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Our Deepest Fear - Inspirational Poem by Marianne Williamson
Our Deepest Fear—An Inspirational Poem
This widely acclaimed poem is actually not a poem at all, but an excerpt from A Return To Love, a book by motivational speaker and author Marianne Williamson. The passage has such inspirational power that it is now a stand-alone mantra for a generation of exceptional individuals who wish to motivate themselves and others to live up to their fullest potential.
The word "deepest" is often replaced with "greatest" in reprints of the passage, although the original uses "deepest," as seen below. The poem is a cultural phenomenon that is quickly becoming one of today's most well-known inspirational quotes from a living author.
Our Deepest Fear—Also the Poem Featured in Coach Carter
In the movie Coach Carter (2005) tells the story of of Richmond High School (of Richmond, California) basketball coach Kenneth Carter, who made local headlines for benching his undefeated team due to poor academic performance. In the film, one of the student athletes recites "Our Greatest Fear" when Coach Carter asks the team what their greatest fear was.
This recitation of "Our Greatest Fear" was very powerful and brought widespread attention to and interest in Marianne Williamson and her work. See below for the poem.
Our Deepest Fear
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, handsome, 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 around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Our Deepest Fear Scene from Coach Carter
Note: This Quote is Often Mistakenly Attributed To Nelson Mandela
Many internet sources erroneously credit Nelson Mandela as quoting "Our Deepest Fear" in one of his speeches. However, the African National Congress (ANC) explicitly states that none of Nelson Mandela's speeches contain the quote.
A Return to Love
Get the book that started it all! With "Our Greatest Fear" in it's original context and much more from motivational guru Marianne Williamson.