“Our Deepest Fear Is That We Are Powerful Beyond Measure”

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“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 and 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 are 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.” Nelson Mandella


My good friend and fellow rural woman in BIZ and health activist  Kylie Hollonds shared this quote on her facebook page this week and I just HAD to share it.

It speaks to me so powerfully and I thought, I had an inkling it might just resonate with you too.

You see – mostly, our brains will tell us that it is failure we fear.
But what the great Nelson Mandella tells us in this speech, is that it is the opposite – it is our truth, our light, our absolute intrinsic, in-born POWER and STRENGTH we fear.

It is SUCCESS, wrapped up in all it’s beauty, that we are so terrified of.

It’s odd isn’t it.

Almost ironic you might say.

I have lived this journey – of being so afraid of making others look bad by my being amazing.

Of being terrified of being so powerful that I couldn’t control it, or define what the outcome would be – of being so strong, so brave and so incredible that I just wouldn’t recognise myself any more.

BUT what IF you could ACTUALLY change the world.

It’s a scarey thought.

What IF you could ACTUALLY be as brilliant as that little voice inside you says you are desperate to be.

I knew I was put on this planet to BE MORE. I just knew it, since I was a little girl.

I have always wanted to PLAY BIG, be SEEN, MAKE A DIFFERENCE, but it is absolutely, numbingly terrifying to do that.

And so I have self-sabotaged soooo many times I have lost count!

I have literally pulled the rug out from underneath myself knowing that if I just keep myself small, I won’t have what I really want, but I won’t be uncomfortable or make anyone else uncomfortable.



Because it’s nice. Because it’s safe. Because its comfortable.

Because it’s easy.

But, honestly, who wants to be comfortable their whole life?

Who wants to choose easy?

Not me.

Do you think Nelson Mandela was comfortable in his prison cell for all those years?

Do you think he was scared of playing big in case he upset some people? Do you think he was fearing his own intrinsic power? Maybe.

Do you think HE took the easy way out? Not a chance in hell!

I want to live like Nelson Mandela.

I want to remind myself of his words

“Your playing small doesn’t serve the world”

…and start to PLAY BIG.

I want to shake some cages and rattle some bones.

I want to stand up, I mean REALLY stand up for what I believe in and SHINE as bright as I am meant to SHINE – which is pretty fucking BRIGHT!

Screw mediocrity.

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

I want to inspire others to be THEIR best – to GLOW bright and long.

I want to be MY best so others can have permission to be theirs.

I am tired of keeping myself small.

I give MYSELF permission to join the ranks of the brave, courageous souldiers who step up and fight every day to make the world a better place. I give myself permission to help YOU find YOUR light.

I vow to only EVER Play BIG AGAIN!!!

Are you with me?




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Showing 2 comments

  • Vivian Evans

    This has really got me thinking… I am inspired to make a difference to leave my mark, as it were. My most frustrating day is when I don’t achieve something, don’t make a difference. It took me 3 days to prune a dead rose out of an archway – also covered in wisteria and Chilean Jasmine – It was very prickly and had to be done piece by piece, I am covered in thorny splinters – each day I was frustrated by a job partially done today I did it. :-) But already I am looking for the next challenge and the next way to make a difference. Due to the drought and not watering my large garden since mid January – I hadn’t gardened for 4 months! Thank goodness for the rain – I bided my time to see what had actually survived – at one stage I thought I lost 35 trees and shrubs but that was not the case as plants amazingly reshot new leaves from the ground or all over! My husband got out his chainsaw 2 days ago and we removed all the dead trees, branches and shrubs to reveal thankfully still a beautiful garden. Now with a week off and the purchase of numerous drought tolerant plants I am planning to gap fill.

    What I love about gardening, teaching and Guiding (my 3 passions) is that I can plant a seed, strike a cutting, teach a skill, connect people, inspire people and then watch it take off from there…

    In 1 1/2 hours I am scheduled to discuss my ‘goal’ with you Rebel via the phone and have spent the other part of my morning working out what is my goal so I am as clear as possible of where I want to head and get the most out of our ‘chat’.

    Are my fears of success? hmm I don’t know… perhaps. With success comes also the potential to fall back. For example with a team we have grown Guiding in Coonabarabran from 12 to 38 in less than 2 years but then in the last 6 months we dropped in numbers back to 26… so in that way the high brings a greater potential for a low. But I suppose it is how you look at it and am I keen to grow numbers? Sure am! but also the risk is too many Guides not enough Leaders so that is where I have to now focus our growth and my Goals… grow Leaders and Managers who will be better prepared to grow Guides and sustain the numbers. :-)

    • rebelsblack

      Enjoyed our conversation Vivienne, and REALLY enjoyed how well prepared you were, thank you!
      You are on the right track for sure – it’s important to challenge our thinking!
      I can so relate to your passion for gardening and teaching…it’s amazing to EMPOWER people and plants to be their best possible selves!