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Sympathy Fear

Everyone, who tries something outside of the accepted norm – like pursuing his dreams, loathes the possibility of disappointing his family by failing miserably and squandering the time, money and energy that has been sacrificed for his success. But what we loathe even more is the “you’re going to fail, so why even try” attitude that our friends and family display through their “advice” about how we should get a “real job or maybe go to law school” The double edged stress of obligation mixed with isolation has caused countless visionaries to abandon their dreams and writhe in the safety and security of a 9-5.

Although it’s infuriating and hurtful to think that your loved ones don’t believe in you, don’t be upset. Their attempts to discourage you are simply because they are fearful for you. You are taking the road less traveled, with the unknown creating more risks which makes them uncomfortable. They project their fear of the unknown onto you because they love you and don’t want to see you fail, even if it means never achieving your dreams and being miserable but safe for your entire life. To them, it’s a worthy trade.

Like villagers surrounded by a dangerous jungle, their primal instinct is to go (and teach you to go) on the safe known routes. However like the trailblazers whom we celebrate as brave heroes, you want to create your own path through the great unknown and create safer routes for others. You are compelled to this destiny. Even if you fail at one endeavor, you know the journey is even more important than the goal. One failure can be a necessary step to a future triumph.

Be brave and evolve, even if it means leaving the herd behind. Be that horse that raised his head up high, stood tall and became the first giraffe.

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