From Ugly Duckling to Beautiful Swan

By Anna Trishch

Your life is beautiful and precious, and your presence on earth has a unique and graceful purpose.

We are all programmed for greatness and outstanding achievements. However, at times we learn the realization of our personal beauty and worth “the hard way.” Sometimes it is absolutely necessary to hit a bottom before climbing to the top of the world to celebrate a victory. It is a careening rollercoaster ride, but it can provide a valuable and necessary point of reference that helps to foster gratitude for all that we accomplish in life.

Remember as you embark on this ride that we all come from “star stuff,” no matter what happens. A diamond in the rough is still a diamond.

I love the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale about the ugly duckling who turns into a beautiful swan. It is a powerful and thought-provoking metaphor about transformation and self-discovery.

The story has a happy ending but very “ugly” beginning: There was a duckling who hatched last from a duck’s nest and looked unusually big and unsightly. Right after his birth, he was exposed to a great deal of suffering. He was bitten and pushed and taunted. The other ducks pecked him; chickens beat him, and the girl who fed the poultry kicked him with her feet. All the birds in the farmyard disliked and humiliated the poor duckling. Even his mother did not feel much sympathy for her child.

He was different, and everybody saw him as ugly.

Being alone and miserable, the ugly duckling ran away, frightening the birds in the hedge as he left. A journey full of trials and ordeals had begun. The duckling escaped to a large moor inhabited by wild ducks looking for a shelter. They didn’t accept him, only reminded him how ugly he was…Later he met geese who mocked him as well. Then he reached a cottage, where an old woman, a hen, and a cat lived. The ducking was different from them, too. The poor ugly bird didn’t fit in with any community. He was the outcast, alone in his misery but high in spirit.

The duckling was in search of himself, and his purpose, and therefore was hopeful.

Here comes the “aha” moment: One evening, just as the sun set amid radiant clouds, there came a large flock of beautiful birds. The ugly duckling didn’t know who they were, but they seemed majestic to him. They were swans, graceful and shiny with dazzling whiteness. They uttered a singular cry, spread their glorious wings and flew away. The duckling felt a weird sensation. During his moments of despair and loneliness, the duckling looked up in the sky and found his inspiration. He was mesmerized by the beauty, grace, and glory of the soaring magnificent birds. He got a new perspective, a new vision, and a new dream.

Storms and winter passed. The ugly duckling was challenged to approach the royal birds. He flew to the graceful swans to meet his death (being sure that he was ugly). He came up to them and said, “Kill me!” He bent his head down to the surface of the water and awaited death. The catharsis occurred…In the water, he saw the reflection of his image—not the ugly and disagreeable duckling—a graceful and beautiful swan.

Through suffering and sorrow, he managed to rise and shine in glory and majesty.

The Moral of the Story

There are many people who feel weird or out of place. They don’t belong to a certain circle of friends or they don’t click with other people despite their outside intentions, or they are simply confused.

Maybe you relate to these scenarios. Perhaps you don’t like your job or fit in at the workplace. Maybe you are afraid to leave a comfort zone, or are staying in a toxic relationship, wrapped up in a false illusion of love. You may lack a sense of reward or satisfaction from your tedious daily routine. These moments of uneasiness—which lead to fear, anger, and/or resentment—are moments of truth that urge you to discover who you really are.

Or maybe you simply are not walking your true path, or you are hanging out with the wrong “birds.”

Moments of desperation can be truly fascinating. When viewed are gifts that create growth opportunities, they lead to inspiration. During moments of despair they can bring insight, a better understanding, and a new way of approaching life. Learn to listen to whispers, and you may open your eyes to new horizons. The process of evolution isn’t always pretty at the outset, but it is always rewarding.

You need the thrilling ride of self-discovery with all the trials, errors, and troubles to completely realize who you really are in this life.

Challenge yourself and get ready to uncover the intoxicating glory of your true personality as you transition from an ugly ducking into a beautiful swan.

Anna Trishch is a lover of life, an author, a life coach and a public speaker. Coming from a very modest background in a small Ukrainian town, she faced many challenges and financial hardships as a child and teenager. Although Anna’s parents were loving and caring, they came from a victimhood mentality that did not resonate with her soul. A believer that we are the creators of our own life, Anna went on to study at Ostroh Academy, one of the best Ukrainian universities. Today, she speaks four languages and lives her dream life in Miami. She helps people to discover the universal truth about human greatness and unlimited human potential; it is never about resources, but always about resourcefulness. Visit her online at, email or call 786-768-4130.


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