Don’t Play Small


Image Description: Rays of sunlight shine through trees of a forrest. Public domain image.

So I confess that I’m not a big Marianne Williamson fan, but I have been sharing one of her quotes for years. I see that someone on the internets has put that quote into poem formatting, which I will now copy and paste below. I want to share this today at the beginning of a new year.

There are times when we realize we are swimming in self-doubt, struggling with internalized shame, or limiting what we think could be possible. And there are times when we realize people are determined to reduce us, project onto us, or treat us as though we are their problem to be solved.

What changes might we make to shift our thinking and acting? How might we change our roles in relationship? No need to play small.

Our Deepest Fear
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.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Play Small

  1. Renee, thanks for bringing attention to Marianne. Last summer she stood in my living room with a roomful of politically-minded people to present her ideas for her presidency. She is not “presidential” in the sense of being able to lead, but her ideas would make such a difference, especially her proposal to have a “Department of Youth, combining health, education and welfare under one umbrella. She also has some “red flags,” but her ideas deserve to be heard as the platform is built. Therefore, I continue to support her as a voice of reason. Thank you for posting her words of wisdom. Have you read any of her books? I have not, but I’ve got one on my list: “Illuminata.”


    1. Thanks for sharing! I appreciate a lot of what she says about spirituality except… I find some of her statements about illness/mental illness to be problematic, so that’s more the issue for me. LOVE this poem though and some of her other perspectives.


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