The power of fear when making health decisions

I have had a few patient experiences over the past month where there has been a noticeable impact of the fear that people carry when they are making decisions about their health. Why do we succumb to fear? Is this a normal response? Is it the optimal response? How can we move forward at doing something different?

There are really only two foundational emotion responses that our decisions are based upon, that is love and fear. We all know that fear is a great motivator for people to make changes in their lives, but the unfortunate thing is that if this continues through as the basis behind the changes occurring, the continual change will not sustain. The fear prevents us from being grounded in our decision making. The fear keeps us at a elevated state of anxiety and uncertainty that only continues to have a negative impact on our health. The curious thing as a clinician is that it is almost easier to treat a person who has already been down the road of conventional care and seen the inability to address the cause of their health concerns. At this point they will have moved away from the fear. They will have moved past the anxiety of not doing what the societal expectation is around their current state of health.

When we begin making decisions about our health that are based in love rather than fear, opportunity opens up for real change to take place. We move past the need to have someone else take care of us. We move into the space to begin taking care of ourselves. There is power within you to heal but only if you move past the fear and do the work to sacrifice short term gain for long term change.


Naturopathic physician who is educating people about their health in order to empower them to practice self care.