How to “fuel” lasting change

heart fuel redux v2Do you find that fear “motivates” you?
Have you had one of those moments where you realize if you don’t do something or change a behavior that all hell is going to break loose, so you dig in and work it?
Sounds good; sounds like it can get the job done.
Wellllll, not exactly.

OK, the tiger is right at your heels. Yes…FEAR, BIG TIME FEAR will absolutely work to get you running and will keep you running until either the tiger quits or you do.
BUT, your body will shut down most aspects of your immune system (too costly in the face of approaching death), stop working on repairing tissue (why bother, all the more to be eaten), etc.
What do you care? You just outran (or outsmarted) a tiger!

But what about that deadline at work, the paperwork for the loan, helping the kids with their homework, helping the kids with their homework WHILE dealing with the deadline at work AND doing the paperwork for the loan?
Not exactly life-threatening, but if you simply do what must be done to avoid problems in an avoidance-reactive state, you’ll invariably find yourself back in the same spot.

Fear, trying to avoid a negative outcome, simply can not sustain you.

Look at it this way, fear is a great as an accelerant (burns hot, fast, and is gone) but poor as a fuel (burns steady, for a long time).
Imagine trying to stay warm by lighting one match after another…

In your work towards attaining and maintaining your health and wellness, look for motivators that move you *towards* something, not *away from* something.
“I’m not eating a ton of fast food because I don’t want a heart attack” might sound reasonable, but “I’m eating well-balanced meals that provide the energy I need to play with my kids (or grandkids)” sounds much better.
Go ahead, try it out for a bit; I’ll bet it feels better as well.

The fear that you felt with that visit to the doctor (or hospital) will fade, – avoidance is an accelerant. The delight in enjoying and sharing some of the best moments in life?
Now THAT’S enduring – THAT’S fuel for change.

About zolfw

I am an avid trail runner and fitness enthusiast, an accomplished cook, a lover of cinema and literature (although I read everything from graphic novels to professional psychology tomes, neither extreme being literature in the strict sense) . I am a retired Health and Wellness Coach. I am a husband, father, grandfather, and uncle.
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