Behind Our Deepest Fear is Our Greatest Asset

There comes a point in nearly everyone’s life where they face a challenge that changes their approach to interacting in the world.  It could be they were affected deeply by a death, a divorce, an accident, a marriage, a baby, loss of friendship, a relocation or any number of other events.  Regardless of the situation, each person would share in a singular common feeling. It is the realization that a part of their personality has been locked away inside as the rest of them tries to compensate for the loss.  In essence, long after the initial loss or challenge has passed, an additional “loss of self” persists.

I came across that wonderful quote by Marianne Williamson,

“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.” 

I had never quite understood the part where she says, “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”  I always thought, NO!  I would love to feel like that instead of all wrapped up in insecurity and fear.  Are you kidding?

To better illustrate my point, let me start by giving you some examples of the challenges/losses that I faced and how it changed the way I interacted with the world.  

I had a lot of tangible losses in rapid succession – It all began with my husband deciding to file for divorce (while I was out of the country). Then, I learned he wrecked my car and decided to buy himself a new one instead of fixing it.  Upon landing back in the States, I returned to a house that was half-emptied. I had no job and received no alimony.  On top of that I was living with the constant fear of becoming homeless as I still hadn’t managed to secure an adequate job to allow me to refinance the house into my name. I’d already passed the 1 year deadline and found myself having to bargain for more time to keep a roof over my head with a man that I no longer recognized as someone I was once married to.

All of this occurred within less than 2 years.  Non-stop.

Find your courage
photo credit –

Of course, there are the other losses that are not tangible.  The loss of trust in others, particularly men. The loss of hope. Loss of confidence in myself. My whole mindset was fixed on survival and hyper-vigilant for any threats that may be lurking.

It’s not so hard to understand why, really.  That’s a hell of a lot to go through and a very short period of time to cope with it.

Up until this point in my life, I’d always been someone who lived their life according to a few simple principles:

  1. Be honest with yourself
  2. Have no regrets
  3. Love your life

I’d start a business if that’s what I wanted, save up for adventurous travel and go, push for betterment at work, stand up for myself if someone was ignorant, and so on.  I felt confident, had no regrets, and loved the life I was living.

After, all of this became locked away.  I became scared to shine, to speak up, and I sure didn’t love my life and now I have plenty of regrets.

Now coming back to that part in Marianne Williamson’s quote….“Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”  

I think I get what that means now.  Yes we are afraid of failing.  We are afraid we are inadequate.  Everybody feels this way.  I sure do.  But I think her point is that our GREATEST fear is revealed to us in the moments we get to shine.  

Think about it.  When someone tells you you’re beautiful, that you’re filled with potential, brilliant, a genius, creative…do you believe them?  Or is there a part of you that says, “No! I’m not.”  “It’s no big deal.”  “Anybody could do that.” Or how about when someone tells you they love you?  Do you push them away thinking that they couldn’t possibly know you well enough to love you.  Aren’t you really saying that you don’t consider yourself loveable?  So your greatest fear is believing in your own “wow factor”.  That it could actually be true.  

See what I’m saying?

When you’re face to face with your moment to shine, when you receive a compliment how do you handle it?  Do you reject it?  It’s as if we don’t believe we have the right to even BE these wonderful things. So we hold back.  We shrink.  We don’t speak up. We don’t believe it exists in ourselves.

We are afraid to shine and be successful because we’d have to take responsibility for the fact that we did that. We are that.  You’d have to come to terms with the idea that it has gone beyond people just telling you that you are beautiful, filled with potential, a genius, brilliant, creative, etc.  You’d actually have to take that in instead of blocking it.  

You’d have to stop buying into the bullshit that you tell yourself and rise to the occasion to demonstrate your inherent awesomeness. And that scares most of us more than anything.  

When you are empowered, the sky is really the limit.   

Remember you do have the right to shine and to do so brightly.  You are born with a purpose.  You deserve to be here.  You are meant to fulfill your dreams and share your light with the world.  

Let’s make a pact to stop being afraid to believe in ourselves and just do what we have to do to find the courage to be who we really are.  

And remember,

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same”

Or as they say at Motel Six, we’ll leave the light on for ya’…. 🙂

What do you think?

– With love from aneternaltraveler 😉




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