Don’t Let Your Self Esteem Hold You Back
Many people are afraid to go to the gym. If you haven’t regularly attended one before, the idea can be intimidating. But as is often the case with anxiety, you’ll find that your expectations are far different from the reality of your experiences. Here are some tips in helping you take the leap into the world of fitness:
1 – You’re Not Alone
Gym anxiety isn’t specific to you, in fact hundreds of people all over the web express a similar level of discomfort at the idea of being in a gym. This type of anxiety isn’t specific to gyms too, it’s part of a broader group – ‘situational anxiety’. Some people are afraid to go to parties, some people are even afraid to walk to the supermarket. The unique thing about gym anxiety is that it tends to be much easier to fix. Many people proclaim that they want to ‘get fit at home first’ before they attend a public gym, citing their physique as their primary source of embarrassment. There’s certainly nothing wrong with bringing yourself up to scratch with bodyweight exercises and training at home. This ensures that you’ll be able to use the facilities to their full potential. Without pre-preemptively wasting money on a membership. Unfortunately, the mindset of many of the people adopting this approach is not routed in practicality. Many people fear that they won’t look ‘good enough’ to be in a room full of fitness enthusiasts. This leads us to our next point.
2 – Remember This One Simple Fact
Everyone in the gym is there for a reason. Every single person in that building feels that there’s room for improvement somewhere. Whether it be in their physique, their strength or even their cardiovascular endurance. You will find that the majority of the people there had similar reservations when they first started training. Most people will be too busy focusing on dealing with their own challenges to bother gawking at you in a public setting. There’s an unspoken etiquette in most gyms – making fun of someone who is making an active effort to improve themselves is utterly pointless when there are millions of people who don’t even bother to make the effort to improve themselves in any way.
2 – Focus On Your Own Progress
Arnold didn’t become a bodybuilding legend by constantly worrying if he was lifting as much or was comparable in size to the guy next to him. He became a bodybuilding legend because he was able to disregard all the white noise and worry about himself. His lifts, his routine, his diet and his sleeping schedule. Whilst you may not seek to obtain the physique of a classic IFBB competitor, this mindset is just as applicable to you regardless of your goals. Constantly comparing yourself to others is a recipe for poor self esteem. Let’s say you just shattered your personal record on all of your favourite exercises. You’ve shot past your previous one rep max on your overhead press by about 5kg. Ask yourself what the point is in comparing yourself to someone who may have had a 4 year head start on you in terms of training.