Quote of the Day: Our Deepest Fear.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jan 26, 2012
get elephant's newsletter


Next time you feel like you oughta be smaller, safer, less shiny…(re)read this.

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.

Haters Gonna Hate!

It’s way more fun to have a sense of humor about yourself, and a sense of uncompromised caring for what’s truly important, than to pretend to be small just to get along.

Most folks attribute this quote to Nelson Mandela. Fact is, author Marianne Williamson wrote it (it’s understandable, seeing as how easy it is to get the two of them confused).


Bonus: “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” ~ Rumi




...is a new feature on Elephant Journal—enabling you to instantly share your mindful ideas, photos, art, YouTube videos/Instagram links & writings with our 5 million readers. Try it Now.

Write Now

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


18 Responses to “Quote of the Day: Our Deepest Fear.”

  1. […] I hope these photos caught your eye, and possibly made you think about where you live and the opportunities that are available in the present moment. I also hope it helps us find grace in small places – from the ugliness and the cracks in life comes something that is beautiful. […]

  2. […] We’ve all heard this quote. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond meas… […]

  3. […] Marianne Williamson Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and […]

  4. Ozz says:

    Interesting – the comment above is more significant and thoughtful than the post content itself.

    Williamson's quote works quite seductively as an appeal to the self-importance of the ego – complete with built in self-justification – which would lead many readers further from a spiritual path, rather than closer to one.

  5. […] I’m more interested in the unlikely what; that terrifying and impalpable thing under your skin, the silent breath that whispers “everything is” or “anything can […]

  6. […] So stop listening to anyone who tells you you should be a little quieter, or less, or aim lower. […]

  7. I guess I always took it to mean "let your light so shine before men…if that light is under a bushel it's lost something kind of crucial"

    we are each born with a spark of divinity within with the pure light of consciousness and those things that hide or tarnish that light are usually born of fear…rise up and shine…express the talents and the abilities that you have within…for fear of ridicule or shame or being incorrect does not serve anyone…only when we fully express our god given innate completeness do we honour the divine. We are spiritual beings having a physical experience don't shy away from fully embracing now. At least that's how I read it.

  8. […] You don’t have to be anything but who you already are. […]

  9. […] But we aren’t. I hate to quote New Agey stuff, but that beautiful quote about our Deepest Fear comes to mind. […]

  10. […] Stop looking for validation. Stop spinning. Stop fixing. Stop being afraid of yourself and be magnificently human. […]

  11. jennifer says:

    I love this quote, too. And you are adorable.

  12. Shane says:

    I've been carrying this quote around with me for years, it's been on my mind now more than ever. Thanks for posting.

  13. Hannah says:

    At the same time – there is still wisdom in humility. That being said, we are all beautifully and lovingly created. Each of us brings something purposeful to the table. Let us all take joy in each other for we are all created in our own Creator’s image. Love.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.