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There’s an old Chinese proverb that says,

“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.”

It’s an important reminder that in our microwave world that wants instant results, it’s OK, perhaps even preferable to grow slowly.

So today, I want to encourage you to keep making progress, no matter how slow you seem to be going.

Keep reading every day and learning new things.

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These are some of the questions I hear from clients often when we are mapping out a course of action and the fear starts to kick in.

“But what if it doesn’t work?”

“What if I don’t get that job that I’m after?”

“What if I get what I want, but don’t like it when I get there?”

“If it doesn’t work, won’t this all be just a waste of time and energy?”

And here are my usual responses:

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Awesome, you got that promotion at work.

Brilliant, you made it into the sporting team that you’ve been aspiring towards.

Fantastic, you’ve got the “Open for Business” sign out the front of your new enterprise.

Excellent, you’ve been accepted into that university course that you’ve been dreaming about.

It’s always a great feeling when you feel as though you’ve made it.

Except that you haven’t yet completely made it.

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You can tell the world what your goals are.

You can have the most noble of intentions.

You can dream big dreams.

You can have amazing self-belief.

You can think the most positive of thoughts.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once said,

“When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.”

Life seems hard sometimes.

It can be intimidating to follow your dreams.

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It doesn’t take a detailed examination of the world to see that there are a lot of people who are playing the role of victim at the moment.

People who are offended by what someone else said.

Or who feel threatened by someone who looks or thinks differently to them.

Or who blame others for their current circumstances.

Or who are afraid of the future.

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One of the awesome benefits of running my own business is that I get to attend my kids’ sporting events and concerts.

This week, one of the highlights was watching Madison playing her first violin solo in a school concert for the junior school string program.

While they were waiting on stage for their turn to play, many of the younger children were finding innovative uses for their violin and cello bows.

Some were using them to pick their noses.

Some were using them as weapons in imaginary sword fights.

And eventually, when it was their turn, they used them for their original purpose to make music.

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You owe it to your kids to be the best parent you can be.

You owe it to your spouse to be the best partner you can be.

You owe it to your staff to be the best leader you can be.

You owe it to your work colleagues and team-mates to be the best contributor you can be.

You owe it to your community to be the best citizen you can be.

But of course, it goes both ways.

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So often, people think that it’s their talent, circumstances or upbringing that’s holding them back, when it’s far more likely to be their level of commitment.

Are they all in, or are they tackling life’s challenges half-hearted and without enthusiasm?

When you’re fully committed…

To your goals,

To your marriage and family,

To your career,

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For most of us, when we aspire to do anything meaningful with our lives, we have our doubts about whether or not it will work.

I know that there are exceptions, those who never have any doubts at all. ┬áBut I’m not sure if I admire or are slightly wary of people like this, so this post probably isn’t for them.

This is for those who aren’t quite sure if what they trying will work.

They don’t know if they have the capacity to pull it off.

They wonder if they have left it too late, or if they should wait a little bit longer before starting.

Most often those doubts come from deep inside, but they also come from the chorus of cynics all around us.

If this is you, remember, your doubts are like weeds.

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