This clip from the movie Akeela and the Bee where Dr. Larabee asks Akeela to read a poem on his wall about our deepest fear captures the essence of what holds most of us back. I love Akeela’s answer to the question, what she shouldn’t be afraid of…” Me”.

Here is the poem by Marianne Williamson that is quoted in this clip:

Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us
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,
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'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 fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

When I read this poem I think about the balance required to live this concept out effectively. Imagine a balancing scale. To the left you have pride and to the right you have insecurity. If too much self confidence is marked by pride, the scale will tip too much and you will lose your effectiveness because people won’t think you are authentic. On the other hand, if you lack a healthy amount of confidence, then the scales will tip too much toward insecurity and you will lack impact in the world. The balance is a healthy awareness of your gifts, and contributions without thinking too highly of them. Then you will even out the scales.

While I think we all struggle with the balance, I think that this poem really does a nice job of addressing the issue of insecurity. And I love that the author goes beyond the cost to you when you hold back your light, it shows the consequences to others around you.

Are you afraid of your gifts, talents and abilities? Embrace them boldly and you will shine your light for others to see.

Author's Bio: 

Patty Sadallah has 29 years experience as an organization development consultant and executive coach. She is a Dream Partner Catalyst and coaches and consults entrepreneurs, small business owners, nonprofits and faith-based organizations toward by moving them toward their dream visions. Find out more about her coaching and consulting at

She is also the Chapter President for the Northeast Ohio Christian Roundtables, a chapter of Truth at Work. It is a monthly advisory board roundtable of Christian leaders, equipping members to share their faith at work, grow their businesses and strengthen their walk with God. Learn more at