Share this content

Fear of greatness and courageous goals

17th May 2013
Share this content

 "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 doesn't serve the world. There's 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're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

This is a quote from Marianne Williamson's book Return to Love.  I've known the first two sentences of this quote for some time and thought that was the extent of the quote. Only last week I discovered the rest of the passage when preparing to deliver a Courageous Goals keynote with John next week.

Since publication I've presented to about 1000 people on Challenging Coaching and the Courageous Goals chapter seems to have the greatest power. I've worked with many people using a timeline exercise  (see page 124 of Challenging Coaching) and have seen some amazing reactions; joy, excitement, tears of happiness and fear, and the flight "get me out of here" reaction.

Courageous goals have the ability to unlock the power within us, but also unleash our demons and the fears that hold us back. These fears stop us in our tracks even before we have started.  These can include fear of change, of the unknown, of criticism, of failure, of not being good enough, and fear of incompetence.

I remember that when I started studying for my psychology degree that my clinical psychology lecturer gave the class a health warning. He said that as he describes the symptoms of depression, and schizophrenia, etc. that it is typical for students to recognise the symptoms in them selves and assume that they have that condition. Well nearly 30 years on after sitting in the clinical psychology lecture room, this is exactly what happened to me as I looked into the fears that prevent us achieving our goals. I recognised all the 'symptoms' of these fears in myself!

However the biggest fear for me is the fear of greatness. This is why I find Marianne Williamson's passage so powerful. I read the whole paragraph with the hairs on the back of my neck standing up and butterfly's in my stomach.

I'd encourage you to read Marianne Williamson's passage above three times and reflect.

"Your playing small doesn't serve the world"

"And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same"

(Marianne Williamson is a spiritual teacher, author and lecturer. She has published ten books, including four New York Times #1 bestsellers. It was said that Nelson Mandella quoted these words. But Marianne stated "As honored as I would be had President Mandela quoted my words, indeed he did not. I have no idea where that story came from, but I am gratified that the paragraph has come to mean so much to so many people." Quoted from Wiki)

Join us on Linked In and post your thoughts on the Challenging Coaching Group.

Get feedback from your coachees with our Challenging Coaching 360 on-line questionnaire

Tags:

Related content

Replies (8)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By Garry Platt
17th May 2013 20:28

Do you think this quoted passage relates to rational thinking atheists as well?

The section which states; 'We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.' makes quite an assumption doesn't it? And on so many different levels.

Thanks (0)
By John Blakey
19th May 2013 00:36

In short Garry, no I don't think this passage relates to rational thinking atheists as well. It reaches beyond the rational and it relies upon the notion of God. That much is logical. But then courage is not rational either and no one has ever explained to me why the hairs on the back of the neck can stand up in the way Ian describes. Thankfully, there is so much that the rational mind cannot explain. 

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Garry Platt
19th May 2013 07:40

 

Without wishing to hijack the comments section the issue of reaching out towards the fiction of god or gods (according to which faith you follow) and being told that my purpose is predicated on god is not something I concur with. Nor when this is an open forum am I going to let pass without comment or objection.  John Blakey states: 'It reaches beyond the rational and it relies upon the notion of God. That much is logical.'  I disagree, relying on the notion of a god or gods according predominantly to which period, geographic location or family upbringing you had is not logical. That much is illogical. John then writes: 'But then courage is not rational either and no one has ever explained to me why the hairs on the back of the neck can stand up in the way Ian describes.' Then you haven't looked very hard, if you want to know why your hairs stand up on the back of your neck here's why, it's an evolutionary remnant, but there again, religion may prevent some people from seeing the facts before them: http://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/what-makes-hair-stand-on-... Finally, John ends with: 'Thankfully, there is so much that the rational mind cannot explain.' Your right, it cannot explain why a body which purports to expound good Christian beliefs hides and protects paedophiles within its ranks. The rational mind cannot explain why a religion with its own laws would see a women who has been raped as the guilty party and then want to see her punished still further for her crimes. The rational mind cannot explain why one faith believes we are made in the image of god, but then proceeds to lop bits off the male child as soon as it's born, presumably god's design wasn't good enough. The rational mind cannot explain why a church which believes we are all equal cannot bring it's self to give women equal rights in own ranks. The rational mind cannot explain why the major Christian sect in the UK cannot recognise the needs and rights of all people regardless of their sexual orientation and seeks to discriminate against them.  There's a lot the rational mind and science cannot yet explain, but that does not lead me to believe a higher power is in play. In all the examples above it's small closed minds which are the reason. 

Thanks (0)
By John Blakey
19th May 2013 10:25

Clearly, you feel very strongly about all of this Garry. I am fine with you being a rational atheist and everything you say is consistent with that belief. Ian's post is written from a different perspective. It's not a big deal, is it?

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Garry Platt
19th May 2013 10:38

Of course it's OK, john, and of course it's OK to challenge that perspective.

Thanks (0)
James Quinn
By neverchair
22nd May 2013 16:02

"We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us."

The following line in the quote is:

"It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone."

As an athiest, am I not "meant to shine, as children do"?

Or is that pleasure reserved just for those who believe in God?

If so, then the very mention of God/religion in this quote is quite meaningless.

 

James

Thanks (0)
avatar
By ianday
31st May 2013 19:49

Dear All, if you believe in a God or not, I believe that we can all be greater beyond our current limits. Coaching breaks down the boundaries of fear and limiting beliefs. Don't play small in your beliefs in what is possible, just to stay in your comfort zone. 

Thanks 

Ian

 

Thanks (0)
avatar
By jesonko01
09th Jul 2015 08:33

I really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us. I assure this would be beneficial for most of the people. Looking forward to read more of your post and updates in the future.

<a href="http://socialsoundcloud.org/">increase soundcloud services</a>

Thanks (0)