Author Anais Nin may have best captured the reluctance we experience regarding change. In one masterful sentence, she acknowledges the fear preceding change and the fear that follows change: “The risk of remaining tight in a bud is more painful than the risk it takes to blossom.” Most of us have become tight in our metaphoric buds. Over the years, we have built layers and layers of self-protective coverings and so find ourselves quite comfortable doing the same things, thinking the same thoughts, meeting the same people.

But there comes a point, as Nin suggests, when remaining ensconced in familiarity can actually hurt us, can actually cause more harm than if we had ventured forth. When you are trying to influence others ...

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