The lines below written by Marianne Williamson in her book, A Return to Love, published in 1996. The verse has also been incorrectly attributed to Nelson Mandela, as having been included in his inaugural address. Over the years, these words have inspired millions.
These words have been inspiring me since I first came across them in 1999. They powerfully speak to the fact that many of us live our lives not so much afraid of failure, but afraid of achieving our true potential. We feel comfortable ‘flying below the radar’, so as not to attract attention and possibly criticism, rather than spreading our wings and seeing how far we can fly. I hope they challenge you to always shine at your brightest, and to continue to work toward becoming the best possible version of yourself.
“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.