“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.”
—-from A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson.
After posting this quote recently on my Facebook fan page, someone responded:
“Love this post and will have to share it. But where do people start to take the first step in acknowledging their highest potential. So many have been taught to not be boastful or not show off or you are no better than the next person. How do you pull out of that preventative thinking and move into a mindset of greatness?”
An excellent question! In many ways, the answer is the quote itself. But I would add to it that in my experience, it is not the fear of eclipsing others that scares us, but the fear of failure. Because if we truly give something our all, and fall short, then what? Heaven forbid people think of us as a FAILURE, right? So, instead we take the safe road. The low road, the road plenty travelled.
Except there is only one type of failure, and that IS not trying. Think about something you’ve wanted to do, a ‘someday, maybe’ goal; as in ‘someday I’d like to go to school,’ or ‘maybe I’d like to become an actress.’ But immediately that little voice kicks in (the same little voice that just said “what little voice?”) and gives you all the reasons you can’t do it. You aren’t smart enough, or pretty enough, or talented enough. And so you convince yourself not to even try. Think about that: You convince yourself not to try, rather than fail to get what you want, but that decision *keeps you from getting what you want!* Being afraid that you might not be able to go to school, keeps you out of school. Being afraid you can’t act, keeps you from acting. Believing that girl would never go out with you, keeps you from dating that girl.
Does that make sense?
There is nothing to be afraid of, because the thing you fear is upon you right now. You already know what it’s like to not have it, because you are living it. So what else is there to fear? If you try and fall short, you’ll be right back where you are right now, no problem. And then you get up and keep trying until you make it. Like Bodhidharma said: To fall 7 times is to rise 8 times…life begins today.
It may take time, it WILL take time. Be patient with yourself, it took your entire life to get to where you are right now, and things won’t change every night. As long as you do something every single day to get you closer to your goal, success is inevitable. You don’t have to be better than anyone else, you only have to be better than yesterday.
Oh, and one last thing: Some people will criticize, or laugh, or talk bad about you. Haters hate, it’s what they do! But deep down inside, when they see you shine, when they see you truly going after what you want, do you know what they’ll really be thinking?
They’ll wish they had the courage to do what you are doing, instead of being too scared to go after it. So let your haters be your motivators!
What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!
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B. Dave Walters Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host
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