Using Fear to Drive Personal Change

When it comes to making personal changes in our lives, we often begin by focusing on the good that will come from doing things differently. I am a strong proponent of using visualization, and telling ourselves the stories that will help us get the results that we desire in our lives. We must cement our vision in our imagination before it can ever become reality. But, sometimes this is just not enough to get us moving.

The High Cost of Not Making Changes

Take a moment to think about the cost of not making the changes that you know you need to make in your life right now. Where will you be 5 years from now if you don’t lose that excess weight? What about 10 years from now if you don’t get your blood sugars, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control? The long term consequences of poor health are never good. If you really think about the high costs of not making healthy changes, it should scare you.

Personal Change

Like most people, I spent years trying to make and sustain healthy lifestyle changes. Many times I made changes, but was not able to sustain them over a long period of time. I became lazy, lacked motivation, and was a master of making excuses.

The catalyst for my own lifestyle change wasn’t just focusing on the positives associated with living a healthy lifestyle (that became an important part of sustaining change); it was the realization that I had an incurable chronic condition, and the fear of the consequences for not controlling my diabetes.

My diagnosis scared the shit out of me! It was exactly the leverage I needed to finally make and sustain the health changes I had tried and failed to sustain many times before. Change occurs when the pain of not changing becomes greater than the pain of making change. I’ve been able to sustain these changes for more than 4 years because I got real with myself, and have never stopped having that conversation with myself about the consequences of uncontrolled diabetes.

It’s Time to Get Real With Yourself

Fear itself is not a bad thing – it is simply an emotion. The emotion of fear is bad when it paralyzes you from taking action. But fear used as energy to take the right actions becomes a great motivator. The key is always taking action.

What do you fear about your current health? How can you turn that fear into action?

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