Yesterday somebody reminded me of the speech made by the late Nelson Mandela. It included the words below:
Our Deepest Fear
by Marianne Williamson from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles
‘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, 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 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’
This is such a wonderful piece of writing and one you can return to again and again if you hesitate to be assertive. I love the line ‘There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.’ So many people feel that they must fit in; they shouldn’t put themselves forward or stand out. It means that they never show who they really are. They never achieve their full potential.
And isn’t it exhilarating to realise that if we allow ourselves to shine, we give permission for others to do so. Being assertive is not about putting people down, or being aggressive. It’s not about hiding our skills and talents so others don’t have the benefits of sharing them. It’s about owning that side of yourself that is thoughtful, tactful, straightforward, encouraging and positive. Do this and you’ll be a great role model for those around you.
***** Try this! ****
Imagine yourself behaving assertively during the coming week. Note what would be different in how you behave and feel, and how others respond to you. Select one or two events/discussions and actually do it. Choose non-threatening situations where, if you think about it, nothing bad can actually happen. If you are successful, give yourself a huge pat on the back. If it doesn’t go quite to plan, that’s okay. Consider what you can learn from the experience for next time. There is no failure while you are still trying.
I’d love to hear from you
What topics related to assertiveness would you like to see in a future blog? Write to let me know in the comments box below.