“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ Marianne Williamson
I love this quote. It’s often erroneously attributed to many other speakers (Nelson Mandela for one) but they are all quoting Marianne Williamson. I remember the first time I heard it – something opened in me. I used to fear being inadequate (in fairness I still regularly do fear this) but never realized that I feared being powerful even more.
But I did.
No one likes to fail. No one. Some of us handle our short-comings with more grace than others, but no one actually enjoys failing. We enjoy succeeding, right? Absolutely. But there is also a certain amount of comfort in failing. We can say we tried, but it didn’t work out. We have an excuse to lead a mundane life. We don’t have the pressure to maintain a fabulously, wonderful and successful life.
I enjoy my successes, but too much success scares me. I wait for the other shoe to drop and failure to smack me in the face. I feel uncomfortable if I am too successful, wondering if others begrudge my success. Sometimes when I dream big (and I like to dream big) I do think who am I to think I can have all this. But like Marianne says – who am I not to dream big?
Why shouldn’t I? What’s wrong with wanting to shine and live my best life? Nothing. Nothing wrong at all. The snide comments and grumbles towards those with the sheer audacity to live so boldly is often born from their own jealously and shame at their choice to live so small.
They live in fear and act powerless. I don’t want to live that way. When I find my self reverting back to old behaviors, I reread Marianne’s quote, and I am reminded of my potential. It’s my choice to embrace it or not. And I am rather fabulous, now that I think about it.