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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

This quote often attributed to Nelson Mandela, but it’s actually from Ms. Williamson’s book, A Return to Love.  Here’s the complete paragraph:

“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 does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not 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 is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

In Business:

I wrote earlier about all the me-too, copycat businesses out there.  Why are there so many? 

A lot of owners just don’t care.  Some think there’s safety in numbers, so they’ll just blend into the herd and settle for their tiny sliver of the pie.  Others simply don’t believe it’s in them to stand out, innovate, and be the best.

An innovative, successful small business is always dying to give out samples and demos.  Their attitude is, “The pubic’s never experienced anything like this before.  Once people try us, I know they’ll be hooked!”

If you know you’re selling the best vacuum cleaner ever, you can’t wait for the prospect to come in so you can throw a handful of dirt on the carpet.

If your cookies are the best, you love breaking some into pieces, hitting the streets and sharing them, because you get such a thrill seeing people’s faces light up with surprise at the best cookie they’ve ever tasted.

Whatever your product or service is, are you excited at the notion of giving out samples?  If not, get busy and innovate until you can’t wait for your prospects to sample the results.

In Life:

Why do we fear we are powerful beyond measure?  Because it puts all the control and responsibility for our lives in our own hands!

If you are all-powerful, you could have done whatever you wanted.  You could have been whatever you wanted.  It was all right there in the palm of your hands, there for the taking, and what did you do?  You settled… for this!

One of my favorite poems is My Wage, by Jessie B. Rittenhouse:

I bargained with Life for a penny,

And Life would pay no more,

However I begged at evening

When I counted my scanty store;

For Life is a just employer,

He gives you what you ask,

But once you have set the wages,

Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,

Only to learn, dismayed,

That any wage I had asked of Life,

Life would have gladly paid!

You may have settled in the past, but you don’t have to settle going forward.  Who you are right now is already enough.

So remember…

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

— Marianne Williamson

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