Playing Small

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 is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory that is within us. And as we let our 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.

The words of Marianne Williamson hang on the wall in my office. My eyes glance at the wise words every day, but rarely do I see them.

Today, I’m really seeing the quote. And letting the words sink in anew.

Williamson gives us a gentle, yet forceful reminder that we frequently settle for less — in our relationships, in our expectations for our lives, in ourselves — and end up playing small.

Clearly, this quote popped on to my conscious radar today for a reason. The universe is challenging me to notice the places in my life where fear is in the driver’s seat and nudging me to take corrective action.

Where are you playing small in your life? How can you let your light shine brighter?


  • Sue Says:
    7-2-2009 14:58:42

    These are great words, thank you for sharing. It’s funny, this is actually the second time this week that I’ve heard a similar idea and, like you, I can’t help wondering about the significance of the timing. I will be giving this a lot of thought over the weekend.

  • Sharon Says:
    7-3-2009 12:55:27

    I read “Return to Love” many years ago. Then, the quote spoke to me about my life in terms of family and community. Now, I think about who I am in the wider world, in situations and with people I may not even know yet. It makes me think about taking risks to do work I’ve never done and share what I know in ways I haven’t before.

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