Meant to Shine

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…” – Marianne Williamson

Typically you see the quote attributed, incorrectly, to Nelson Mandela.  Whomever said it first, it’s a beautiful quote to ponder, especially so if you hope to drive change.

Here’s the full quote:

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.”

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5 thoughts on “Meant to Shine

  • March 30, 2010 at 9:14 am
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    April, I love this quote! It was a favorite of my grad school class, and we even used it on the inside cover of our class music CD.

  • March 30, 2010 at 9:15 am
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    Oh, and congratulations on the publicity about your visit from John Kotter!!

  • March 30, 2010 at 11:46 am
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    This is such a great quote. Most quotes require some introspection since they have double meanings, are quirky, time-related, etc. There’s nothing hidden about this quote… it’s all right there staring at you. Despite it being so straightforward, I’m certain I have spent more time thinking about this quote than any other I have come across.

    To be honest, I really WANT to believe it, but my lizard brain (the resistance inside my head) wins out and says that this simply can’t be true.

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