Fear Disguised as Compassion

How many times has someone rained on your parade or tried to put the kibosh on your idea(s) or squash your dreams? It happens all the time, and usually includes, “I care about you so much,” or, “I’m just looking out for your best interests,” but it’s really only fear disguised as compassion.

They don’t really care about you, or else they’d be more supportive. Okay, that was harsh, maybe they do care about you, but they’ve let their fear override taking the higher road of loving and supporting you to achieve your highest and best.

Let’s face it, most people are governed by fear. It’s the way we’ve been taught to live life on this planet, in a constant state of fear. Fear from the government or the police, fear of not being accepted by others or doing good enough. This is how we are easily controlled and herded like sheep, in a constant state of fear… and if things get too good or comfortable, look out. Because something very frightening is about to happen to make sure you’re slapped back into the state of fear.

We project these fear(s) onto the people we supposedly care about and we do our best to cover it up to make it look like compassion, like we care so much about whoever it is we’re “trying to protect,” when really, we’re projecting our own fear onto him or her.

Maybe you’ve done this (I know I have). When my brother was deciding to make a particular life choice that would have huge impact on the remainder of his life, I did my best to dissuade him from pursuing this path, and to me, it really felt like compassion, or more, like I was trying to save him from making the most tragic decision of his life.

Why? Because I was truly afraid for him (but not really). The truth was, I had made a similar choice early on in my life, with hugely less than desirable results. I did not want the same thing to happen to him. But guess what? I wasn’t him.

He maintained his position and stayed true to what he felt was his calling and became hugely successful following this endeavor. In retrospect, I can look back and see, my compassionate concern had little or nothing to do with my brother’s decision and everything to do with my fear based on my experience. Nothing to do with my brother and everything to do with me.

Since then, I’ve realized that we’re all uniquely different and we all are doing the best we can with what we have. Two people can do exactly the same things, step-by-step, and have entirely different results. One could go through the experience with invaluable yet harsh lessons to be learned in preparation for his or her next phase of life, the other wildly successful.

Now, I am more cautious about cautioning others who are pursuing their dreams.

Since I’m in the dream business, I am constantly surrounded by people pursuing their dreams. So much so, that I am often surprised when I find myself in a public venue politely engaging in chit-chat and discover most people are not pursuing their dreams.

I forget, sometimes, that the rest of the world is so fearful, and they have given up on the hope that their dreams would ever come true, except for the hope of maybe winning the lottery, one day.

Most of them can recall a time when they were more optimistic about potential positive outcomes, had a dream, took a shot at it, and was either not supported, or failed, and just gave up on it, as if it was just some childish fantasy.

And as we know, misery loves company, so those who had a dream and walked away from it, fearing that it wouldn’t come true anyway, try to gather people “we care about” around us, and persuade them to feel the same way we do, in their best interests.

With the best intentions, we try to gently smash their dreams, because we fear they will suffer the same heartbreak that we did when we had a dream.

How dare we do that?

If you really cared about that person (you were trying to save from himself or herself) you would boldly support them in their pursuit of his or her dreams.

Shame on you (me, or anyone) for projecting my fear onto someone else.

Surely, you may share your experience with him or her, being careful not to communicate in any way that you might not be 100% supportive of their decision and effort to follow their dreams. Maybe you’re sharing your experience will help them avoid a potential pitfall as they go forward and seek to achieve their highest and best.

Therein is the redemption for your experience or failure. Every misstep or failure has a lesson in it. In most cases, the lesson is for you, but maybe, in this case, it was for that person who has raised the courage to go for their dream.

We all have our own individual paths to follow and journey to embark upon, celebrate those who have the drive to be true to themselves. Maybe they stumble and fall along the way. Support them, help them get up and back on their feet again. Be there for them, when they need a shoulder to lean on, but never say, “I told you so.” Instead, say,

“I love you and I will support you in whatever you decide to do, because I believe in you, and you will do what is right for you.”

If you really care about them, bless and support them for going for it no matter what.

Fear Disguised As

Fear is a chameleon, able to blend-in to any thought process it can find in your mind to stealthily thwart any opportunity for growth or change. Fear is the driving force of your soul’s dark side that has the ability to masquerade as other thought processes, keeping you from achieving your highest and best.


