Big Scary Monster Series: The Fear of our own Potential

"Mental Claustrophobia" sculpture by McKella Sawyer, 1,000 fabric swatches and insecurities

Let’s start off with this pearl of wisdom:

“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.”


Marianne Williamson (emphasis my own)

I think one of the saddest things in the world is to see potential go to waste.  We all have missions in life, gifts we have to offer the world, but many of us shrink back instead of rising to the calling.

Why?

Well, we’re scared. Scared that we won’t make it, that no one wants what we have to give, that we have nothing original to offer, or we’re just afraid of taking the risks that come with being great.

On the other hand, a lot of us are unconsciously terrified of actually succeeding. We’re afraid to be seen, or to have the openness required to become truly inspiring. We’re afraid that by breaking social norms or class restrictions that we’re “getting above ourselves”, somehow betraying our own.

In our society with it’s Puritanical ethics, we feel that acknowledging our gifts and potential, we’re being prideful or that by taking the time to develop those gifts, we’re being selfish. We’re making others uncomfortable. We feel that by stepping into our greatness, we are somehow wrong.

No wonder we’re so terrified of our own light.

And it’s totally ok to be  afraid. Give your big scary monster a hug and tell him this:

  • It is my responsibility as a human being to share my light with the world.
  • Taking the time and space to develop my gifts and realize my purpose isn’t selfish. Not reaching out to those who need me, hiding my gifts, not leaving my handprint on this world…now that would be selfish.
  • Pride and confidence in my abilities are not the same thing.
  • Everyone has a purpose, and so do I.
  • I can succeed. I will succeed.
Yes, you will.
PS: Don’t forget to submit your posts for the Big Scary Monster series! The goal of this series is to talk about and face our Big Scary Monsters and ultimately make friends with them, because monsters need friends too. 
You can email them to me to be featured on Handprint Soul, write them on your own blog and send me the link, or simply leave your thoughts in the comments. I’ll include links to all submissions in a roundup post at the end of the month. Thanks!

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Posted on June 27, 2011, in Art, Authenticity, Big Scary Monster Series and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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