Thursday, November 05, 2009

What am I afraid of?

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 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 doesn't serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure
around you.)

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 fears,
our presence automatically liberates others.

- Marianne Williamson.
This quote has been on my mind a lot lately.  I think I am afraid of my own power.
For the last several months, I've been thinking that I wanted to do something "fearless" at the end of this year and in my dreams that meant quitting my job and jumping into self-employment.
But then some things happened.  I took an online break for awhile to re-examine what I really wanted. I pushed past some of the stuff that had been blocking me at work. I took charge a little more. I got a little more creative at work. I read a book called "How Remarkable Women Lead" and realized that I truly do love leadership and would miss it if I weren't doing it any more.
It started to dawn on me that my desire to leave my current position was not really about being more fearless, it was about running away from fear.  You see, I have a whole bunch of big opportunities at work right now - new staff to hire, a big new social marketing strategy (and a budget to go with it) - and deep down, it was scaring the crap out of me. It was calling me to move into a whole new level of leadership and  (especially given the fact that I was dealing with some dysfunction issues on my team and 2 people quitting, as well as some frustrations with a consultant) I was quite sure I was going to fall flat on my face.  It was more pressure than I'd ever felt as a leader, because now I was having to prove to the board that what I'd proposed and got funding and approval for was the right direction for this organization to take, even if most of my team members (and some board members, truth be told) were not standing behind me.
I'm still quaking in my boots, and I still might fall flat on my face, but you know what? I think I can do this. I think I have more leadership ability than I thought. 
Trusting your own instincts, being bold in the face of resistance, risking failure and disgrace - it's all really quite scary.  I still have so much to learn about fearlessness.


Stephanie said...

You CAN do it! I know you can!

I love that first stanza of the poem. I feel like I've read it before somewhere, but maybe it just rings so true that it feels familiar.

Dovelily said...

This is such a humbling quote and it is so true. Fear of success has kept me hiding my talents for years. Best of luck with your new opportunities at work! You will succeed!