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Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of “The Ugly Duckling” illustrates the truth that what you know and believe to be truth determines your behavior. Although hatched in the same nest as the other eggs, this “duckling” looked different. He was big and ugly, not soft and yellow like the other ducklings. No one could understand what was wrong with the ugly duckling – not the Mother Duck, not the Rabbit, not the Turkey . . . not even the ugly Duckling himself!

Can you imagine what the Ugly Duckling might have been thinking about himself? “What’s wrong with me? I’m so worthless! I’m such a failure! I’m not measuring up to the other ducks!” The result of such thinking was: Depression, feelings of worthlessness, a sense of failure, always trying to perform like the other ducks and perhaps feelings of rejection.

But what was the truth? The truth was that the Ugly Duckling wasn’t a duck after all. It was a swan. Over the long winter months the “duckling” had changed. It had become what it really had always been, a swan, beautiful and graceful like all the other swans.

The Ugly Duckling believed...

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