Sheep in Wolves Clothing

Updated: Jul 11, 2020

I had a dawning of realisation this morning that as I woke hit me like a bag of wet sand. I have a fear of hard work.

Wait, what? Hold on a minute…

As I wipe metaphorical sand from my bruised face, and ego, the feeling in my chest is a swirling pit of despair. What? Hold on, what did I say? That’s not right. Is it?

You, (me thinking to myself) have worked hard for years. I explore the feeling further. It seems that I know this visitor, I have repeatedly felt its presence within me, and through association and various behaviours I have labelled it, ‘a fear of hard work’. But is it?

We all have do put work in to live in the world today, professionally, and personally - it is a norm. Am I right in thinking that everyone takes this on willingly, without question or fear? If so, what is wrong with me? Why does it paralyse me? Why did it hit me right in the face this morning accompanied by that feeling of unfathomable dread that I recognise all too well. I realise that I recognise this visitor, it has taken up residence in Castle Stuart, in one of the far wings and only comes to the more generally used spaces from time to time, to cause some havoc. Well, you did it, congratulations to you, I am now completely thrown, once again. Thanks for the wake-up call, I would have preferred some toast and coffee, thanks. Next time maybe… now please bugger off back to the west wing.

Milk and sugar?

I can’t quite believe how knocked I have been by the presence of this feeling, it engulfed me and stole every piece of light and possibility, hope and desire. Gone. A feeling of this magnitude is powerful, I want to understand it because any power that lives within us can be utilised to serve us, but how, this is a big one.

If everyone has to ‘learn’ to want the hard work, I ask you why does the system by which we live ask us to do things that are not inherent in the human psyche as a natural thing? This then leads me on the think, well that can’t be right and must all be a pile of waffle and it is in fact as originally thought something that some, if not most inherently have and happily live with. Not me, did I miss that class, did I not get the special medicine that gave everyone else superpowers?

The interesting thing is that whilst I want to explore the roots of this feeling and work out how I can look at it from a contextual perspective to understand it and work with it, I find myself in its centre and heart where a swarm of negativity squeezes me with the force and power of the deep ocean, breaking my bones and deconstructs any semblance of positivity and power I have built. Wow, you are impressive, but who are you? Where did you come from?

I am interested in learning how to work hard if that is how it is done, to find within myself the reliance to be bold and do it anyway as Louise Hay expresses in her many publications. Why do I feel such apprehension? I feel it draw me back into the safety of my cushy comfort zone whilst I am not looking and superglue me to the floor. I peek out meekly and wonder what is wrong with me, why cannot I get past this and use the skills and talents I both have as natural gifts and those I have acquired over the years. Why do I fear hard work? What is wrong with me?

Everyone else seems to get on with it without this same paralyzing, and what I feel as ‘idiotic’ reaction to the world at large. The crazy thing is that objectively, intelligently I can view possibilities and get excited about them. I want them, I see myself atop the stage sharing wonders and riling up crowds with compassionate and inspiring messages. Helping them improve their lives. I see myself wealthy in all respects and living well. Fit and healthy in every aspect of my life. Yet, as soon as I approach the first hurdle, I soil my pants and retreat to my safe place. A place that is warm but full of distaste for myself, hurtful words, and feelings, way too much superglue even my toes are fused together. And yet I return, time and time again.

So, as mentioned above, let us explore the roots and actual building blocks of this fear that I have called a ‘fear of hard work’. We all have similar thoughts, some may be to this magnitude, others less so, but we know them when they enter the room so to speak, when they visit us. They stop us. Mine presents as a fear of hard work, yours may be a fear of busses, or that you don’t speak well so you should just keep quiet – it is all the same thing, the same unwanted resident in our personal castles.

The first step is to realise that whilst I look and see a cloaked figure with bony fingers, an evil laugh, and monstrous intents. The reality is that if I were to de-shroud this individual, I would be met with something very different indeed.

Let's be friends

If I am to analyse it myself I would say it comes from a fear of inadequacy, that I will not be able to get the job done, I don’t know enough, I am not connected enough, I don’t have the right stuff. What I want to point out is that it is a FEAR of inadequacy, it is not inadequacy itself. If I apply my logical intelligent brain here I know that if there is something that needs to be done and I know the desired end result I can go out do the research, work with others and complete the task at hand. However, if I leave it up to my emotional heart the fear creeps in and takes the steering wheel. I take some perspective and view this issue. Fear of fear is scarier than the thing that we fear, every time. So, who are you and what do you want? I can clearly see that when I do de-shroud this dark housemate it is in fact a fluffy bunny rabbit with a big smile on its face, no malice to be seen here. The time, energy and power that I had given this what I now see as a figment of my imagination was so great that it controlled me, it stopped me moving forward, from taking risks ones that I felt I could accomplish but shy away from. It is with a fair balance of our psychological (brain/intelligence) and our biological (heart/emotional) facets that we can find balance in our worlds, in our lives.

It is very normal to feel crippled by a feeling, by a sense of inadequacy in my case or whichever representation it shows up for you. Know that you have the power to confront it, you have the power to turn it around and make that energy invested work more positively for you. The amount of time that I have invested in growing that fear, it has not magically disappeared from my psyche, but now I recognise it and when it appears in the room I can welcome it in and offer it a seat and a cup of tea and whilst I feel its presence in the room know that in reality it is a fluffy bunny smiling and looking out at me from inside the cloak.


With perspective and re-framing my housemate becomes a welcome guest. It becomes a lot friendlier and something I can then use to my advantage. Now that is powerful.

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