"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."
Like you, I've heard this quote numerous times. As with most philosophical things, I never quite grasped the full meaning. What exactly does it mean to fear being powerful beyond measure? The quote eluded my understanding, until recently.
I listened on the other end of the phone as one of my mentors spoke to me about my career.
"Faneisha, think about what you want to do in the next 2 or 3 years."
I thought to myself, "Ok, I can handle a 2 or 3 year goal, but please don't ask what I want to do long term."
Thankfully, she didn't.
You see, I was never the kid who knew what they wanted to do when they grew up. My earliest recollection of career aspirations was in 2nd grade. At that time, I wanted to be lawyer (know clue why), which evolved into wanting to go into the military (like my dad), to wanting to be a special needs teacher, to ultimately having no clue. Seeing my mathematical aptitude, my parents put me into an engineering camp beginning in middle school. Naturally, I was steered into engineering and pursued it for my undergraduate degree. Though it wasn't a bad choice, I quickly discovered that it wasn't how I wanted to spend my working years. I finished and decided that I would leverage the degree to do other things within the field.
Even after earning my degrees, I still had no clue what I wanted to do. I had no idea where I would work or where I wanted to end on my career ladder. If anyone can attest to God ordering their steps, it would be me. I had someone recruit me into the company and the first two years of my career were planned through the leadership program that I was in. God knew that I had no clue and He stepped in. Now, five years later, I’m faced with deciding where I want to go from here. What do I want to be when I grow up?
My mentor continued, “You have a background that is valuable. Have you considered doing an executive training program?”
My stomach dropped.
The truth is, I had considered the possibility of progressing up the ranks of the career ladder, but had quickly dismissed it. You see, I realize that I have the potential to be a CEO if I want to, but I fear that I have the potential to become a CEO. I fear that I can become something greater than I ever imagined. I fear that I can attain a level that may completely change my life and what I thought it would be. I fear that I am powerful beyond measure.
Now the quote makes sense.
In reality, my fear is just another way of saying that I haven’t quite surrendered my career to God. So, I’m left with two choices: I could purposely decline opportunities to excel in the company or I can completely surrender my career to God and go as far as He has ordained me to.
Have you ever feared being powerful beyond measure? Does your own potential scare you? Are you afraid to completely give God control over an area in your life because He may cause you to go places that are out of your comfort zone?
Well, the quote doesn't end there.
"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 doesn't serve the world. There's 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're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson
So, who are we to not let God's glory manifest through us? Who am I to put a cap on the potential that is within me out of fear of the unknown? God hasn't given us the spirit of fear, so why should I be afraid? Why should you be afraid?
We- you, me- we're powerful beyond measure. Are you ready to surrender to God and become a vessel to manifest His glory?