We commonly think there are a lot of people out there that battle with a kind of fear of failure. And for a good reason. I assume this definitely is a condition that keeps a lot of people from living up to their full potential, be it in education, sports, business, and even love.
But what fascinates me even more – and has triggered some of my research efforts – is another kind of fear, the fear of success (or fear of happiness, please see this post for more detail on the concept). I seriously don’t know how many people suffer from this, but my estimate is: a heck of a lot of our fellow human beings.
On that note, I was deeply moved to (re-)discover a poem that is often attributed to Nelson Mandela but that was written 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’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.