One of the most inspirational quotations I know comes from former South African President Nelson Mandela. It’s too long to be included in Your Daily Inspiration, but far too good not to use, so here it is.
It’s originally the work of Maryanne Williamson, but first came to many people’s attention when Nelson Mandela used it in inaugural address in 1994 as South Africa’s first black president.
He said: “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 most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ 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 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 all of us. And when 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.”
His words shoud have the power to stir the heart – but to some they’re more of an uncomfortable challenge than an inspiration.
It’s not that they don’t want to let their light shine. Too many people don’t believe they even have one. They’ve experienced so much negativity, criticism, self-doubt and lack of hope or expectation that the idea they might be supposed to be all those good things is not the inspiration Maryanne Williamson and Nelson Mandela intended.
Instead of exciting them and igniting their ambitions, it disturbs them deeply.
It doesn’t bring them joy – they find it so uncomfortable that it’s actually a threat against their peace of mind.
I’m not asking you to take my word that you have every right, all the power, the entire duty and the whole responsibility to be those things.
Instead, I’m asking you to listen to someone who spent 27 years in jail rather than give up on all the things that he believed in. Not only did he come through that to be his country’s first black president – he’s also a man revered and loved throughout the world.
If Nelson Mandela has such faith in you, why not find out if he’s right?
If you need encouragement to believe you’re naturally gorgeous, check out Reveal Your Inner Beauty. If you don’t believe you’re brilliant, you need to raise your self-esteem. If you don’t believe you’re talented, you need to boost your self-belief. If you’re afraid you’re too inhibited or shy, you can reconnect with all your natural assertiveness and project your real, dynamic self.
Most importantly of all, if you believe the things you most want to believe or do, to have or be, are way beyond your power to achieve, check out Success Begins With YOU, or try Achieve Your Wildest Dreams… and for a free book of inspirational quotations to keep you motivated all year round, just help yourself to Your Daily Inspiration.
Nelson Mandela has real faith in you. Live up to his belief, and let your light shine!