What Makes Fear A Powerful Trigger For Lifestyle Change
Fear is a primary emotion that we all experience from a very young age. It’s evolutionary in nature and it’s what has kept us away from threats and evolving as human beings since man began. The interesting thing about fear is that it can work paradoxically, either by promoting action or stopping action in its tracks. One thing for sure though is that fear is a complex emotion that is highly effective in influencing our thoughts and behaviours. Here is a short story about John, who came to see us and eventually used his fear to take action...
I remember back in 2012 when I first met John, he was a financial guy running his own business who was short on time, stressed out, had a sedentary work life and poor nutrition, which were all having a negative impact on his life. So John and I went through an initial consult to discuss his current lifestyle and ways in which he could improve it and target areas of his life that were causing him most problems. Anyway, we put an action plan into place looking to improve his work:life balance and start making him a healthier person again. We decided to start right away the next Monday of the week. That’s when on that Sunday I got a surprising phone call whilst I was on a walk with the family - it was John. He started to tell me how he could really see the value in what we did and how we helped people, but he could not commit the time he needed to justify the cost and adherence level he would need to make the plan work and therefore reluctantly could not start the program after all. Obviously at first I was frustrated by the news but I also appreciated John’s position and so wished him all the best in the future and that our door was always open for him to come back. A few months flew by (as they do) and then completely out of the blue I got another call from John explaining in short that he needed to desperately see me again. So we booked him in that week for a chat. During this second chat something was different about John. He had a sense of urgency that wasn’t there during our first consult. He went on to tell me that he had recently had a health check up from his GP and was told he had high levels of cholesterol specifically the LDL type (the bad stuff) in his blood, as well as higher than average inflammatory markers, which would need to be investigated further. The GP explained to him that if he didn’t make some changes to his current lifestyle, then he would have a higher risk of hypertension, heart disease and stroke and would need to go on some medication to control his high cholesterol. The fear that John felt in the pit of his stomach when being told this news was a lightbulb moment. The real fear of potentially having to take some strong medication for the rest of his life, as well as the immediate risk of serious chronic disease, triggered an action mindset in John, which ultimately drove him into serious action mode to give me a second call. You have provably guessed what happened next… From that point, John started to follow the personal plan we set out for him and he started committing to the journey of changing his lifestyle around for good. You may be asking yourself some questions as I did back then, namely; Why did John not start when he saw you first time? What stopped him at the last moment? What had changed within John over the 3 months? The change was FEAR!! John did not have that sense of fear in his life 3 months previous and so although he knew he ought to do something to change his lifestyle, he never took action. It was only when he felt that strong fear from the GP, that suddenly injected a sense of immediate action within him and so changing his priorities in life.
Although fear drove John to action it’s also unfortunately very reactive. Most people who come to us have also felt the same fear as John, and over the years have had a reactive state of mind toward their health. This is until the point that urgent action is required and they ultimately have a chat with us. The proactive approach to health and the preventative mindset always trumps the reactive one, and always brings the highest quality of life to a person no matter the stage of health they are currently in. Does John’s story resonate with you or someone you know well?
If you want and need to take a more proactive approach to your health and fitness to avoid the fear, click below for a free chat.. www.functionalfitness.me
p.s If you have a friend or family member in fear of their health and need help - please send them this link for a FREE £50 gift from you to them. www.functionalfitness.me/referralgift