Timmy and Tammy loved playing the piano.

They both practiced hard and were getting better and better each week.

One day, their teacher had some exciting news.  There was a concert coming up and they both had the opportunity to play in public for the first time.

Timmy and Tammy looked wide-eyed at each other with a mix of excitement and trepidation.

“What would it be like?” they wondered.

In the weeks leading up to the performance, they practiced harder and perfected their pieces.

Then the big day arrived.

As they sat in the audience waiting for their name to be called, they were both extremely anxious.

“What if I make a mistake in front of all of these people?”

“What if I embarrass myself?”

“What if everyone else is better than me?”

Then Timmy’s name was announced.

Hi mum looked at him with anticipation, but he sank lower and lower in his seat.

“Come on Timmy, it’s your turn,” she said encouragingly.

But he shook his head and refused to go up.  The mother looked up at the stage and shrugged her shoulders at the teacher.

Timmy wouldn’t be playing today.

The teacher moved to the next name on the list, “Tammy will now play for us.”

“Oh dear,” she thought.  She was terrified.

“Come on Tammy, it’s your turn,” he dad said.

With a deep sigh, Tammy slowly made her way up to the piano on the stage.

Her legs and fingers were shaking.

She made a few uncharacteristic mistakes.

She wanted to jump off the stage so quickly at the end that she almost forgot to bow.

But she did it.

Timmy and Tammy kept going to piano lessons and kept practicing hard.  They were improving at about the same rate and the teacher was pleased with their progress.

Then after a few months, the teacher made another announcement, there would be another concert.

Again, Timmy and Tammy looked at each other with fear.

When the concert came around again, Timmy could not be dislodged from his seat in the audience, whilst Tammy walked up to the stage with slightly more confidence than last time.

And in doing so, these two children show us an important lesson.

If you allow fear to defeat you once, it will be more likely to have a hold over you.

But if you have the courage to take action despite your fears, you will feel more and more confident.

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