I was recently listening to an interview with a very amateur swimmer who tried his first triathlon (sport where you swim, then cycle, then run, all part of one race on one day). When he started training he didn’t know how to swim. At all. After some weeks and months of training he entered his first race and swam 1.5kms in 1 hour and 35 minutes. Or more easily understood, he averaged 6 mins 20 secs to swim 100 metres, and was by far the last one to finish the swim. A slow pace by any standard.

However, within a few more weeks he had cut his time for that same distance in half and was now middle of the pack. He used to be afraid of the water and now loves to swim and compete in the sport. When asked of his advice to someone who was taking on a new challenge, his words were as simple as they were profound, “Persistence is key and the reward is freedom”.

What is true behind these words is what you gain freedom from. Not usually a lifetime of riches and independence, but more precisely, freedom from your worries, fears, concerns, anxiety, depression, doubts, low self-esteem or whatever mental and emotional weight you were putting on yourself. When that weight is lifted, and you have a breakthrough — such as acknowledging the fact that you can do it — it is often astounding how insignificant your old thoughts of doubt and worry really were. It’s shocking how much those negative thoughts and feelings really tied you down and delayed your success.

So whatever challenge you’re currently facing and trying to bust through, remember persistence is the key to your freedom — the ultimate reward we all deserve. Realise that when you have that success, you will look back and wonder why you chose to indulge in those negative thoughts and emotions for so long. So why not leave those thoughts behind right now? Let go and be free.

What are you currently facing where persistence will help you? What would you like to be free of? And what reward is waiting for you?

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