How often do you shrink your success so you don’t make others feel insecure? In this episode, Jen breaks down the famous poem ‘Our Deepest Fear’ by Maryanne Williamson and discusses the important realisation we all need to have, that we can have a far greater impact by empowering others through our growth than playing small to make others feel safe.
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Our Deepest Fear
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 and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won’t feel insecure around you.
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
There was one line in this poem that hit me hard.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
I realised when I read this the first time, that I had held myself back in some areas. Here in Australia, we have what we call the Tall Poppy syndrome. Where if someone gets too successful, we bring them back down.
There have been times in my life where I have been flying high and on such a great trajectory, but I have had this happen to me and instead of saying I’m still going there, I’ve shrunk back to not make others uncomfortable or insecure. It’s HUGE.
That really shoved my life in my face. It’s not cool. Why would I hold myself back for other people? In my life, I have the opportunity (as do you) to help other people grow – if they choose – whether it is through inspiring or encouraging them through my actions instead of shrinking back to their level to make them feel safe. There is so much more to be gained in life from living like that.
Maryanne Williamson shared this poem in her book Return to Love, and if you haven’t read it, I encourage you to read it. In the book, Williamson explains that “The government isn’t holding us back, or hunger or poverty. We’re not afraid we’ll get sent to Siberia. We’re just afraid, period.”
There is either love or fear. Fear is the opposite of love, it is responsible for all of the world’s sorrows, “anger, abuse, disease, pain, greed, addiction, selfishness, obsession, corruption, violence, and war.”
Therefore, to create the best version of the world that we can be in we need to come from a place of love not fear.
To do that you have to celebrate yourself and your achievements. As Maryanne says, you are perfect (brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous), but because you do not believe in yourself fully, you are also personally responsible for all of the problems in the world. You specifically, are everything that is good in the world and everything that is bad with it.
You can’t change the world; you can only change you.
I remember having a talk with Mike Dooley, one of the guys out of The Secret, and Mike said, “Jen, you can’t change the world, you can only change you. When you show up as the best version of you, that automatically creates a ripple and can bring change to the world.”
We have to fix ourselves first. For the biggest part of my life, I scaled back my potential so that others around me didn’t feel insecure. I don’t know if you have ever done that. But all of us are 100% responsible for everything in and not in our lives.
So, if life isn’t rocking to the level you want it to, are you holding yourself back?
Healthy Life Hacks
So, the healthy life hack I want to leave you with today is:
- Print out the ‘Our Greatest Fear’ poem and read it regularly. This poem was a life changer for me in particular that one line. What is your line in the poem? Find the line that hits home and live into it.
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