I recently had someone ask me how they can be confident in the gym like me.
I was so shocked by this question, because honestly, I’d never seen myself as a truly confident person. When I reflected on this I realized, yeah I have become more confident than ever before. I don’t feel scared when I go to the gym like I used to and I don’t feel scared to share a video of me working out.
Well, I decided to start trying new things. I quickly realized that these things were never as bad as I’d built them up to be, and I just continued doing them until I was comfortable. Even when they were bad, I took that as a lesson for the future.
I recognize this is not easy for everyone, and it certainly was not easy for me. But, it was only when I allowed myself to fail, that I finally became more confident.
Failure = confidence
Failure = confidence? This may seem like a difficult one to grasp but hear me out.
In any given situation where you try something new, what’s the worst thing that could happen? You suck at it, you don’t get it, or, you fail.
Part of developing new skills is failing, but trying again.
For two years I went to the gym and I could not and did not want to do barbell squats. I would watch videos on how to, would psyche myself out to try, get to the gym, refuse to do it, and then leave feeling dejected. I was too scared I would fail, too scared someone would make fun of me, too scared of looking dumb.
I could tell you the exact same story about pull-ups, and about running on a treadmill too.
After I started this blog, and my instagram account that inspired it, I constantly felt encouraged to try new things. Every new thing I’d tried so far, was benefitting me. I found the strength in trying new things in part from some amazingly supportive women, in part from my supportive partner, but mostly from me.
I started practicing my squats at home, watching videos and trying to perfect it. I marched into the gym, went directly for the squat racks and I did the damn thing! And I haven’t regretted it ever since.
Same goes for those dreaded pull-ups and treadmill runs I mentioned earlier. I started by setting small goals for myself. “Today I’ll run 2 minutes on the treadmill and see how I feel”, or “today I’ll do 5 assisted pull ups and see how I feel”. And this worked! Doing five assisted pull-ups inspired me to do ten, and even when I failed at ten, I knew it was okay, I would be there eventually.
The bottom line:
We usually fear failure because we fear the resulting feelings of shame or judgement that we perceive it brings. But what if we stopped allowing shame and judgement to dictate our lives?
When I catch myself missing out on something because it could go wrong, I also remind myself that it could go right. And a person who faults you for trying? They’re likely projecting their own securities onto you. Don’t let them.
In other words…
How can you be confident at the gym?
- Forget the fear of failure, embrace it.
- F*ck what other people think, you’re doing you, for you!
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Read more on body confidence here: https://www.whollygenna.com/category/body-confidence/