Fear may disguise itself, like:

Fight or Flight

The fight or flight response is the most recognized form of fear in action. Certainly, flight is a fearful condition, but fear can masquerade itself as preparing you for battle. It can cause you to defend your position using disrespectful tactics, choosing (emotional) weapons of warfare to battle otherwise supportive or inconsequential people in your circle of influence. If necessary, fear can escalate your emotional state to anger or rage, compromising rational thought.


Often closely associated with fear, worry keeps you distracted with heavy negative thought processes that have little substance for reality. Based solely on fanciful thought-plays fear will have you second-guessing and running endless debilitating “what if” routines until your mind is moved to complacent inactivity, overwhelmed by fear.


“I don’t know, doesn’t’ sound right to me,” is fear’s way to keep you from entertaining an otherwise potential opportunity to make a change in your current life’s path. When masqueraded as doubt, fear often looks very similar to the kind of intuitive hit that someone gets from the heart which seeks to preemptively protect you from an otherwise unhealthy or even dangerous situation. This is the fuel that powers skepticism.


When you’re at a crossroads and are looking at alternatives and paths to research or pursue, fear will seek out and present and flood your mind with so many opportunities, that you mentally abort the entire idea from fatigue, making it possible to come to a rational conclusion or make a decision.


Whether as the result of overwhelm, or not, procrastination is fear’s tool that prevents you from being able to take action. Taking action is the key to moving you in any direction, keeping your life from becoming stagnant. Just thinking about moving in any direction causes fear to awaken and if it can convince you not to take action today – simply put it off ‘til tomorrow – it can keep you complacent as you reside yourself to only passively fantasize about any potential movement or change.


How many times have you failed to complete a thing due to feeling as though it is not good enough? This is fear disguised as making sure everything is just right, based on your lack of self confidence or fear of not attaining a certain level of perfection. More often than not, your intense attention to detail interrupted by any other of fear’s interventions, will stay off any potential hope of completion.


Creating a lifestyle based on responsibility or a sense of duty is fear militaristically acting out as a subconscious drill sergeant keeping you in-line with your dedication to conformity in a diligent lock-step fashion, disguised as “doing the right thing.” In a sense making you believe that staying the same is the right manner of living and to veer off the existing path would not be practical.


Making fun of other people or circumstances with sarcastic overtones is fear preventing you from seeing value in other people’s (society’s or the world’s) progress. Zooming-in and exploiting a mis-step or mishap due to the efforts of someone or something else to change or advance, is fear protecting you from any inclination to move forward, because you would not want to be mocked or made the fool for trying to do so yourself.


The idea of thinking that you’re safe and secure in your complacent circumstances is fear-based and thinking that you are far better off rigidly defending your current place in life can make you feel as though you are better off than others who have not dug and settled into their own life-long foxhole. You have a feeling of superiority and look down on others who are not like you. You may also see others as untrustworthy, adversarial and feel compelled to disrespect, bully them or put them down.

Being Victimized

Being victimized is fear’s “safe haven” for otherwise progressive individuals. If fear can convince you that you have suffered a horrible injustice and keep you in a state of feeling victimized by others life circumstances or the establishment, it has built for you a nearly inescapable prison, where you can find safety only within its bars.


You’re basically bored or could care less about anything. Fear will keep you without concern for others, society, the world or anything that is, “not my problem.” This nonchalant lack of interest makes you lethargic and creates space within your mind, which will seek out meaningless activities or thoughts to keep you in a state of unconscious consciousness, unable to be affected by anything meaningful.


Fear drains chemicals (primarily dopamine) from the brain to reduce fleeting surges that may have given us enough motivation to actually make some progress. Fear seeks to maintain the status quo and reducing dopamine levels will keep you unfocused, maybe even lazy and less able to follow-through on life-changing moves (no matter how small).


Many of fear’s processes can keep you in a state of fatigue which can thwart and hope of possessing the wherewithal to see anything through to its logical conclusion.

Look Behind the Mask

If you look behind the mask and remove the costumes wielded by fear, you can see it for what it is. Once identified and exposed, you can seek measures to counter its effects if you so desire.