the intensity he does, because of fear: The fear of not being the best and that someone else may play golf as well as he does.
The most common reason people don’t get involved in property investment is fear: The fear of failure or that they will lose money or that people will ridicule them.
The key to success is not to let your fears scare you into inaction, but to use them to prepare you for action.
Apart from failure, let’s look at some other potential fears.
The fear of ridicule
You can’t do much about what other people say, but you can control how you react to it. The people trying to stop you achieving your dreams have probably lost the ability to do the same. The only way they know how to build themselves up is to bring other people down.
Now that is sad, but it’s not your problem. No one has ever died of embarrassment, so tune out to the critics and focus on what you want to accomplish.
The fear of success
Surprisingly the fear of success can be almost as paralysing as the fear of failure. It often follows on once you have conquered the fear of failure.
It is ironic that you work so hard to overcome the fear of failure and achieve success, and then all of a sudden you become afraid that you won’t be able to maintain your success. Yet I have seen this happen to many investors once they have grown a sizeable property portfolio.
Things seem to be going well and then they start feeling uncomfortable. While there is no logical reason for this, we are all controlled by our own internal “financial thermostat” that sets our level of comfort.
Yours is set to a particular level of success that you see yourself at with your self-image. If you exceed that level of success you become nervous and fearful. I have seen this fear sabotage the efforts of property investors because their inner thermostat just didn’t allow them to see themselves as successful. In fact, they were so afraid of what might happen when they become successful so they subconsciously did things that keep them from being successful.
The fear of not being worthy
Many people fail to take action because they fear they don’t deserve wealth. This also stems from the “financial programming” they received in childhood. All those negative things that some well-meaning people said early in their lives: Things like “Don’t be greedy”, “People like us don’t get rich”, “What makes you think you can do that when others have failed?”
I’ve also seen investors sabotage their wealth because they felt undeserving. I must admit I have things I don’t need, yet I have them because I want them, because I enjoy them and because I can afford them. The difference is I feel I deserve everything I have because I have earned it.
The fear of debt
Obviously the fear of debt holds some investors back. However, debt shouldn’t be feared. It’s the inability to service the debt or repay the loans that should be feared. If you understand how to use debt wisely and if you know the difference between good and bad debt, there is nothing to fear.
By the way, it is not necessary to get rid of all your fears to succeed.
All rich and successful people have fears, doubts and worries; they just don’t let those feelings stop them. That is the big difference: unsuccessful people also have fears, doubts and worries but they let those feelings stop them.
It is normal for your brain to bring up these fears. Your mind is protecting you. It is doing its job. And acting in spite of your fears is going to be uncomfortable. We all like living in our comfort zones because they are comfortable. But if you want to move to a new level you have to break through that comfort zone. I have never moved forward in any aspect of my life without being uncomfortable. Your comfort zone may make you feel warm and fuzzy but it doesn’t allow you to grow.
If you think about it, every time you tried something new it was probably uncomfortable; but the more you did it the more comfortable it became.
So every time you are feeling uncomfortable, instead of retreating back into your comfort zone, pat yourself on the back and say, “Hey this is great. I am moving forward and I am growing.”
Sure, in our current turbulent economic times the constant conveyor belt of negative messages in the media makes it easy to be fearful, but remember the words of the great investor Warren Buffet: “I like to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”
If you want to be a successful property investor, and if you truly want to be one of the wealthy, you are going to have to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
This article was first published in November 2011.
Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Investment Update blog. Subscribe today and you’ll receive a free video training – The Golden Rules of Property Investment.