An excerpt from A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, from the chapter “Personal Power”

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.

Cover of A Return to LoveWe 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 won’t feel insecure about you. We were born to 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.

This piece is often erroneously credited as being from Nelson Mandela’s 1994 Inaugural Speech. This text does not, however, appear in that speech, and Marianne Williamson’s book was published in 1992.