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“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

 

Happy New Year, everyone!

It’s hard to believe that it’s already the beginning of a new year. I have a lot of resolutions and aspirations for this year, things I want to get done and things I want to avoid in order to make this a better year than 2016, but I think in the midst of all this planning and dreaming and wishing, it’s the courage to continue on, no matter what, that is one of the key ingredients for ultimate success.

I have a tendency to want to avoid something if it looks like it’s going to be hard to accomplish. I’m not a risk-taker. I like to choose the easiest path available. But I’ve been learning more and more lately that I have to be willing to step out of my comfort zone, take a chance, do something I’m scared to do, if I want to reach my greatest goals and actualize my dreams.

But that takes courage and the realization that failure is not the end. I saw another quote recently that said something to the effect of, You will never fail unless you quit trying. Failure is just one part of the journey, and everyone inevitably will experience it at some point. God can use those failures and mistakes to turn us to Him so He can build in us His strength and confidence.

But making a mistake doesn’t mean that we can’t eventually come out victorious, as long as we don’t stop trying. I don’t think any great person really accomplished anything amazing without trying and failing multiple times. Great things don’t come easily. We have to be willing to commit to something for the long haul.

So, to myself mostly, but also to you who are reading this, don’t give up. And don’t keep avoiding the scary things. Don’t be afraid to aim high. Take chances and do something you never thought you’d ever do. If you have a dream for something but the path toward it scares you, just step out and do it anyway, because, even if you fail, you’ll never regret the experience and thrill and sense of accomplishment that comes when you realize that you’ve taken that next step to becoming a more confident and courageous person. Oh, and plus, you’ll have a good story to tell in a few years.

Taking that first step, in spite of your fears, will open the door to building the confidence and determination to go on and take the next step, and the next, and the next. You’ll never be the same.

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