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diabetes care and fear

Thanks to our friend Scott Johnson for pointing me at this wonderful blog post by Riva Greenberg. I definitely need to read more of what she writes.

Many healthcare providers unknowingly try to motivate diabetes patients to manage their condition through fear — specifically, fear of diabetes complications, which indeed are scary. But fear motivates behavior temporarily — you jump to protect yourself from harm. Fear does not motivate sustainable behavior change because you do not want to stay focused on your fears.

As Scott so eloquently put it, Wow.

You jump to protect yourself from harm.

Fear motivates behavior temporarily.

Fear does not motivate sustainable behavior change because you do not want to stay focused on your fears.

Personally, I think so much I try to do focuses on the fears and I’ve become aware that fear is only a short term motivator. How do we change that fear-based motivation into something that can lead us into making positive changes in our lives?

This is moving toward versus moving away from that Steve Aitchison talked about in the Mind Alchemy group this month. But even when I rephrase my goals to be moving toward something positive, I think the fear is what really remains in my head. I don’t know how to make that shift.

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