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Quotes on New Beginnings From History's Greatest Leaders Everyone from MLK to Joan of Arc can help light your path to a fresh start.

By John Boitnott

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Stephen F. Somerstein | Getty Images

Whether you're building a new business or facing a major change in your life, beginnings can be intimidating. Starting over or starting something new often leads to feelings of fear and self-doubt. Taking a risk is usually not easy, but it's often part of new beginnings.

But you don't have to dread beginnings. Starting something new brings new opportunities and it can be empowering. You'll probably learn important lessons about yourself. And your new beginning may just be the start of something exciting and life-changing.

If you're feeling uncertain about a new business or project, then these quotes from some of history's most notable leaders may reassure you or change your mind. The following words come from philosophers, business owners and U.S. presidents; in short, some of the greatest minds in history. You'll find that all of these people not only appreciated beginnings, but also embraced them.

Related: 25 Quotes to Inspire Your Entrepreneurial Journey

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Part of what makes starting something new intimidating is that it's often surrounded by uncertainty. You may not know what the end goal is or have any idea of how you'll get there, so taking that first step takes courage and even faith. Ultimately, you need to believe in yourself, your plan and the journey you're about to take.

"Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try." -- John F. Kennedy

If you're launching a business or planning your next entrepreneurial venture, you have to be completely invested in the work. Your beginning and the success that comes after will depend on your decision to put that plan into motion.

"The beginning is the most important part of the work." -- Plato

Beginnings frame everything that comes after them. With careful planning and a deliberate approach, your beginning can set everything that comes after it up for success.

"Start by doing what's necessary, then do what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible." -- Saint Francis of Assisi

Starting something new is difficult, and if you look at a new business as a whole, things can get overwhelming. Instead, break down your beginning into pieces. Today, do what needs to be done immediately and focus only on that. Soon, you'll find yourself accomplishing more than you'd imagined.

"Beginning with audacity is a very great part of the art of painting." -- Winston Churchill

In business and life, sometimes you need to be bold and unafraid. Being bold in the beginning can set the tone for your entire venture.

"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success." -- Henry Ford

Starting up a business with multiple people involved has its challenges, but when you find the right team, you can grow your business into a huge success.

"We don't accomplish anything in this world alone ... and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads form one to another that creates something." -- Sandra Day O'Connor

This is a helpful reminder that no matter how great the achievement, you can't succeed without a little help along the way. As you launch something new, see if you can depend on a few other quality people to help your venture get off the ground right.

"The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life." -- Steve Jobs

Starting over can be refreshing and freeing. When you're starting something new, you have more creative freedom and less pressure to succeed, and that can make for a successful new business or project.

"No matter how hard the past is, you can always begin again." -- Buddha

Sometimes starting over isn't a choice; it's an act we're forced into. Past failures can be haunting, but failure is never the end. Take what you've learned from your past and put it into starting out again.

Related: 40 Inspirational Entrepreneurial Quotes

"The right way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." -- Walt Disney

While every business venture requires planning, your new beginning depends on you taking action and getting started. It's easy to get trapped in too much planning or analyzing; ultimately it's time to start moving forward.

"Get up tomorrow early in the morning, and earlier than you did today, and do the best that you can." -- Joan of Arc

Your success depends on how hard you work at it. Start your new beginning off right, put in the time and effort, and do the best that you can to give that new opportunity a chance to grow into something great.

Starting over or starting something new is intimidating, but these 11 leaders navigated new beginnings and have countless accomplishments to their names. They all appreciated the power of creating something new, and you can, too. If you're thinking of starting a new business or putting a new idea into action, now might be the perfect time.

John Boitnott

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Journalist, Digital Media Consultant and Investor

John Boitnott is a longtime digital media consultant and journalist living in San Francisco. He's written for Venturebeat, USA Today and FastCompany.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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