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You know that exhilarating moment of identifying a direction, a goal, a purpose? You can’t wait to get started. You are excited, inspired, ready to go. You get the supplies (real or virtual), roll up your sleeves (literally or figuratively), clear out distractions (whatever they may be), and get to it.

But this is just the beginning.

You may be focused for a while–dedicated, driven, enthusiastic. But at some point, there is a bit of friction on your yellow brick road, a pothole or two, and suddenly you have to apply more effort. The going gets tougher, and eventually, the inevitable thought sets in: “What am I getting myself into?” and your eyes widen in fear. You draw in a breath and forget to exhale.

But “what” is not the question of consequence.

The real question is “why” you were getting yourself into this. Reflect on why you’d set out on this journey in the first place: Was it wanderlust? distraction? dire need for change? team spirit? The closer you can get to the underlying reasons, the better chance you have of unearthing your real motivation and dissolving the fear…

When you remind yourself of your original mission, you relax. When you relax, you are no longer forcing the change but are allowing it to manifest, driven by the actions you’d set in motion; and the obstacles no longer seem overwhelming but instead become part of the course.

Breathe out.

And the journey continues.

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