When Fear Masquerades as Laziness

When Fear Masquerades as Laziness

Last update: 24 April, 2020

I’m sure that at some point in your life you’ve felt so lazy that you just couldn’t be bothered to meet up with your friends or go to a class that you had signed up for so enthusiastically. A part of you wants to go, but when the time comes, or maybe a few days before, laziness rears its ugly head. But, what if it’s not actually laziness? What if it’s actually fear? Fear masquerading as laziness…

Many of our emotions hide behind each other and confuse us. It’s as if they disguise themselves to prevent us from seeing them and losing ourselves in an emotional maze. If we discover them and get lost in the maze, then it’s because we don’t know ourselves. We still have a long way to go to emotional maturity.

Why do we feel lazy?

Laziness is just a way of protecting ourselves and avoiding what we don’t want to do. When the day that we’ve arranged to meet up with our friends comes up, or the course we signed up to begins, we get lethargic. Our thoughts go round and round until we reach the conclusion that we said yes to something that we didn’t really want to do.

You have to be very careful with a situation like this. If your first thoughts about what you decided to do were positive, but then laziness changed them, then it’s not that you don’t want to do it.  The fact is that you’re running away from something. Are you comfortable with your friends? Has something happened with them? Are you afraid to speak in public or meet new people?

Girl submerged in water: fear masquerading as laziness.

Danger sign

The fear that masquerades as laziness is warning us of possible danger. It reminds us of something we don’t want to face. Something we hadn’t thought about it much until the situation was about to become a reality.

So when it’s time, an alarm goes off in our mind. What’s the best resource we have to not face up to something that scares us and wants us to step out of our comfort zone? In a word, laziness.

Laziness can be a big trap when you’re trying to hide a big fear. Saying things like, “I really don’t feel like it”, “I have to learn to say no” or “I should be more assertive” may be you really hiding from something that scares you.

Laziness becomes a lifesaver. It’s a defensive reaction to hide from our fears. But we shouldn’t fall into the trap of believing that we should actually be more assertive with our friends and say “no.” Instead, there is just something we just don’t want to deal with. There is a fear deep inside us using laziness as an excuse to keep us safe at home.

Taking the mask off of fear

Fear has many costumes, some of which are very subtle. However, if we learn to identify and manage our emotions then we’ll be able to take the disguises off. Let’s see what we can do about it.

Boy experiencing fear

Imagine that you’ve had failed relationships that have ended really badly, leaving you almost traumatized. You’re now alone, trying to cope with your solitude. Your friends still want to meet up with you, but they also want to bring their partners. When the time comes to go out with them, laziness and lethargy strike. These two enemies urge us to stay at home.

In this situation you may think that you don’t really want to meet up with them. However, that might not be the case. For example, it may hurt you to see your friends happy with their partners, while you have no one but failure.

Isolation to avoid suffering

Although you really enjoy your friends’ company, you’ve become victim of your fear. It’s the fruit of experiences that you haven’t yet learned from. What this fear is telling you is that you’re just going to make the same mistakes all over again. So you isolate yourself so that you don’t have to feel that unpleasant sensation again.

Girl surrounded by spheres


Fear that wears the disguise of laziness is meant as protection. But it keeps you from growing. What should you do then? To start, work on understanding your emotions. Be willing to ask for help.

You need to get rid of the fear. If you let it continue to have its way then it will always limit your lives, for the simple reason that it is totally incompatible with well-being and happiness.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.