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.

There are times when we realize we are swimming in self-doubt, struggling with internalized shame, or limiting what we think could be possible. 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. Marianne is complex. I hosted her in my home when she was running for President. (How long ago that seems!) Not presidential material, but her ideas warmed my heart and gave me hope. She lives in “the best of all possible worlds,” as should the rest of us. It doesn’t mean she accepts this as the best possible world, but that she still hopes for it, believes in it. We Christians, too, must believe that the best of all possible worlds is really possible. The poem you shared gives us a strategy to build that world.


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