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Our greatest fear

From a friend in Nepal: “My project here really is genuinely interesting to a lot of people.  I talk about it more confidently now, knowing that it catches people’s attention, and that it was my idea, and I’m making it happen (albeit with a lot of help) – what a confidence boost!  And if I can turn this little idea into something real, what else will I be able to make happen next!?!”

This quote is a great example of someone who is overcoming the fears that I’m about to write about…

Scared of doing really well

It’s a funny feeling when you realise that you can be as daunted of doing really well as you are scared of doing badly. It’s nothing new that most of us are afraid of failure. If you follow Seth Godin you will know what he means when he talks about The Lizard Brain [the primeval instincts that keep us from danger]. In certain situations (granted not all) those very basic instincts that encourage us to fit in and to toe the line stop us from doing great things as well.

The process of building Escape the City (a platform built on a philosophy) has seen us have to regularly confront these emotions. Of course you’re going to do something of note of course you have to be prepared to fail… but you also have to be prepared to succeed (and to handle everything that comes with succeeding; challenge, attention, criticism, commitment, sacrifice). I think Marianne Williamson (thanks Kev) meant something similar when he said – far more eloquently than I have – these words:

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but 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, 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 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.

  • http://www.becauseitisthere.co.uk Kevin Shannon

    I know it’s petty but the above poem is by a women called Marianne Williamson, not Nelson Mandela

  • Rob

    Oops. Thanks Kev. Duly updated.