Our deepest fear is not that we are
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 enlightening about
shrinking so that other
people won’t feel unsure around you.
We were born to make manifest the
glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in
As we let our own Light shine, we
other people permission to do the
As we are liberated from our own
our presence automatically liberates
(often attributed to Nelson Mandela,
who used it in his 1994 inaugural
This can be one of the hardest ideas in the world to
accept and to live. I am a light of the world. The
light that is within me can shine to help others to
find their own light. Wow. We tend to see the light
in other people who have become leaders and who
do wonderful things on a worldwide level, who
publish books on self-help and who lead seminars
and who become pastors and teachers and
But my “playing small does not serve the world.”
What an incredible thought that is: that I am serving
the world just by being who I truly am, not the
person I pretend to be because I think I should be
modest or unassuming. My ideas are valuable, my
insights can help other people, my presence can
make another human being feel secure enough so
that he or she can step out and take a risk and
possibly do something that he or she never before
This fear that we have of being different, of other
people mocking us or putting us down because we
are different–this fear not only holds us back, but
also holds back the people who could find in us the
example that they need to make something more of
themselves, to accept themselves more, to be happy
and to start to lead fulfilling, loving lives.
If you let your light shine, others will see it. Not
everyone will react as they should, but that’s their
fear reacting–it’s not a reflection of who you are.
Others whom you may never know will see that
light, and when they see your courage in letting it
shine brightly, your light can spark the courage in
Questions to ponder:
1. Does light have any effect when it’s covered up
and not allowed to shine? Do you cover your light up
so that others can’t always see it? How?
2. What would this world be like if everyone allowed
their inner light to shine without thinking about the
fears that tend to keep it hidden?
3. Do you play small? Does this help other people?
For further thought:
Fear can infect us early in life until eventually it cuts
a deep groove of apprehension in all our thinking.
counteract it, let faith, hope and courage enter your
thinking. Fear is strong, but faith is stronger yet.
Norman Vincent Peale
~sometimes I just gotta write~