#5: How To Leverage Fear To Improve Your Health

#5: How To Leverage Fear To Improve Your Health



Fear doesn’t have to be irrational. It can be quite a good motivator. In this episode, Maria reflects on her own fears of aging, losing her independence and not living her life to the fullest.

She talks about ways she circumvented that fear through learning about the stages of behavioral change. She talks about bringing those psychological concepts and applying them to the Health and Wellness space.

One of your main takeaways should be that if you want to break up with fear, you must find your WHY!  There are no quick fixes to making long-lasting change. When you fail, frame it as a learning opportunity and ask yourself: “Where do I go from here?

Grab a pen and paper. Get ready to kick tails.


If you have not leveraged fear to take leaps in your life, hear me out. You can do wonders with that fear. Fear is not something that is totally irrational. Actually, it can be a great motivator for us to do something better and bigger and life.

I was a guest on a podcast, Breaking Up With Fear hosted by Chris Nielson and although I am not going to discuss it here, I invite you to listen to the episode HERE. Today, I would like to add a couple of things that I didn’t mention in the interview.

On the podcast, I talked about breaking up with the fear of aging NOT being independent and being unhealthy, with diseases, and not leaving my life to the fullest because of immobility while being alone. And being alone is without companionship and kids around. For most people that’s not the case since that by their mid-40s, they have built a family and have kids. That’s not me.

I talked about some of the leaps that I took related to fears of diseases that were important to prevent, where the fear came from as I see my mom age and project these fears on myself and how the end of life would be. I talked about the fear of losing my independence and what would mean to me. I talked about the fear of leaving my career, which was not part of the plans (leaving a very successful career to being a health and fitness coach).

Let’s talk about the stages of change. I went through stages myself when I confronted fear. Fear is one of those things that becomes less relevant when we take action.

In my case, it went from awareness to acquiring knowledge, taking action, and help other people. The power is not in knowing ‘stuff’. Power is the feeling of empowerment is reached when using the knowledge and take action.

Let’s talk about phases of change. I’m not a therapist, but I love to study and read about this type of topic. The five stages of change that therapists use are

  • Pre-contemplation phase is the denial phase. You are in denial of this problem. You might be seeking help but really there is an underneath problem that you don’t really want to share.
  • Contemplation phase
  • Preparation phase
  • Action phase
  • Maintenance phase

Let’s bring that to the health/wellness and fitness world which I’m so passionate about. I’ve had clients in all those phases. Of course, the most successful ones are those who ‘stick around’ and we work the ways and they are able to change.

That is what happened to me. I changed about every aspect of my life because I stuck to it. I had a big why. And that’s why you hear me talk so much about having a big why. In my case, it is what drove my emotions and actions.

Yes, every ride has its ups and downs. It’s not a straight line and nobody is a perfect driver. Like me, you may fall apart and that’s is part of change and growth. If you have ever seen a therapist like I have and recommend one just like I’d recommend having a coach, a therapist will help you break down your limitations and walls. A coach will support your process and hold you accountable, offer you guidance to keep moving forward.

I had clients who came over in total denial. Eventually, with guidance and their vulnerability and wiliness to change, they start to see their paths and opportunities differently.

Let me tell you, people are often looking for a quick fix. There is no quick fix when it comes to creating meaningful change. We must understand that we are going to fall. This so-called failure is a learning opportunity. When we fail forward, we take a step back and say “how do I improve from here?”

Often times, the benefits of having a coach is to help you to stay aligned and on track. It’s easy to get off track these days.

The phases of changes I mentioned earlier are real. Understanding that we are going through them is helpful. There are times you may not know which phase you are in. However, being consistent in taking action toward reaching your goal and having the support to help you get is indispensable.

On the podcast, one of the topics we discussed is surrounding ourselves with supportive individuals. Personally, I went through the phase of reevaluating my relationships, which was part of this preparation for action. Questions I asked at the time were how do I add value to them and how they add value to me? How do they support my goals?

Although this process was fearful, it also helped me break down my fear. In the end, I knew I was taking action towards building and sustaining a healthier lifestyle. I felt empowered because I was doing my best. And today, I continue to grow and explore different ways to stay on track.

It is indispensable that you and I build relationships that are going to support us. A lot of times folks, we are not surrounded by these amazing people and it is really challenging to stay on track.

What I also hear from people’s voices when discussing relationships and health is the fear of social exclusion. People fear that it’s because they change their eating and drinking habits, their relationship will be negatively be impacted.

It is true that your life and relationships will change. That’s normal, don’t you think? If you’re thinking long term about your health, your relationships are going to change. No, it’s not like you’re getting rid of everybody in your life. Instead, you are going to treat people differently.

Speaking from personal experience, as you reevaluate, don’t be surprised if you recycle your relationships. In doing so, you will create space for new relationships and that’s powerful. It’s about creating a tribe build on quality versus quantity.

Today’s message was about there is no quick fix to real change. Doing this process alone is not impossible but it is not ideal. We are humans and we are built for connection. We thrive when we’re able to give, share, and learn from each other. We are built for connection.

Know that you can do anything you want when you want badly enough.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out.

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